Making people smile more is one of the best things you can do in this world. Smiling bonds us all and it’s the universal language of kindness.
“Peace begins with a smile,” Mother Teresa once said.
Felipe Rossi likes to see people smile, and he decided to do something about it. In 2016, the Brazilian dentist founded Por1sorrso NGO. He joined forces with his team and decided to fix poor people’s teeth without charging them for the service.
The idea was born when Rossi went to Mozambique with an NGO called Mission Africa.
“I came back impacted with so much human misery, and decided to do something bigger using my academic background which is dentistry,” he reveals.
Rossi and his two friends started off the project. Today, more than 20 people work on the team.
“It is everyone’s job, and I value the team. I founded and chaired, but it is everyone’s job.”
Colgate supports the project through donations.
“We travel every month to meet the most disadvantaged people, and there are many,” Rossi said. “In Brazil, more than 20 million people have never gone to the dentist. This number is alarming. And we get in there and see this lack of care. These are the people we want to reach.”
In the first three years, more than 4,000 volunteers took part in Rossi’s mission. The dentist also travels to third world countries and never skips countries like Kenya and Mozambique.
Rossi and his team changed Terri Rimmer’s life completely.
“Before surgery, my life was just a black hole. I spent years not being able to smile in pictures and it was always humiliating because people taking pictures in a group setting kept saying, ‘smile’ and I couldn’t do it. Also, I had to give up so many things that I couldn’t eat that I loved for years like fresh cherries and salads. I hadn’t had a salad in 18 years!”
The intervention was complex, and Rossi removed all of her teeth. The poor woman was in a lot of pain, and now she is finally able to smile. The painkillers she took destroyed her stomach.
“After surgery, I can smile in pictures and I have confidence!” Rimmer said. “When I put my dentures in for the first time and went into the bathroom at the dentist I just kept looking at myself in the mirror and smiling. It was like my face was plugged in after all these years! My eyes just lit up and my face was just lifted! Even my mom and other people noticed.”
Today, she is happy and smiles all the time.
This world definitely needs more people like Rossi. He’s been helping those who never got the courage to ask for help. Today, hundreds of people laugh and their self-confidence is back.