We at DentCare Kenya have been holding regular dental camps to provide dental services to needy people in and around Nairobi. I would like to share with you the personal stories of some of the beneficiaries of our free dental services. Please see below the personal accounts from Beth Liyai, Rose Okoth and Timothy Mutisya.
I fought with a neighbor many years ago and broke a tooth. Recently, I noticed a change in color in my broken tooth and the tooth next to it. I saw the Dentcare Kenya banners at the hospital gate and that’s why I went in for checkup and treatment. The dentists were welcoming and they answered all my questions about teeth. They told me that I had suffered trauma to my teeth and that I should have gone and had my broken tooth fixed regardless of it being painless. They advised root canal treatment for my two front teeth and they also did non-vital bleaching to remove the grey color from my teeth, the broken tooth would also be fixed with a tooth-colored filling. A big thank you to the organizers of the free event.
Pregnancy is a very exciting and busy time. There are so many changes going on in your body and your mouth is no exception. Good oral hygiene is extremely important during pregnancy because the increase of hormone levels during pregnancy can cause dental problems to be intensified. Rose Akoth, an expectant mother, discovered this at the Dentcare Kenya free medical checkup. She suffered from pregnancy gingivitis and her gums were bleeding, swollen and tender. She was unaware that this posed a threat to her unborn baby as it could lead to premature birth and low birth weight. She was given tips on how to prevent this such as regular checkups, cleaning and good oral hygiene. She was also given free mouthwash to use when rinsing her teeth at home. She was also advised to eat a proper diet, that was low on cariogenic foodstuffs.
I was brought up in Nakuru and my teeth have always been chocolaty (discolored) from the excessive amounts of flouride int he water. I did not like them that way. I got teased in primary school and high school on account of my teeth and it affected my self esteem. I found it difficult to smile or laugh without covering my mouth.
I had heard of dentists being able to change the color of teeth, but I was afraid of the pain or sensitivity. A friend of mine informed me about Dentcare Kenya and that they had a free medical checkup and treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital. I attended the Dental camp and sought treatment. I learnt that there are many ways of treating my problem. I was told I could mask the defect with a procedure termed as masking, I could do bleaching, use veneers or dental crowns. I was treated and I can now afford a smile. I am still continuing treatment. A million thanks for the information from the Dentcare group of dentists.
Thank you for supporting us in our efforts to improve the oral health care of the needy in Kenya. You are making a difference in so many lives!
Thank you so much for supporting Jemimah Peters, Dennis Mutwiri, Michael Murigi, who are progressing towards completion of their university studies while also contributing to the uplifting of their communities. The community members are working to make their projects sustainable long term. Below is an update on the specific progress they have made in the last few months.
I am glad to report to you that our project is now able to sustain itself. This is as expected of a PATHWAYS scholar completing their undergraduate course. As you know, our milling business follows the social enterprise model. Profit accumulation is NOT our primary goal. We charge very lowly to encourage farmers to mill their cassava and enjoy a diverse utility of their crop. However, with the little profits accruing, we are able to facilitate maintenance of the machines, payment of rental fees, operator salary. In addition, we are able to support other activities within the project. This project and the support from you and the GlobalGiving community has helped our community to increase its income long term. This increase in income translates into increased health and education for the community.
You are making a huge difference in the lives of my community members.
We are grateful!
Am doing very fine and my family is also well. School is going well even though I am quite busy at the moment with assignments and C.A.Ts. I also play chess as an extracurricular activity and traveled to Tanzania for a competition.
About my project, we completed the construction of the poultry house. In the mean time, the women’s group has 13 chickens in the chicken house each member has contributed one. They are still debating whether to keep layers or broilers. I was able to talk to the chair-lady of the group and another member and they had almost the same thing to say. From the chair-lady: the project has done a lot for her. From the crops that they have been growing, she has been benefiting in that, with few or no other places to get the vegetables in dry seasons, they have been getting them from their plot at a very cheap cost or no cost at all. She says thanks to Pathways and GlobalGiving, this has been made possible by the availability of the water tanks. She says, through the activities that they are undertaking in the project, she has learned to be self reliant and to work hard for herself. She adds that, through the inspiration of the project, she has started a small business of selling fruits and she earns some few coins from it.As the chairlady of the women group, she has attended several seminars and trainings to represent the group and learned various skills. For instance, she says that they were trained on how to make clay jikos which conserve wood by a certain NGO, but the problem is the soil type in the surrounding as its not the type for making the jikos. Whatever she implies is that, being part of such a self-help group has helped her and the other members be recognized and considered in important events. She says that she has benefited from the group in that,besides doing their project activities, they help each other and other community members in any activity that needs a group assistance for a small fee.This,she says has helped her and many others. Finally she says, “we are just about to start selling eggs and earn money.”
The other member basically has the same story to tell but mainly emphasizes on the fact that they have water, which they are using for their young seedlings and poultry. They don't have to go fetching water in the rivers which are already drying up after it has not rained for just a few weeks. Overall, they are doing great and they are happy about the project.
Thank you for helping to uplift my community.
Due to PATHWAYS and GlobalGiving we now have 5 000 seedling tree and fruit nurseries, the fish pond which has a population of appx 1 000 fish, the solar panel project and a merry go round loan program. All of these projects are making a great progress. The support from the community is enormous. Perhaps an amazing impact of the project which was not envisaged is the development of leadership skills among the group members. Janet Nkatha, the group chair could not hide her joy for what the group interaction has made her. “When I joined this group, I was very shy, I could not stand before people, I had no confidence, my self esteem was extremely low. Two years down the line I am a changed person, with a totally outgoing personality. I am now an officer in charge of Kongo Acheke sub-location, a post that was previously reserved for men. I have learnt that women too can be effective leaders and want to set an example to our girls”
You have greatly impacted our community- thank you!
Maragua Division, Kenya
Our cassava project to increase food security and improve the economic situation of my community members has been progressing extremely well over the last year. I want to tell you about two of my community members, Mrs. Njoki and Mr. Maina, who have benefitted in a significant way.
Mrs Martha Njoki was widowed 10 years ago. She inherited a piece of land measuring 2 acres. Ever since, she could not afford to cultivate her land due to large amount of costs incurred and frustrations involved with corn growing. Last year, she decided to venture into the cost -effective and much profitable cassava farming. She received free cuttings from the project. Her whole land is now under cassava. She sells a part of her produce raw, while the rest she grinds into flour at the mill you helped us acquire. She uses the cassava flour for her own domestic consumption and sells the extra to some of her neighbors. She says," The cassava project has enabled me to utilize the only resource that my late husband left behind. This has put some good money into my pocket." Please see the photos of Martha at the mill for the grinding of her produce.
The other community member I would like to tell you about is Mr. Charles Maina a 35-year old father of 6 children. To fend for his family, he had been working as an on-and -off casual labourer, picking coffee berries in an estate at Thika, 23 Kilometres away. When you helped us acquire a mill, Mr. Maina asked to work as the operator. He now earns Ksh. 5,000 (about $63) monthly, much higher salary and a more stable position than what he did previously. Mr. Maina says," Out of this higher and more stable income that I now receive, I am sure to save enough to educate my children and secure them a better future!"
When the workload intensifies, particularly during harvest seasons, we hire 2 more people to assist the operator. More importantly, the mill provides indirect employment to many others. These include small businesses milling flour for preparing and selling doughnuts, chapattis, porridge and other dishes.
I am grateful to have this opportunity to help make a change in my community. Thank you for helping us !! We feel the future is bright.
With heartfelt gratitude,