“My name is Celina and my sister’s name is Melina, We would like to share our experience as Dental Health Promotors.” she tells us with a smile.
In the neighborhood they are known as “the twins” and they have been part of the Lucerito Project since 2011, “we live with our family at Guapilo Junín neighborhood in Santa Cruz, the main city in Bolivia’s east region.” says Melina.
By the time they were 9 years old became part of beautiful activities in Lucerito, like theatre and singing classes, but the activity they are involved now is what interests them the most. Girls realized they had the chance to help people in the neighborhood. Now they are Dental health promoters.
But, what does a Dental Health Promoter do? “It is well known children are afraid of dentist, but they are not afraid of us, because we are the same age” say Melina, a Dental health promoter visits houses in the neighborhood and schools to teach other children how to take care of teeth, which healthy meals to eat, and healthy habits. “We teach this by games, with theatrical performances, with easy slides and games.” Tells Celina.
Their last campaign was in October, visited primary school ‘María de las Candelarias’ where youth team worked with 420 children, playing with them to teach them how to brush their teeth. In September they worked with 50 students from College ‘Universidad Ecológica Boliviana’, “every Saturday they came with us to teach dental hygiene to other children from different schools near our neighborhood” tells Melina. 180 children learned basic hygiene and received fluorine to brush their teeth.
Now, 4 years later, it is nice to remember all things we learned, projects we were part of and challenges we faced successfully. Villa Primero de Mayo is the neighborhood where Lucerito is located, despite it is near our home, in rainy season streets are flooded; but we knew we had a responsibility with the people and always used to find our way to get to the Project on time.