In the spring of 2022, CHEERing’s Football Fit program helped over 50 children, parents, and coaches access dental care.
Trouble with Teeth
When CHEERing screened players in our Football Fit program in spring 2022, poor dental health was the single biggest issue affecting parents and children. 86% of children had visible, severe issues with their teeth: 26% had tooth decay and 74% had tooth pain; 88% had not seen a dentist since arriving in Greece. These problems prevented them from eating and sleeping and adversely impacted their overall health.
CHEERing signed an MOU with Seeds of Humanity Hellas (“Seeds”), the Greek arm of a Palestinian NGO that provides free dental care to refugees, and this week we wrapped up our first round of ‘treatment’.
In May and June 2022, we made 52 appointments for children and parents at Seeds. CHEERing provided a liaison at all group appointments to calm children’s fears and provided an Afghan translator. Many children had teeth extracted, fillings, and two even had root canals! And one of our coaches had major dental surgery. We’re now working with Seeds on scheduling cleanings and checkups for kids and coaches to fix our beneficiaries’ poor access to dental care in the future.
CHEERing also holds two cooking sessions each week for at Malakasa camp. We took advantage of these sessions to provide education and activities promoting dental health with colorful materials and activities. We also distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste from the Christian Refugee Relief and Attiki Warehouses.