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A tribute to our volunteers

Posted in: Blog, by kayleighb2a, on 27th February 2014 | 0 comments

– Mark Topley, CEO

This week I want to pay tribute to our volunteers.  The people that quite literally make our training programme and the work that we do in East Africa possible.

I know many of you will have heard us talk about volunteers a lot and I wanted to take this opportunity to explain to you just how much of a sacrifice and commitment these wonderful individuals make to work with us in Tanzania.

Over the past 10 years I have had the privilege to meet a huge number of people who came and gave their time and expertise to our training programme.  In the early days it was a lot of fun as Jo and I were both heavily involved in the practical aspects of the programme – driving the volunteers out to site, being with them all day, driving them back and then making lunch and all the practical arrangements for the following day.  It was an exhausting but hugely rewarding time. Having done many of these trips before I eventually handed over the reins to far more capable hands in Tanzania, I got a very clear perspective of the amount of effort that each volunteer puts into the programme when they are here.

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The days are long, the travel is exhausting, the heat is debilitating and the clinical work is intense.  Volunteers go through a huge roller coaster of emotions – from the excitement and slightly jaded appearance on day 1 when they have arrived off a long international flight, through the highs and lows of training and working with patients who have been living in debilitating pain for many months, and sometimes even years. And then the huge high of successfully training a clinical officer – who they know will go on to do far more work in the years to come than they have achieved together in the 2 weeks they have been together.

I am amazed that so many of our volunteers come back time and time again – some of them have been back more than 10 times now – and this represents an enormous commitment and sacrifice.

Not only is their energy required 100% for while they are with us in Tanzania, but there is also a huge amount of work that goes into planning and fundraising for the trip.  They give up a great deal of their spare time to make sure that they are prepared and as well as the financial commitment of just under £2,000 there is a huge amount of contribution in terms of time away from family and holidays given up. For dentists working in practice, there is also lost revenue from being away for 2 weeks.  When you add up what this represents in financial terms, some of our returning volunteers have given in real terms, between £250-£500K each to work with us in Tanzania.

Whole practices have come out take part.  There are a number of people who send their teams every year and the Principals of these practices have been out many times before.  They have involved their whole teams in fundraising, taking part and having the fantastic experience that is a Bridge2Aid DVP.

I am amazed that these volunteers do this without award or reward, but have huge passion and belief in what we are trying to achieve together.

As a team, as a family, we are incredibly grateful to them. Our work is literally made possible by their contribution.

To all the volunteers who have helped make the amazing work we are doing together possible (there are over 370 of you!) – thank you.

 

Adele | Alastair | Alex | Alexandra | Ali | Alicia | Alison | Alistair | Amir | Amy | Ana | Anand | Andrea | Andrew | Angela | Angie | Anna | Anne | Annette | Arif | Arti | Asadur | Ashley | Atul | Avina | Babita | Barry | Bernadette | Beryl|  Beth | Brad | Brian | Bridie | Camilla | Carl | Carlton | Carly | Carol | Caroline | Carolyn | Catherine | Cathryn |Ceri | Charles | Charlotte | Cheryl | Chris | Christina | Christine | Claire | Clare | Cristina | Daisy | Daniel | David | Dawn | Dawne | Debbie | Debby | Denise | Dianne | Diego | Dipesh | Dipika | Domingos | Donna | Edward | Eileen | Eilidh | Eilis | Elaine | Eleanor | Elisabeth | Elisha | Elizabeth | Elizabeth-Ann | Emily | Emma | Erin | Estelle | Fiona | Gemma | George | Georgia | Graham | Grainne | Gus | Gwyneth | Hannah | Harriet | Hayley | Heather | Helen | Hilary | Ian | Ioannis | Isobel | Jacqueline | Jade | Jaina | Jane | Janet | Janette | Janine | Jeanette|  Jessica | Jigme | Jill | Jo | Joan | Joanna | Joanne | Joao | John | Jorden | Judith | Judy | Julie | Juergen | Kanwaljit | Karen | Kate | Katherine | Kathryn | Kathy | Katie | Keith | Kenneth | Kevin | Kiaran | Kiran | Kiri | Kirsty | Kishen | Laura | Lauren | Leila | Leo | Leslie | Lesley | Leslie-Ann | Lianne | Lindsay | Lisa | Liz | Liza | Lorna | Louise | Lucy | Lynda | Maddie | Mandy | Manish | Margaret | Maria | Marion | Marisa | Marjan | Mark | Martin | Mary | Matthew | Maureen | Maxine | Maynaha | Maysoon | Melanie | Menal | Michael | Michelle | Mitra | Monica | Murtaza | Nadine | Natalie | Natasha | Nathan | Neeta | Neil | Nues | Niall | Nicholas | Nicola | Nigel | Nuria | Oonagh | Pamela | Parmilan | Paul | Pauline | Pedja | Pedro | Penny | Peter | Phil | Phillip | Prudence | Rachael | Rache | Rakhee | Rebecca | Rebekah | Richard | Rizwana | Robert | Rohan | Riosin | Roma | Rosemary | Rowena | Roy | Ruth | Sabrina | Sahir | Sally-Anne | Sam | Samantha | Sandy | Sara | Sarah | Shaenna | Sharad | Sharon | Shreena | Sian | Simon | Sinead | Som-Ling | Stacey | Stella | Stephanie | Stuart | Su | Sue | Sunit | Susan | Suzanne | Tahira | Tammy | Teresa | Tony | Tracey | Una | Urshla | Vishakha | Vergine | Victoria | Virginia | Vivienne | Wafa | Wendy | Willie | Yang-See


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