We started with the tooth brushing program in 6 elementary schools in Mandaue in December 2004, and it proved to be a solid program with good results. (See Here we are, 8 years later, and the program is still running, thanks be to the companies and individuals that believe in the importance of the program and are willing to sponsor it year after year.

Sapangdaku Elementary School is situated up in the hills behind Cebu City, and there is no road that leads down to the school, so 6th grade students came up to the road to help us carry the boxes down the hill, over a river and into the school.

This will be the 4th year that we have been running the tooth-brushing program at this school. Thank you to “Philippines in Mind” who faithfully have been sponsoring the program. This will be their last sponsoring, as their Association is being dissolved. The people behind “Philippines in Mind” are young Danes that have taken part of our internship/volunteer program, and they wanted to continue to help the Philippines after they went home to Denmark. Thank you to all of you for your participation through the years. It has been wonderful working together with you!

At the turnover of all the materials for the “Essential Health Care Package” – Jenny, Elisabet, teachers and the principal and Marie together with some of the school children from 4th grade.

Turn-over of all the materials at Cesar M. Cabahug Elementary school. The program is sponsored by FMC Philippines, Inc.
Left to right: Elisabet, Praxedes Mira (FMC Environment/Health/Safety Manager), Zenaida Sucalit (Looc -School Principal), Felda Porillo (FMC HR Coordinator), Marie, Lorna Cabatingan (FMC Nurse) and a Looc school teacher

Together with the DepEd dentist, Dr. Rumolo Uy and his assistant, Jun, Flemming delivered all the materials to the schools in LapuLapu City: Pajo and Lo-ok Elementary schools have almost 4000 students and are sponsored by TMX Philippines, Inc. This is the 5th consecutive year that Timex are sponsoring these schools, and it has made a marked difference in the oral health of the children.

MEPZCEM, the board for the international economic zone on Mactan Island sponsored Sudtongan and Timpolog Elementary Schools with together 2,100 children.

One of the schools on the program is Tingo Elementary School in Olango Island, and the team had to load all the materials onto this pumpboat and sail across the channel.

And it can be hazardous to balance on this board carrying the heavy boxes of toothpaste, toothbrush and the hand soap – thank God that the day of delivering the materials to Tingo, it was relatively calm seas. Christ Leather Philippines has been the faithful sponsor of this school.

We know that the Essential Health Care Package is an excellent program, which we are proud to promote. Whenever people request information about our different program, we never fail to promote the toothbrushing program, hoping there will be more sponsors of the program.

At one such meeting with a Korean business man, we shared with him about this very good and cost effective program – it costs 34 pesos per child per year for toothpaste, toothbrush and handsoap. This is less than 1 US$ per child which is way below the cost if the schools were to buy the materials in a local grocery store. We at the Rise Above Foundation follow up on the program and contact the sponsors for every new school year, and we are so thankful that all of them are still on board, and want to continue to help the Philippine school children this way.

Guadalupe Elementary School is a new school on the program from June 2012. Every time a new school is added to the program, Flemming holds a seminar at the school regarding the problem, the need and the solution to better Oral Health for Philippine children with the attendance of the principal, teachers, sponsor and representatives from the parents (PTCA).

Guadalupe Elementary School has 6000 students, so this time grades Kinder, 1st and 2nd grade received sponsorship.

All the teachers from Kinder, 1st and 2nd grade attended the seminar. Flemming is giving the instruction. At the table is the sponsor, Mr. Terry Kim, his secretary, Nicky , the assistant principal and Dr. Ewayan.

Flemming is explaining how important it is to only use the prescribed amount of fluoride toothpaste. The toothpaste containers (like the one he holds in his hand) come with a “stopper” which will only give a pea size amount of toothpaste on to the toothbrush.

Dr. Ewayan is giving Terry Kim a plaque of appreciation for the donation to the school in the form of all the materials for the tooth-brushing program.

Having children brush their teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste causes less caries and with that less absence from school because of toothache. With healthy teeth, the children can eat healthy foods, which in turns gives them the energy to study. A WIN-WIN situation indeed.

We at the Rise Above Foundation want to express our appreciation to all the sponsors of this program. It will have far reaching effects and you are making a difference for collectively 25,000 children on the program in the greater Cebu area. There are several hundreds of thousands  school children ages 5-12 years old, so we still have a long way to go.

If you are interested in sponsoring a school, please contact us at:


Story: Elisabet Hansen

Photos: Flemming and Elisabet Hansen


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