We Are for World Wide Smiles
For World Wide Smiles (World Wide Smiles Inc.) was established to alleviate suffering from dental disease and facilitate disease prevention, education and practice. This was is in response to my personal experience in Nepal in 1990 where I witnessed that children were dying every day from infections due to abscessed teeth. Local people had no idea what caused this condition, how to prevent it and how to treat it. Even the hospitals didn’t have access to the necessary basic treatment equipment and instruments, nor the expertise to treat emergencies and prevent ongoing problems.
Dr. Sherwin Shinn
Co-Founder and Director
Dr. Juan Herrera
Treasurer and Assistant
- Primarily to provide dental and maternal/infant health care, disease prevention education, and necessary supplies to undeserved populations.
- To train local people to take responsibility for disease prevention education and care.”
- “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 all of our lives.
- To develop bridges of trust and understanding between us, and all peoples so that we become a planet of friendly neighbors instead of unknown strangers.
JULY: we also worked in St. Lucia with Great Shape! Inc. 1000 smiles project where thousands of people were helped.
AUGUST: We worked in Uganda under UNHCR in Rwamwanja refugee’s settlement where we treated 700 refugees who got 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. We were a group of 17 volunteers and offered treatment and services valued at $700,000 for all the 3 and half weeks we were in Uganda.
NOVEMBER: we opened the first free communal dental clinic in Uganda based in Kampala. To-date it has more than 500 patients. The demand for our services is threatening 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.
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 the amazing work were able to provide services worth more than $500,000 in two villages. Port pimit and port being one of the villages we worked in.
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 more weeks. Combined, we treated more than 600 people in the two countries.
Then we toured the refugee settlement camps in Mbarara, Uganda that 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, and worked with help from 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.
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.
Dr. Sherwin Shinn and Faria Shinn
For the last 23 years, Dr Shinn has dedicated his life to providing oral healthcare to underserved people in some of the worlds most impoverished countries.
Nepal…Where It Began: He realized his life’s mission during a trip in 1990 to the Himalayas in Nepal. There, he met 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. Children there were dying from infected teeth simply because they had no access to a toothbrush or knowledge of how to use one. He vowed to return with toothbrushes, education and more tools. He not only returned to Nepal 18 months later, but has since traveled to many other countries.
“It’s not what we want to be & feel, & not what we do, that drives our passion to go forward with life. Stay in touch with those feelings & follow your dreams” … That grand realization is what made him the 2013 ADA Humanitarian Award recipient. Dr. Shinn has received many accolades for his work, including the WA State Dental Association 2003 Citizen of the Year & 2003 National Jefferson Award, the nation’s highest honor for public service.
In 2003, Dr. Shinn partnered “1000 Smiles Project” with Great Shape! Inc. “1000 Smiles Project” is the world’s largest collaborative international humanitarian dental project that provides Jamaicans with dental care & education in temporary clinics & schools. Dr. Shinn is the co-founder of International Smile Power, & the co-founder & current president of For World Wide Smiles, a non-profit organization that coordinates volunteer teams to provide dental care, teach oral hygiene, offer training & supplies to local providers and improve maternal & infant health by upgrading conditions in rural labor & delivery rooms with the creation of Mothers Abroad program. For World Wide Smiles averages 3 international trips a year to Haiti, Uganda & Jamaica.
In 2007, he moved to Uganda to develop & grow For World Wide Smiles. During this time, he met Faria; a Ugandan woman with the love & compassion for people that matched his own. The couple married & moved back to Washington & now resides in Gig Harbor. Dr. Shinn has 7 children & 4 grandchildren.
Dr. Shinn is the author of “Confessions of a Modern Dentist.” He also gives inspiring lectures on How to Make Your Dreams Come True, Raising Self-Esteem & Empowering Yourself & Others, and Maximizing the Fulfillment Factor in Dentistry & Life Through Volunteerism. His lectures are uplifting & motivational! With his 40 years of professional experience & remarkable credentials, he is certainly qualified to answer a wide range of questions about dentistry, volunteerism and international travel & culture.
Sandra Harms; a 2013 Uganda Volunteer with For World Wide Smiles said this about Dr. Shinn “He is the most thoughtful, caring, passionate, intelligent, inspiring, fun & relational leader I have ever worked with. He values people & empowers them to be their best self, to ‘be awesome’ & be part of a team with a vision.”
Namaste… While in Nepal, Dr. Shinn learned a valuable lesson about a culture’s sacred greeting, “Namaste” & how it not only affected his outlook on life, but also of how he would acknowledge people’s inherent spirituality when greeting friends & strangers. Namaste means “I bow to the divine in you,” or “The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you.” It is spoken with an accompanying bow with hands pressed together close to the chest & is done with absolute sincerity and respect. It’s a guiding ideal that Dr. Shinn & his family has put forth within their daily life. May we all recognize the divinity within ourselves & extend a warm welcome to each other. Namaste