Who we are
The founders of SMOM (Medical Dental Solidarity in the World) have been carrying out health development projects in the four continents since the early 90s with the aim of reducing the prevalence of the disease in the area through primary and secondary prevention programs. In 2004 they formalized the association in "SMOM onlus" (Non-Profit Organization of Social Utility) to consolidate activities no longer just sporadic volunteering but, now, of real development cooperation, an activity that required a legally recognized association and fiscal structure . This structure was immediately made available to the world of volunteering, full of spontaneous initiatives, which needed a recognized organization in order to operate.
International cooperation promotes development projects aimed at improving the living conditions of disadvantaged communities, victims of regional underdevelopment, which often live without essential services such as sanitation and education. Health is a fundamental value for living, but it is not sustainable unless accompanied by a development of the person, both on a cultural and social level; indispensable prerequisites for achieving the economic one. Indeed, the determinants of health are not only organic but also cultural, environmental and socio-economic. Therefore, only by intervening at 360 ° on all these factors, will we be able to change in a stable way the situation of serious human degradation in which a large part of humanity lives. Today SMOM contributes to build houses to live in, schools to study, health facilities where you can treat yourself, professional and production centers where you can train and work, toilets, water wells, help orphanages and sell the products of its producers. It supports entrepreneurial activities capable of producing resources aimed at expanding the individual's possibilities of choice for a better life. Assume local staff, sends volunteers to carry out health-assistance education programs for the population and also supports a University Course for dental technicians.
EXPERIENCE AND PASSION
The Association made itself known, in the first years of its activity, mainly for the experience gained by its members in promoting preventive and therapeutic programs for the development of oral health in the world. Integrated and sustainable development projects that start from the verification of needs with shared planning. Traveling and operating in geographic areas among the poorest in the world, the volunteers organized in SMOM have come into contact with realities that have shaken their consciences and made them feel the need to take a position no longer just as health workers. When one encounters the denial of the most elementary rights such as: drinking water, nutrition, the right to study, the absence of facilities and adequate health personnel, one cannot stand and watch or intervene only as dentists.
Since 2008, the turning point, it has been decided to intervene on all the factors that determine the state of health: social, cultural, economic and environmental with socio-economic development and fight against poverty. Hence the construction of schools, wells and productive activities in Africa, houses in Haiti and health interventions have acquired national dimensions with millions of indirect beneficiaries. At Makerere University, in Uganda, the first national course for dental prosthesis builders was launched and made autonomous. In 2016 the start of courses at the Université de Ngozi for the qualification of the first 'dentists' in Burundi, capable in that country, to save lives and support a national network of health centers. In 2020 the start of a three-year course at the Université de Bangui in the Central African Republic, in partnership with the Ministry of Health for the qualification of the first dental therapists in that country. Both of these two university projects envisage the opening of dental clinics at the most important provincial hospitals in the country, creating national preventive and assistance systems.
the Association has identified human development as a strategic objective to be supported in order to help the emancipation of prisoners of underdevelopment and condemned to an unsustainable life. If development is not created, it was reiterated, health care is not sustainable. But what is meant by development? It certainly cannot be identified with the sterile acquisition of an asset, but it is necessary to invest to improve human skills on a cultural, professional level and taking into account the primary aspect of health. Owning a good is not sufficient in itself to have a benefit, it is necessary to have the ability to operate through the good. Development is therefore the ability to transform the surrounding environment for one's own benefit.