There's no I in team! #livefrommwanza #GGCBlogNo3
Tuesday 30th October, 2012
I’ve managed to steal 30minutes to blog about today so far, before we head downstairs to meet the DVP team at 5pm.
I cannot wait to meet the 20 dentists and dental nurses that are about to embark on the experience of their lives. Around eight are returning DVP‚ers with the rest on their first volunteer programme, so it will be interesting to find out why they are here, their expectations and what they hope to gain from the experience. Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/GGC_Gemma and I‚ll make sure I post some of their comments and pictures from the meet and greet.
This morning started with a quick chat with Mark and Jo Topley, the Operations Director for B2A to run through our itinerary for the coming days. We want to experience as much as possible so our days are really packed, to ensure we see as much of Mwanza and the work of B2A as possible ˆ so the guys are just checking we‚re ready. We most definitely are.
Our first stop of the day is Bridge2Aid‚s Isamilo office to meet the team out here. They have about 12 employees based here and they are busy getting ready for this weeks DVP, so even though there is a lot of hustle and bustle each and every person has made time to talk us through what they do for Bridge2Aid. What I‚m struck with is the pride that each team member has when they talk about their work. Whether it is administration, or creating awareness in the rural communities in the days leading up to DVP ˆ each employee is completely dedicated to B2A. I am sure the tone and enthusiasm set by Mark and Jo explains a lot of this!
This afternoon we visited Hope Dental Centre, which is integral to the work that Bridge2Aid does. Hope is a private practice based in the centre of Mwanza, where all profits go directly to the running cost of Bridge2Aid. This means that any other fundraising achieved for Bridge2Aid goes directly to creating communities free from dental pain rather than to the administrative side of things!
One of the best things for me at Hope was meeting Dr Mo. A smiley Dental Therapist who has worked at the centre for 2 years and one of only 160 therapists in Tanzania, he is trained to administer anaesthetic, fillings, and stage 1 endodontics. I very simply explained the direct access issue in the UK for dental therapists and the different roles undertaken by therapists. Mo is dedicated, as therapists in the UK are, to do the best job he possibly can do.
The team of people out here are remarkable. And that cannot be underestimated. They are the very essence of Bridge2Aid. Sustainability, a word that comes up frequently, is something I want to focus on more in future blogs ˆ but also something clearly epitomized by the local people who work for Bridge2Aid, who after we, the DVP‚ers and even Mark and Jo have gone will continue the good work established by this wonderful charity. And that is what is so amazing. The legacy created by those who fundraise, embark on a DVP programme, or support B2A in any way and the sustainable impact they leave.
I feel happy that in some way, be it through a blog or social media, and the awareness we are creating that we are leaving a lasting imprint on Tanzania that is sustainable. Because this is a country that needs and most importantly deserves it.
Off we head to meet the DVP group now.