Who We Are
Who We Are
Out of the collective desire of dentists and industry leaders to share their skill and heart to help those less fortunate, Open Wide was founded in June, 2011. The result was the beginning of a movement to promote significant, measurable, and lasting change to the state of oral health in the developing world. See Our Story
The mission of Open Wide Foundation is to bring health and hope to communities in need. Imtiaz Manji
Vision: To bring lasting change to the state of oral health in under served communities worldwide; through the development of sustainable clinics, built in conjunction with the communities they serve.
What We Do
- We work in partnership with local governments to set up dental clinics in underserved parts of the world where no access to skilled dental care exists.
- Open Wide facilities the logistics of trip planning for dentists and their groups who want to volunteer in the clinics.
- We organize and transport donated dental equipment and supplies to the communities we serve.
- We work in partnership with local dental universities in the communities we serve to provide training and mentoring opportunities for the next generation of dentists.
Our Guiding Principals dictate four (4) requirements for choosing a location for our Open Wide Clinics:
We work only in those communities that
- Have great need
- Ask for our involvement
- Invest in the project
- Agree to sustain the clinic
- Have local universities who are committed to OWF mentoring of local dental students.
Sustainability Plan: The goal is to transition the clinic to the community within a 5 year period. To achieve this, clinic protocols are established and a 4 Phase Plan is followed to define the readiness of a clinic to operate independently.
The 4 Phases are:
- Phase 1: Mission/Outreach
- Phase 2: Restorative Care – Basic
- Phase 3: Restorative Care – Expanded
- Phase 4: Clinic Administration
As the clinic is ready to be transferred over to the community, Open Wide will identify another location and start up in a new community. After the clinic transition, Open Wide will continue to collect data to measure the impact of the clinic on the oral health in that area.
What We Believe
We know that dental health is a long way down the list of the developing world’s concerns. Nutrition, clean drinking water, and education all take priority over teeth. But practicing basic dentistry in a community is a way to reach out—by reaching in. Stop the pain of a toothache and you gain an individual’s trust and respect. It initiates a two-way conversation with the community’s members, a conversation about what is most needed, and how those things might be realized.
Dentistry is a way of reaching out…, by reaching in.
So,what if the dental work was not an end unto itself, but a means, a way in? What if dentistry became an ‘excuse’ to eradicate poverty?
Poverty is most easily recognized by what it lacks: adequate housing, money, employment, nutrition, etc. But far more insidious is the inertia caused by its cycle. Poverty creates negative cultural norms that are ingrained to a point where the prospect of changing is more daunting than simply staying put. It becomes a way of life, a worldview that says “This is the way things have always been.” This is the poverty of hope itself.
Without hope, a community cannot believe in a better future or imagine anything other than hard times. This, we believe, is the most tragic poverty of all.
We also believe our vision will enact change by answering the questions:
- What if we offered a glimpse of a different worldview?
- What if we planted the idea that things didn’t have to be this way?
- What if we brought an abundance of hope to a community?