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.
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.
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.”
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!