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WHY IT STARTED
Story from Diana Yue, the founder of BEST
When my father was still a 15-year-old coal miner in rural China, his coworkers smoked and made "cigarettes" stuck together by the plaque in their teeth. My 6-year-old cousin living in rural Shanxi once told me she has never brushed her teeth. Another grandmother living in my cousin's village attributed cavities to genetics, telling me that it was incurable.
My life is partly dominated by poverty as many of my relatives still live in the underdeveloped villages of rural China. The bare-faced realities of their lives urged me to do something to change it. Their stories not only marked the way for me to serve my community, but also the beginnings of BEST.
I initially joined nonprofits and clubs to raise awareness on left-behind children and to teach underprivileged children English. However, severe circumstances made it clear that there was a need for an international nonprofit to focus solely on improving the poor oral hygiene habits and statuses for children around the world. With this belief, I finally visited and conducted oral hygiene workshops in my hometown in May, 2017.
In the process of teaching children the importance of oral hygiene, the children themselves have enlightened us with essential life values. Within these children lie a vehement passion to contribute to the world. Many of them trek several miles to school each morning (some don’t even have shoes) to obtain education, just so that they can become a teacher or a doctor someday.
This passion for education drives us to continue our own mission of educating children. When we see young students who value life despite their conditions, we too, feel motivated to spread this sensation. Their laughter and positivity guides us towards renovating the smiles of underprivileged children throughout the globe. Through educating children on proper oral health care, we believe we can help shape wholesome individuals who will ultimately utilize their fervent tenacity to make their dreams come true.
"Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond."
-Miguel de Cervantes
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