It’s been about a year since FAR Children’s Center beneficiaries have been attending “Shams’” Dental Clinic to have routine exams and checkups.

As a medical student Doctor Sargis Shamoyan (aka Shams), director of the clinic, used to volunteer for humanitarian missions. When he started his own business and established the dental clinic together with some friends, he started to provide professional support at no cost to the most vulnerable. “I have long made giving back a priority in my personal and professional life. I used to help the vulnerable with clothes, food, and now it’s more in line with professional care,” said Sargis as here collected the time when he first set foot in FAR Children’s Center in October 2016. It was an emotional, eye-opening, and life-altering experience for him to encounter children with different socio, psychological and physical problems. “I learned a lot about the lives of those kids and their cases. Then an idea revealed itself to me, thus leading me to fulfill my passion – to help those kids both professionally and emotionally,” said Sargis with excitement.

A FAR Children’s Center social worker has often accompanied the children to the dental clinic and mentions that all the doctors have been very nice and pleasant to the kids. “‘I’m both your dentist and your friend. You have nothing to fear,’ they would say. Besides dental services, the doctors would also advise our children to start good habits such as taking care of their teeth and making it a part of their daily routine,” said social worker Elen Harutyunyan.

The dentist indicated that the children come with complex disorders as a result of careless attitude towards their health. During the routine exams, the doctors clean the teeth, remove bacteria and leftover food debris whilst explaining the whole process to the kids.

“They are so cheeky sometimes,” the young dentist smiles slightly and then recollects a funny case. “Once two sisters came to me. When I was done with the treatment I asked the young girl if she loved her older sister, she looked at me and said, ‘No.’ The older sister said the same. I got angry and put a condition, ‘I won’t cure you unless you promise to never ever argue with your sister, but love and take care of her. Deal.?’ ‘Deal,’ they confirmed. Now, they get along with each other,” said Dr. Shamoyan, stating that the ongoing cooperation with the Children’s Center will provide him with a chance to extend access of their dental care to the underserved children for the foreseeable future.

The FAR Children’s Center is sponsored by the Edward and Helen Mardigian Foundation, the Friends of the FAR Children’s Center (U.S.), and the Children’s Center Circle of Friends (Armenia).