Francesco Cammarano

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 1998


This profile was prepared when Francesco Cammarano was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1998.
The New Idea
Francesco is converting the fifth-grade students in his program into promoters of dental health and hygiene with increased capacity for leadership. During the year of study in Francesco's program, students receive training that enables them during subsequent years to disseminate a Program for Education and Prevention to their families, communities, and the rest of their classmates in lower grades through a student-to-student didactic methodology. In this way, Francesco is forming leaders in oral disease prevention, benefiting entire communities through education and groups of youth who receive constant preventive treatment.

The country's only other existing educational programs on dental care and hygiene are implemented through the formal educational system at the university level. These programs are much more costly in terms of both time and resources, focus on treatment over prevention, and are dedicated to theory instead of practice. Such methodologies have not resolved the country's severe dental problems. Francesco's innovation is in implementing an informal educational program for younger students, motivating them to become promoters of dental health to their families and communities and educate others on the importance of dental care to prevent disease. The idea for Francesco's model was sparked by his realization that the network of dental professionals currently in Venezuela would never reach the majority of the country's population in need of dental care.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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