According to ADA News, a group of Arizona State University students is working with California-based nonprofit IMAHelps to design and build a state-of-the-art mobile dental facility for use by dental students and dentists on mission trips in Nicaragua.
The venture began in 2013 when IMAHelps pitched the project to Engineering Projects in Community Service, a design-based service learning and social entrepreneurship program the students are part of at ASU.
Thanks to insight from dentists, including Dr. Antonio Gonzalez, clinical director of IMAHelps’ dental division, and Becker Custom Trailers, the team has since then designed and is preparing to oversee construction of the trailer.
“A mobile dental clinic will provide our volunteers with a modern unit which meets U.S. standards and helps us deliver care to more people efficiently. It will provide a comfortable environment for both our patients and the dental team,” said Dr. Gonzalez. “Most importantly, this project promotes goodwill, understanding and altruism amongst our next generation of young professionals.”
If all goes as planned, the ambitious project will result in a four-unit mobile clinic that will be housed and used at UNICA, a dental school in Nicaragua, when it’s not in use by volunteer dental teams on mission trips. The students hope to have it ready for IMAhelps mission trip to Nicaragua in August 2016.
While they’ve secured grant funding and several thousands of dollars from an anonymous donor, the students hope to raise at least $15,000 through crowdfunding. As of Oct. 12, the Indiegogo.com site had raised $4,421.
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For more information about international volunteering, visit the ADA Foundation international volunteer website, InternationalVolunteer.ADA.org.