This is the second year FAR has partnered with the Rotary Club of Yerevan and the Armenian American Dental Association’s mobile clinic to provide dental services to the children of Parakar Special School, which serves roughly 150 children with physical and mental disabilities.

Dr. Klara Kulumjyan and her two colleagues from the mobile clinic recently checked about 80 children; 50 of whom have been provided with follow-up dental care. “Most often, the problems we see are cavities and issues related to the lack of routine dental care. We certainly face some difficulties when working with children with special needs, however, so we try a psychological approach. We explain his/her dental problems before the procedure,” said the doctor who affirmed that the preliminary explanation often helps patients to stay calm.

According to Parakar’s school nurse, Shoghakat Hasratyan, many of these children come from deprived families who can’t afford proper dental services. “The parent might take the kid to the doctor, but they may not even be able to afford the bill at the end of the visit. So they end up giving the kids pain killers or home remedies, which actually don’t help,” she said, adding that besides treatment, the dentists also spend time with each child to further explain how they should take care of their teeth regularly, how to brush properly, etc.

Twenty-one-year-old Samvel Arakelyan, now a hairstylist, says that now he can happily show off his white teeth because the dentist treated his cavities. “I had a big hole in my tooth and it hurt a lot. Mrs. Shoghakat would give me pain killers, but the pain wouldn’t abate. After the checkup, Dr. Klara gave me medication, then two days later, she fixed the hole. They are very professional,” he said with a broad smile.

Last year, FAR started renovating Parakar’s building and helping its staff to grow their capacity as part of our School Renovations initiative. This project was made possible thanks to the generous donation by Batmasian family.