What Bridge2Aid Means to Me – Doing the Impossible!

Posted in: Uncategorised, by Bridge2Aid Team, on 1st June 2020 | 0 comments

What Bridge2Aid Means to Me – Kiaran Weil

Kiaran is the Chair of our Clinical Advisory Group, member of the Bridge2Aid team and long-time friend, supporter and volunteer. Here is what Bridge2Aid means to her….

“It means community; a community that cares for people; changes lives; puts those we serve first; strives to do better – even when it’s challenging; works to be ethical; educational; sustainable; respectful of culture; and it’s inspirational.

I have seen people dance for joy or cry with relief after they’ve been treated, and many of us have danced and cried with them. I have seen Clinical Officers struggle at the beginning, but go on to become empathetic, competent clinicians. When we fail I have seen volunteers, sometimes with tears in their eyes, asking ‘did I do enough?’

I have taught dentistry in the UK and the US, but the best student I’ve ever taught was Pereus, in Muleba, who soaked up the training like a sponge. He is an exceptional clinician. I’ve got to know Tanzanian colleagues, sharing our experiences, hopes and aspirations. And I’ve learnt that shared humanity transcends language.

I wish everyone could see a team arrive; set up a dental clinic; treat hundreds of patients; train Clinical Officers; pack down; and walk away, leaving it as they found it, as if nothing has happened. But something miraculous happened, and that change continues to ripple on.

I have had so many extraordinary experiences on DTP, and thinking of them changes me. So my thanks to Sarah and Jeanette for tea and sympathy on a tough day; Graham for trusting me; Marena for championing the lady with the big swelling; Liz for steadfast support; Elaine W. and Inno for changing a 12 year old girl’s life with your persistence and compassion; Neil for making me a better teacher; Barry, always a gentleman; Yvonne; Judy; Joseph; Di; Emma, Megan; Elaine G; Katy; Becci; Moses; Kathy; Jackie; Andrew; Tracey; Sue; Ruth ……….the list is endless and glorious. When I think of the simple, wonderful, selfless, amazing, everyday things I saw you do, I know ‘this is what love looks like’.

St Francis of Assisi said ‘start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible’. Thank you to all B2A staff and volunteers, past and present, for doing what’s necessary, and believing in the impossible.

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