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Community Involvement

Here at Premier Dental we pride ourselves on our community involvement. Our commitment to the well-being of our community members extends beyond the high quality dental care that we provide. Our office is continually involved with numerous charities that support the communities in which we serve. We are committed to giving back to the community that has supported us. We strive to help our neighbors whenever we can, whether it’s through charity donations, adopting a family, food/coat drives, or any number of activities such as our Free Dental Day. It is our desire to be good citizens with an important purpose other than providing dentistry. We are proud to make a difference in the lives of others through our dental treatments and charity projects. We never get tired of giving people reasons to smile!

At Premier Dental we strive to take an active role in our communities. We offer support to local schools and charities by means of providing education and donations.

Throughout the past year we have supported the following events and organizations:

 

October 2018 Premier Dental went to La Romana, Dominican Republic!

About the Mission:

Premier Dental partnered with World Mission Partners to provide charitable dental care in the Batey communities in the city of La Romana in the Dominican Republic. We provided much-needed dental care to the poverty-stricken rural communities that work the sugarcane fields in isolation for as little as seven dollars a day in wages. We arrived with very little idea as to just how bleak the living conditions in this area actually are. The Bateyes, which are the communities where people live, are often without running water or electricity and for all practical purposes are cut off from civilization. Despite these living conditions we encountered a group of people who welcomed us with open arms and gratitude for anything that we could provide for them. It’s very easy for us to take for granted all that we have until you are able to see firsthand just how little some people are forced to survive on.  During our trip we were fortunate enough to provide much-needed dental care, fluoride treatment for children, vision treatment and glasses, and the hope that people hadn’t forgotten about them.

Why the Bateyes:

 

The Dominican Republic (DR) shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, but the two countries are very different. In the early 1900s, Haitians sugarcane cutters, lured by the promise of work, began seasonal migration to the DR. The Haitians were willing to do this low-wage, back-breaking work whereasmost Dominicans were not. The batey system was formally established by the government as a way to import cheap and dispensable Haitian migrant workers during the seasonal cane-cutting harvest and keep the Haitians from diluting their Dominican culture. The community consists of one-story barracks surrounding the mill complex as temporary housing for the Haitian migrant laborers. Over time many workers began bringing their families and staying throughout the year, making the temporary bateyes a permanent living community. In September 1998, Hurricane George devasted the DR, wiping out nearly all sugarcane production and stranding the batey communities with no public services, no legal protections, and no economic opportunites. In addition the world markets switched from cane sugar to high fructose corn syrup, the Dominican governement was foced to privatize the sugar industry and closed many of the struggling sugarcane plantations. Leaving many without jobs, without immigration rights and without hope. Today the condtions remain severe.

A Few Batey Facts:

  • Workers are paid less than $8 American Dollars per day during the 6 months the sugar cane is harvested
  • They work 12-14 hours of manual labor a day
  • Most Bateyes have no bathrooms or running water, limited electricity, and workers must walk a kilometer or more for water
  • Crowded housing conditions, often five or six to a small room

One Life Changed Forever:

In order to try to make a more significant difference, Premier dental has made the decision to sponsor a resident from one of the Bateyes we visited, and pay his tuition to go to dental school in San Pedro, Dominican Republic.  This young man was selected by the hospital administrator as someone who has excelled in school but as the result of the poverty in his region would have no further chance at any additional education. He will be starting dental school in December and after his graduation we will be bringing him to Omaha for further dental training. Dental school is very different in the DR. There is no undergraduate schooling, they go straight to dental school for 4 years. He will then return to the Dominican Republic and be able to offer dental care for the families that live in the Bateyes. It is our hope that this type of action will be able to have more of an effect for future generations.

How You May Help:

To help fund Wendy thru dental school you may donate here.There is no donation too big or too small. Thank you in advance for helping the people of the Bateyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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