Citizen’s Names: Georgie Debenham & Amber Jones
Project Name: The Toothbrush Project
Tagline: Creating Healthier Smiles
Location: Based in Melbourne, AUS
What is The Toothbrush Project all about?
We are working to improve the dental health of those less fortunate. We currently work with a community in Kampot, Cambodia, which is amongst the poorest in the country. We use a 3 tier framework to ensure that we are making a holistic difference to the lives of those we are working with. This is done through provision of dental supplies (purchased within the community), hygiene education (to ensure that teeth brushing becomes a habit- not a one off), and through professional dental care.
How long have you been operating?
5 years, we started late 2012
Where did the idea start?
We were spending time at a school in the community teaching English, and the state of the children’s teeth became apparent to us very quickly (some were black, some rotted through to the gum). We set up a Facebook page amongst friends and family and raised enough money to buy a toothbrush and toothpaste for each student. We knew we couldn’t quit there, and have been improving the program ever since.
How do TOWNHALL Citizens or visitors get involved and are you open to collaboration? If so, what kind?
Contact us via our social pages, or email us at email@example.com, for Melbourne locals, we’ll be at many local markets over the warmer months!
Do you have any success stories?
When we first started the project most of the students involved had never even seen a toothbrush. I visited the school a month ago (5 yrs on), when I saw a few of the children involved from the very beginning. They looked at me and smiled and motioned brushing their teeth, it’s become a habit for them and that is pretty incredible.
Do you have a project on TOWNHALL or an important event or mission coming up?
We are in the process of launching a new product! Eco friendly, bamboo toothbrushes,100% of profits go directly towards those who need it and we are really excited about them! We’ll be selling them online at www.thetoothbrushproject.com.au, and at local markets in Melbourne.
Are you raising funds for anything specific?
We are looking to increase the number of children we support, at present we work with around 180, but there’s many, many more children (at the neighbouring school) who need our help, we just need the funds to be able to increase the scale of the program.
Any interesting fact you can share?
We started the project when we were only 18
What’s the overall vision for The Toothbrush Project?
To create sustainable habits that can be passed on to future generations. We aren’t a quick fix; we are here to help for the long haul.
Anything else you’d like to add or that you think we should know?
We are so passionate about what we do and we’ve built the project to last, we have been so careful about every step we’ve taken to ensure that we do works.