Updated: Mar 20, 2020
Four or so years ago, I was on the phone one evening to a Newly Qualified Dentist from Kings College Hospital, who had recently returned from a student-led charity visit to rural Ghana, where she had provided desperately needed medical and dental care to the local community.
The Ekumfi Etsibeedu Village, occupies approximately 500 villagers and the majority of these occupants are children. At the time of Dr Miriam Bouchiba's visit, there was one school with minimal resources.
Dr Bouchiba had explained to me that night, how the visit was a life changing experience and how the Ekumfi Etsibeedu Villagers had completely stolen her heart. Miriam had shared with me how she dreamed of returning one day with the hopes to make a difference and I am very proud to say that she has and is continuing to do just that.
With multiple Afro-beats themed fundraisers, performances by spoken word poets, azonto dancers, comedian hosts, DJ's and VIP personal appearances held at Brixton's Ritzy Bar, kind donations from supportive friends, family dental care professionals, high profile footballers and anonymous donations, Dr Miriam Bouchiba has successfully raised enough money to build a school and not one, but two libraries!
Along side all of the above, Dr Bouchiba had continued to provide dental care to her patients full time for mostly 6 days a week. What an achievement!
Dr Bouchiba's goal is to support and encourage education to provide the children with a strong foundation for their futures, where they will then be open to any opportunity that comes their way. The funds raised are and will go directly to educational resources, whether that be sending donated books from the UK, a safe environment to study in, workshops and regeneration programmes, or towards a new project / new build of additional schools and libraries in rural Africa.
The charity depends on donations and contributions of any sort. If you are short on pennies, but would like to share some ideas on fundraising events, or want to fundraise on behalf of The Ekumfi Trust, that is a great chance to raise awareness of the great work and efforts that Dr Bouchiba has so passionately put into this charity.
I am delighted to say that after many years of being invited to see the completed projects first hand and to meet the villagers that stole my friends heart, that I am now in a position to be able to experience it for myself and will be travelling with Dr Bouchiba on Friday 14th September 2018.
How can I make the most of this visit?
So, I have been thinking of ways to fund-raise or collect donations and would like to target my Dental Colleagues (as that is my background and it would be wonderful to show your support in any way you can) and as my business partner is in the Education field (First Class Education),having some input from educational establishments, (schools, colleges) would be fantastic.
What YOU can do.
1) Make a Donation or become a sponsor.
I will be running an art project with the children and take a decent camera with me to share in my next blog across Diamond Dental Staff's social media platforms. Receive your own copies of printed photos to display in your practice of the children holding thank you signs with your practices name for your kind donations and/or sponsorship. Diamond Dental Staff will be hosting an Ekumfi Estibeedu event soon after our return and your practice and a public thank you will be featured in our presentation.
2) Donate Oral Health Care aids
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, disclosing tablets, stickers, letters from your team?
1) Have an art activity and send home made cards / letters.
These will be distributed to the children in the village. Reading your letters will improve their reading and writing skills and receiving a letter or card will most definitely bring a huge smile to their lovely little faces!
2) Donate Educational Resources
Work books, activity books, rulers, calculators, pens, colouring pencils, story books, test-papers, computers & IT equipment. For all key stages!
Have you ever considered teaching abroad? Visit the class rooms, teach the class, tell stories, sing and dance. I guarantee this opportunity will be life changing and will leave your heart full.
Write a letter / Become a Pen-Pal
What do you do for work? Lets offer some inspiration on what career paths these children can aspire to. Write a letter explaining your journey to your career and why you do what you do.
Artists / Performers / Musicians / Comedians +++
1) Showcase your talents at the next Ekumfi Trust Event!
This is not just a fund-raiser. This is a serious party! Help Miriam and her supporters celebrate with a night to remember by volunteering to perform at the future Ekumfi Trust Events.
If you have any more ideas that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. Whether you are a friend, a colleague, a fellow DCP, training provider, teacher, student... overall good egg, please get in touch and let me know how you would like to get involved.
Thank you for reading.
Diamond Dental Staff Ltd.