Friday 15 November 2019

Toothbrush Distribution 1: Selpele Village

A few months ago we embarked on a mission to get toothbrushes for every school student in Selpele and Salio village - 2 of the villages we work with in Raja Ampat.  Because there is no sustainable waste management systems in place in these villages we decided it was important to purchase bamboo rather than plastic toothbrushes.  We also needed cups for each child so we could teach them how to rinse their mouths and wash their toothbrushes in the absence of running water.  We chose bamboo cups in case the donation became mismanaged or the cups were lost - a bamboo cup would be less damaging to the environment if it found its way to the sea or the jungle.

We collaborated with Zero Waste Bali for the purchase of toothbrushes.  They kindly offered us a discount on the purchase price to make all your donated funds go further.  Zero Waste Bali also advertised the campaign in their stores inviting customers to purchase a toothbrush to donate to the project, and they donated one brush themselves for every two burshes bought for the village in their stores!  Bamboo cups were donated by Little Pandanus to distribute with the toothbrushes.

Today we visited Selpele Village for the first distribution.  The distribution was coordinated by Atlas Pearls staff who delivered an educational component including a demonstration of tooth brushing technique as part of the program.  After receiving their cups and toothbrushes the students were given toothpaste and practiced brushing under the guidance of their teachers.

We have coordinated closely with the teachers at the school to ensure the students will be offered ongoing support to make tooth brushing routine.  The students will keep their toothbrushes and cups at the school and teachers will practice brushing with their classes to reinforce the daily habit.

This program has been so well received by the students and their teachers.  They were all very appreciative of the toothbruses and very impressed that the brushes and the cups are bamboo.

Thank you all, so much, for making this happen.  I look forward to being able to share more updates.


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