Many charities are doing wonderful things for children all around the world. But here’s one you might not have heard about yet.
The Global Child Dental Fund (GCDF) has undertaken a mighty mission: transforming the lives of low-income children around the globe through quality dental care and training dental professionals to lead in all levels of society.
Key Facts About the Global Child Dental Fund
The GCDF is a charity based in the United Kingdom. It was formally established in 2008 by founder Dr. Raman Bedi. Bedi himself has quite the resume – Chief Dental Officer, professor at Kings College London, President of the British Society for Disability and Oral Health, and author of multiple papers and books.
When Bedi was tasked with leading a global dental health force for children in 2006, the seeds for the GCDF were planted. Just two years later, he founded the charity.
The Mission of the Global Child Dental Fund
From the beginning, Bedi intended that the general aim of the GCDF was to provide disadvantaged children with access to quality dental care. The GCDF pursues this mission through the following initiatives:
- Growing a team of leaders in the dental field and effecting change at a local, national, and global level.
- Develop critical projects to improve the oral health of disadvantaged children around the world.
- Inspire a great sense of social responsibility in the emerging generation of dentists and dental professionals.
The GCDF has always sought to help children in low-income countries improve their dental health because of the prevalence of early childhood caries, which can dramatically reduce the quality of one’s dental health over time. Caries can be treated from an early age, provided children have access to good care.
Key Projects of the Global Child Dental Fund
The GCDF invests in several special dental projects around the globe to help children receive quality care. Some of these countries have included Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, and Tanzania. A few examples of critical projects currently include:
- End Infant Oral Mutilation: The GCDF counteracts this unfortunate practice performed on millions of children in East African countries by working alongside local dental communities and mobilizing necessary support.
- Seal Cambodia Project: This project aims to provide tooth sealant procedures to strengthen and protect a child’s teeth from caries. The GCDF partners with many organizations in Cambodia to make this project happen.
- Syrian Child Refugees: The GCDF works to improve the dental access Syrian child refugees have in camps across Jordan and supports local Jordanian dental leaders leading this cause.
Training Leaders of the Global Child Dental Fund
For the past 13 years, the GCDF has offered programs to help dental professionals develop leadership skills and drive forward positive change in all levels of society. There are two primary leadership paths – Senior Dental Leaders and Advanced Dental Leadership:
- Senior Dental Leaders: This program focuses on developing strategic leadership skills to advance the oral health agenda for children. The five-day seminar is tailored to those further along in their dental career. Thus far, the program has seen attendees from over 47 countries attend.
- Advanced Dental Leadership: This program supports first-year dental students or those earlier in their careers. The goal is to help attendees become advocates for better oral health as well as develop clinical skills.
The Global Child Dental Fund Is Making a Difference
With an outstanding mission combining quality dental care for low-income children and training the next generation of dental professionals, the GCDF is one charity you won’t easily forget. The best news of all is that the GCDF works to make a difference in the lives of thousands of children.