All people should have access to the essentials that allow them to achieve their full potential.
Primarily to provide dental health care, disease prevention and education, as well as providing the necessary supplies to underserved clinics.
To train local people to take responsibility for disease prevention, health care and education.
To establish self-sustaining community enterprises that mutually benefit health and well-being.
To share the virtues and values of other cultures with each other in order to further enrich our lives.
To develop bridges of trust and understanding between people of the world.
We are For World Wide Smiles (FWWS), a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, EIN # 27-0601827. Co-founded in 2008 by Dr. Sherwin Shinn, DDS and Faria Shinn.
FWWS was established to alleviate suffering from dental disease and facilitate disease prevention, education and practice. This was in response to Dr. Shinn’s personal experience in Nepal in 1990 where he witnessed children dying from infections due to abscessed teeth.
He realized his life’s mission during this trip to the Himalayas. There, he met a 5-year-old Soman Sherpa on a rural trail who was swollen from temple to armpit with a life-threatening systemic infection caused by abscessed teeth. He saved the girl’s life by performing rudimentary extraction. Soon, he realized that these area have no access to a toothbrush, knowledge of how to use one, and certainly no dental care. He vowed to return with toothbrushes, resources to educate children and the necessary tools to treat those in need.
He not only returned to Nepal 18 months later, but has since traveled to many other countries like Haiti and Uganda, as well as various countries in the Caribbean with the same purpose.
In 2003, Dr. Shinn partnered with the “1000 Smiles Project” which is part of Great Shape! Inc non-profit organization and is the world’s largest collaborative international humanitarian dental project that provides the Caribbeans with dental care and education in temporary clinics and schools.
In 2007,Dr. Shinn moved to Uganda to develop and grow FWWS. During this time, he met Faria; a Ugandan woman with a boundless love and compassion for people. The couple married and moved back to Washington state. They now have 7 children and 4 grandchildren.
Faria Shinn is the heart and soul, co-founder and director of FWWS. She is responsible for managing projects and coordinating volunteer teams with the goal of providing dental care, teaching oral hygiene, offering training and supplies to local providers, and improving clinics in rural areas.
Dr. Shinn is also the co-founder of the International Smile Power and the author of “Confessions of a Modern Dentist.” He was awarded the 2013 ADA Humanitarian Award, as well as the 2003 Washington State Dental Association Citizen of the Year and 2003 National Jefferson Award, the nation’s highest honor for public service.
Each year, humanitarian heroes travel with FWWS from across the USA, Canada,UK and the Uganda to help improve the lives of the underserved. In the process, we find volunteers receive far more from the project than we can ever give. We ask each volunteer to join with an open heart, a good sense of humor, a willingness to learn and the ability to “go with the flow.” The purpose of this project can be put out in one word: NAMASTE! It means “I honor and salute the divinity that is inside of you.”
This is the Nepalese culture’s sacred greeting that Dr. Shinn learned while traveling there. It has influenced his outlook on life and how he acknowledges the inherent spirituality when greeting friends or strangers.
We encourage our volunteers to apply this philosophy to their everyday interactions, with each and everyone we meet and treat to acknowledge the power and divinity of each and every person. This is why we care and do what we do.
May we all recognize the divinity within ourselves and extend a warm welcome to each other. Namaste!
Sherwin Shinn, DDS
Co-Founder and Director
Nannette Benedict, DDS
Juan Herrera, DDS
Treasurer and Assistant
June: We organized a team of 23 volunteers from around the world and traveled to Uganda.
We drove 8 hours from the capital, Kampala to the Kasese district where we resided for the rest of the trip. We set up a temporary dental clinic in Bwera hospital (which was an hour drive from our hotel) for 8 working days.
This hospital is the only clinic for a town of ~70,000 with only one permanent dentist but with no working dental chair, X-ray machine, or hygiene equipment.
Our 6 dentists and their dental assistants were able to see just over 500 patients, performing extractions, restoratives, and hygiene.
Our education team visited 2 schools and talked with students about dental care, nutrition, and hygiene.
MAY: We worked in Jamaica for the sealant project with Great Shape! Inc.1000 smiles project where sealants were applied to children in Jamaican schools.
JULY: We worked in St. Lucia with Great Shape! Inc. 1000 smiles project and served hundreds of people.
AUGUST: We traveled to Uganda with a group of 17 volunteers and worked under UNHCR in Rwamwanja refugee’s settlement . We treated 700 refugees through providing dental treatment, sealants and fluoride vanish for the children, oral health education, supplies and maternal health supplies for the expectant mothers in the settlement.
We then went to Kasese district where we camped at Kasese town council heath center for 8 days and were able to treat 300 people.
May: We travel to Jamaica for the sealant project with 1000 Smiles Project and provided dental treatement for the local Jamaicans.
Later we travelled to Uganda and partnered with the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) to provide dental care and disease prevention, maternal health care supplies to the refuges from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Southern Sudan and Somalia living in Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in South Western Uganda, Agojo, Obilokongo, Ayilo a refugee Settlement in Adjumani District in Northern Uganda .
Overall, we were able to give services to more than 700 people in a period of 3 weeks.
NOVEMBER: We opened our first free communal dental clinic in Uganda based in Kampala. To date, it has more than 500 patients.
The demand for our services is pushing us to outstrip our capacity to offer the much-needed dental services. We have since revisited our projections and are in the process of acquiring more dental chairs and dentists to respond to the demand.
We worked in Haiti, and Jamaica with Great Shape Inc!
Haiti, we were able to see more than 300 patients in two weeks thanks to our amazing volunteers, Dr. Nannette Benedicts, Jeff Bernhard, Jacob Bernhard, Stacy, Sandy Harms, Faria Shinn, Dr. Sherwin Shinn and more, for their amazing work. We provided treatments equivalent to over $500,000 in two villages.
We worked in Haiti and Uganda on our own, and with Great Shape! Inc. 1,000 Smiles Project in Jamaica.
In Uganda our volunteer team worked for 4 weeks in the Oruchinga, Rwamwaja, and Nashville Settlement camps in Mbarara that we had visited the year before. These camps house more than 50,000 refugees escaping civil wars in neighboring countries!
We were able to provide our services valued over $500,000 in a period of 4 weeks in Uganda and $200,000 dollars in Haiti in a period of 2 weeks. Combined, we treated more than 600 people in the two countries.
In addition to dental care, we introduced the Mothers Abroad Program which supports maternal and infant health care. This program delivers sterilization supplies and disease prevention education including, HIV prevention and awareness, to mothers, mid-wives, and expectant mothers.
We returned to Uganda where we worked in the Koch Goma maternity ward. Over a 2-week period we cleaned, painted, equipped, and changed the facility to become a much safer, more comfortable and efficient clinic it was before. We provided services worth over $15,000, and supplies worth about $10,000.
We worked in Uganda and collaborated with Great Shape! Inc. in Jamaica. In Uganda we were able to see more than 700 people in a period of 4 weeks where we provided our services that were worth more than $700,000 dollars which included equipment and supplies, dental care comprised of extractions, fillings, cleaning, sealants, oral health education, training and more.
We then visited the refugee settlement camps in Mbarara, Uganda which housed refugees from Sudan, Congo, Somali, Rwanda and more. We worked in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s office in Uganda, and AIRD (African Initiative Relief Development), a non-profit organization in Uganda, as well as UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees).
In the Rwamwaja settlement we provided oral health education and supplies, maternal health services, and sterilization materials valued over $150,000.
Our services included extractions, cleaning, filling, sealants, and oral health education. We also supplied tooth brushes, clothing, and education materials for students and teachers including books, pens, education manuals, and more.
We were able to provide care, supplies and services worth more than $500,000 to the Lake Victoria island’s fishing villages, the Batwa Pygmy villages in the SW, and the refugee camp of Koch Goma in the north.
We started a new program on Lake Victoria in Uganda where we worked with the residents of several fishing villages on Kimi Island, Mwende Island and Bulago Island. We provided care to more than 450 men, women, and children.
Services included sealants, extractions, fillings, cleanings, disease prevention education, and the donation of sterilization supplies and We also provided similar services to the people in Bwindi in remote SW Uganda, and to the refugees in the settlement camp of Koch Goma in Gulu where thousands have gone to escape the violence of Joseph Kony’s rebel army in the north, (we have been going there since 2003 to help out however we could), and we provided health care services in the southern town of Kasese on the border of Uganda and Congo.
All in all, we provided services that were valued over $425,000. Special thanks to Dr. Carla Yamashiro whose humanitarian, volunteer dedication and hard work was the foundation for the success of this trip.