Oral Hygiene campaign aims to keep SAFE farm kids healthy

The “tooth fairy” in the form of SAFE oral hygiene packs will be visiting children on two SAFE farms in March this year.

This is the start of a national “Oral Hygiene” campaign initiated by SAFE to improve the health of farmworker children.

BRUSHING UP: SAFE staffers (from left) Abigail Newman, Jamie-Leigh Crowkamp, Anthea Dekock and Shireen Sonday took time to pack a tube of toothpaste, and a toothbrush into kits for distribution to SAFE farm children.

“Maintaining current creche facilities is a high priority for SAFE. We believe that employees on all our farms need to have a safe and secure environment for their children while they are at work,” says Chantelle Thompson, SAFE’s Logistics Manager who is organising the campaign.

“We also have an aftercare facility to accommodate those parents that have children old enough to attend school but nowhere to go when their school day is over.”

According to Chantelle the idea of the oral health campaign arose while talking to one of the farm managers’ wives who mentioned that oral hygiene among farm children is “very poor”.

“The children and their parents do not know much about mouth health and their parents do not enforce it either.  We thought that we could help to alleviate this problem by providing an “oral hygiene” pack for each child. Each pack provides a child with a toothbrush, toothpaste and simple to follow instructions,

“The children will be taught to brush their teeth in the morning at the creche and then brush once again before they go home”, said Chantelle.

According to Chantelle each pack – personalised with the child’s name – comprises a very basic clear pencil bag into which the children will pack their toothbrush and toothpaste every day – to ensure they remain clean and germ-free.

The Oral Hygiene” campaign will start at Bonathaba and Zwartfontein two SAFE farms close to Cape Town – after which it will be rolled out across the country to all SAFE farms.” 

“We started with a total of 50 packs which is for both the creche and aftercare children ranging from the ages of just under a year to 16-years-old”, said Chantelle.

In the longer term, the campaign will be implemented at six farms reaching way over 100 creche-going and aftercare children with possibly their first ever toothbrush and toothpaste.

SAFE will replace the toothbrushes every 3 months on all farms and toothpaste stock will be supplied monthly to each farm.

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