Cavities are the most prevalent chronic disease among children in Armenia. Empirical studies have documented that: 1) the average 5-year old child in Armenia has eight decayed, missing or filled primary teeth; 2) between the ages of 14 and 17 years old, the average child continues to experience dental decay at the rate of one permanent tooth per year; 3) almost 90% of all 12-year-old children in Armenia have cavities; and, 4) only 20% of Armenian 18-year-olds still have all of their teeth. Unquestionably, dental hygiene problems are more problematic among institutionalized children.
To address these dental issues, SOAR’s Dental Fund was created in September 2015 and is overseen by a team of dental experts. The Fund has three (3) primary components
The Fund has three primary components:
- Dental clinic construction. SOAR constructs and outfits dental suites and clinics to offer the orphaned children in Armenia consistent and quality access to dental care. A dental suite was previously renovated at Kharberd Orphanage, and a dental clinic is currently being constructed at the Our Lady of Armenia (OLA) Center in Gyumri. The Gyumri Clinic will serve the OLA children, other orphaned children in Gyumri, the OLA Senior Center, and the greater Gyumri community.
- Recruiting dental professionals to volunteer at the OLA Summer Camp. The OLA Camp is held in Tsaghgadzor annually for approximately 12 weeks. During each of four (4) 16-day sessions, approximately 200 orphaned and otherwise underprivileged children visit the Camp. Overseen by SOAR-Detroit, we actively seek dentists and dental assistants who are able to volunteer for at least one week each summer.
- Procure dental supplies.Our Dental Fund experts identify outlets for humanitarian donations of dental supplies. When appropriate, these goods are procured and shipped to Armenia.
To make a donation GO HERE and select Dental Fund from the drop down menu
SOAR's project report "Smiling Teeth, Smiling Child" is live on GlobalGiving!
Check it out HERE.
One of the main missions provided through the SOAR Dental Clinic is to raise awareness among disadvantaged children about proper care of their teeth and how to protect and to keep their teeth strong and healthy. Also to visit their dentist for regular checkups.
With that in mind, the dental team decided to organize visit on February 26, 2018 for a checkup to the children at their care facilities. The first facility was Nansen boarding school in Gyumri.
After a presentation by the dental hygienist about this topic the doctor examined 56 children (During the exam, the teeth were cleaned, flossed, and checked for cavities) and made a list of further needs of the children. Shortly after the toothbrushes and relevant items were distributed to the children.
A huge shipment of medical and dental equipment and supplies through Project Cure!
SOAR's project report "Dentists From Fresno Volunteer at SOAR Clinics" is live on GlobalGiving!
Check it out HERE.
As a result of continuing collaboration with the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief / SOAR / and Fresno Medical Mission Armenia Program, another mission was implemented. The whole week was directed to the health, care, and future possible surgical interventions of children in orphanages of Armenia.
Pediatricians from the United States Marion Karian, Janice Keizeryan, Garine Lepejian, therapist Judith Nutton and dentists Ronald Sani and Vache Vasilyan donated their 1-week visit to the children's home in Gyumri, Kharberd , Mari Izmirlyan and Nork.. Meetings with the staff were also educational.
The two-day lectures were devoted to the problems with Down syndrome and Children's cerebral palsy.
Liza Mkrtchyan and Arman Gevorgyan, students of Yerevan State Medical University Dental Department joined us for this program
Thanks also to our volunteer interpreter Tatev Hambaryan.
The updated report for Global Giving dental care has been published. To view the report or to make a donation,
The Dental Clinic in use at OLA Tashir
Dental clinic in use
SOAR Dental Giving Campaign 06/20/2016
By Kohar Mardirossian Pelter and George Yacoubian, Jr.
Under the grip of extreme poverty, poor health and destitution, live many elderly, children and families in Gyumri , the second largest city in Armenia. Struggling to find food, water , and medicine, dental health is nonexistent for them.
Melsida, Nadejda, Goharik and Asia, are a few of the elderly, who get basic nutrition and clothing at a day care center for elderly in Gyumri. Some with no surviving families, others trying to support their children and grandchildren who are incapacitated, orphaned or have been abandoned by their parents who have left them behind while seeking employment in foreign countries.
Geghetsik is a 62 years old, lives in the so called "Kazatchi post" residential area in Gyumri that is considered one of the poorest living areas of the city. Her family consists of 6 people - Geghetsik, her husband, 2 daughters, one of them is a single mom with 2 kids. They all live in a century old building dating back to the early 1900s. The building has never had any type of renovations, is in complete disrepair, with no fuel for heating . During the harsh cold icy winters they burn anything they can find to get warm. The building has no toilet or sewer system and the family resorts to use an outside pit. The father works as a guard and receives only 30,000 AMD about $62 monthly with a very small stipend for the kids from the government.
Geghetsik's neighbor is Mariam and her 7 year old son Artyom who is in poor health. Artyom's father has left to Russia in search of employment and they have not heard back from him for a long time. Unemployed, Mariam lives off of the land and through the leftovers and assistance of the neighbors. Their shack has no gas, no electricity, water or sewer. For heat, they use anything which can be burnt. The only means of living is gathering empty bottles from a garbage dump or cemetery and selling them.
Such stories are more common and form the norm of the population in Gyumri. They suffer all types of health ailments and severe conditions of dental health.
On behalf of the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR), we wish to express our utmost gratitude to generous donors like you. With the assistance of contributors such as yourself, SOAR was able to open a dental suit for the Our Lady of Armenia (OLA) Center in Gyumri in March of 2016. Your support has made it possible for the orphans of the Gyumri community to receive regular dental screenings and treatments by visiting dentists and other dental health professionals. That’s right - your support resulted in constructing the only dental care facility in the city of Gyumri.
Although the construction of the dental suit is complete, our efforts are not finished. We are still in need of funds for purchasing supplies and providing the clinic with basic dental care necessities. In addition, we need to be able to fund the annual maintenance of the clinic, as well as continue to fund the dental health professionals that work at the clinic.
With cavities being the most prevalent chronic disease among children in Armenia, we encourage you to help the needy orphans as they are in dire need of dental care. Your tax deductible donation will aid in providing all of the basic necessities for managing a dental clinic that will benefit the orphans. Please consider the orphaned children and elderly in their time of need, as basic necessities such as regularly visiting a dentist would not be possible were it not for generosity of continued supporters like you.
Donations are accepted through the GlobalGiving Dental Care Campaign for Orphans
and no amount is too small.
Again, please accept our most heartfelt gratitude for joining our efforts to make a difference in the orphaned children’s lives. With your continued support, together, we can provide these children with the happiest and most beautiful smiles. Imagine the possibilities of what your continued support can bring to the needy orphaned children of Armenia that desire nothing but to live happy lives.
We encourage you to share this message with you family and friends to help raise awareness for our cause. To join our efforts in supporting the Dental Care Campaign, whether monetary or active volunteer support, please contact us at email@example.com.
We are thrilled to announce the Grand Opening of SOAR Dental Clinic in Gyumri!
On Thursday March 17, 2016, Our Lady of Armenia Center held its much anticipated SOAR Dental Clinic grand opening to benefit the orphaned children and the elderly in Gyumri. During the ceremony, Diramyr Arousiag Sajonian welcomed several dignitaries from Gyumri, including Mr. Hovsep Simonyan (Shirak region), Mr. Samuel Balasanyan (Gyumri Mayor), Anahid Garabedyan (Orphanage Fridtjof Nansen Director in Gyumri) and Mrs. Hasmig Demirdjian (SOAR La Canada president) accompanied by SOAR supporters, junior members and representatives from Armenia and USA. Mrs. Demirdjian was present during this Grand Opening to represent SOAR. She talked about the mission and the importance of SOAR in Gyumri, Yerevan, Syria, Lebanon and other countries in the world, to help Armenian children in need!
Thanks to the unwavering diligence and combined efforts of SOAR national, Gulamerian Armenian Orphan Fund, Albert Tamberchi Foundation, La Canada, Ventura County, Wisconsin and Chicago SOAR chapters and individual donors through Global Giving, our dream for providing dental care to the orphans and elderly of Gyumri came true! The dental clinic will offer full services and provide dental care free of charge to the underprivileged population of Gyumri. With beautiful teeth, children and elderly will have brighter smiles, a better health and well being.
We would like to also acknowledge all of our supporters without whom we would not have been able to construct the clinic at the Our Lady Of Armenia (OLA) Center! We thank Mrs. Hasmig Demirdjian for a wonderful job in representing all of us at the opening ceremony!
Thank you all for providing this unparalleled gift for the orphaned children and the Gyumri community at large!
To join our efforts in supporting the Dental Care Campaign, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new dental suite construction at Our Lady of Armenia, Gyumri from beginning to grand opening!
Kharberd Dental Suite