About the story:
The idea for "The Smile Child" came in February 2016 when I, Jimin Kim, read an article about Dunia receiving his first surgery at Stony Brook Children's Hospital. I was blown away by the fact that an 8-year-old boy from Africa was receiving such a surgery at the college I was attending, Stony Brook University, NY.
I contacted the founder of the Smile Rescue Fund, Dr. Leon Klempner, who helped me get in touch with Dunia's host mother, Jennifer Crean. Crean lives in Hauppauge, only about 20 minutes from Stony Brook campus. "The Smile Child" portrays the challenges Dunia is going through adjusting to life in America. I also wanted to explore the possible hardships he'll face once he returns to Africa. "The Smile Child" is also a story about how a young boy's struggles remind others of how fortunate they are. With my journalism and multimedia experience, I made "The Smile Child" my college capstone project that engages audiences with in-depth reporting and multimedia elements.