A Village of Smiles: Dental Care Programs with Recycling4Smiles

If you are looking for inspiration, then you need not look further. Young Sonali Ranaweera teaches us all that if you wish to help and make a change, there is always a way to do so with a little dedication and ingenuity. In 2012 at the age of 11, Sonali founded Recycling4Smiles organization which, to date, has donated over USD 10,000 towards dental care for young children around the world through money raised exclusively through recycling.

In 2011 Sonali received $100 from her parents for Christmas, and the gift came with one condition, that part of it should be used to make a difference in the world. Sonali got very busy with her research, wanting to find a great cause that would strike a chord and this was how she stumbled upon Smile Train who performed cleft pallet surgeries for children in developing countries. Sonali was so moved that she decided to use all of her Christmas money but she still fell short: one surgery cost $250 and she was at a loss as to how she could raise the money. That was when she realized that she could earn funds through recycling. Soon all her family and friends were giving her used bottles and cans to help her along. By her birthday, Sonali has raised the $250 needed for a surgery. However, she found that now that she had begun this endeavor she didn’t want to stop.

With the support of her parents and brother, Sonali continued her work through the Recycling4Smiles organization and encouraged all of her friends, family and supporters to raise money through recycling to help change the lives of children around the world. The benefits of her initiative were two-fold; on the one hand it helped numerous children undergo surgeries that they would otherwise not be able to afford, and on the other hand she was helping reduce pollution and landfills.

In 2013 Sonali and her parents approached the Foundation of Goodness with the plan to sponsor kid’s dental hygiene programs. As of September, the Foundation of Goodness has conducted up to four dental clinics a month, targeting 15 kids per clinic. The hope is to impact the lives of up to 720 kids annually, and so far the happy smiles of kids from the FoG’s English classes, Kids’ computer course, Pre-school and Children’s Goodness Clubs stand as proof of the wonderful change this program has made in the lives of rural kids in Sri Lanka.

The Foundation of Goodness is extremely proud of Sonali’s effort and commitment to making a real difference in the world and privileged to be working with her on delivering this great service.


“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” 









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