Jean Paul Laurent, Unspoken Smiles Foundation
In founding Unspoken Smiles Foundation, Jean Paul Laurent never intended to engage in philanthropy. Instead, he wanted to use the shocking gap in dental care as a model of sustainable growth. Starting with the most remote communities in rural Haiti as a pilot program, the foundation has adopted a three prong strategy to address this: education, treatment and empowerment.
First, the Unspoken Smiles Foundation’s unique curriculum is implemented in local schools, teaching children proper oral hygiene techniques at a young age, allowing it to become part of a daily (and lifelong) routine. The second is treatment, in which a variety of world-class dental professionals travel to these communities and provide cleanings, examinations and treatments. But it is the third portion that truly illustrates the key to this innovative approach: the Unspoken Smiles Fellowship. With this program, women between the ages of 18-35 are trained to become dental assistants within their communities, which not only allows the residents to receive ongoing basic dental care, but also provides the women with steady employment.