In the runup to World Oral Health Day on 20 March, the Clicks Helping Hand Trust and Colgate donated2200 Oral Care Kits to Ivory Park Primary School in Midrand.This forms part of a broader donation of 400 000 toothbrushes by Aquafresh, Colgate and Oral-B to schools nationwide.
World Oral Health Day aims to empower communities with the knowledge, tools and confidence to ensure that they have good oral health. The campaign theme from 2021-2023 is ‘Be Proud of Your Mouth’.
“We are very excited about being a part of this initiative, and about the opportunity to partner with manufacturers and suppliers to make the greatest impact,” says Clicks Managing Executive Vikash Singh. “We are passionate about ensuring that we uplift the communities in which we operate. As a leading healthcare retailer, we are well-positioned to make a difference to people’s health.”
The ripple effects of these differences shouldn’t be underestimated, says Letia Ngwenya, Principal of Ivory Park Primary School, who explains that it is often the learners who end up teaching their parents about correct health and hygiene practices.
“The school is in an area surrounded by shacks, where many of the parents are unemployed, and in some cases have very little education,” she says. “This donation means so much to us because many of the learners don’t have toothbrushes. When I started at the school last year I found a few toothbrushes and tubes of Colgate in the storeroom. The kids were so excited when I showed them how to use them, and would stop me in the hallways and say ‘ma’am, show me again!’ I followed up afterwards and found that many of the kids had asked their parents to get them a toothbrush and toothpaste. The kids pushed their parents to do the right thing. As long as we are educating the learners, the parents will learn as well.”
As part of the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Future programme, when children receive their toothbrush and toothpaste, they are taught the importance of practicing good oral hygiene, how to brush their teeth correctly and which foods to eat for healthy teeth and gums. In addition, each child takes a brochure with this information home to their parents, and their teachers receive an educational poster for the classroom.