Memoirs of a raving Pediatric Dentist- Malawi Charity Trip August 2017
You can call it fate! Some people call it magic! I call it my “calling”.
Here is the story how I ended up as part of the D.R.O.P.S team that traveled to Malawi, Africa specifically to a small camp in a little village called “Sogoja” in Zomba.
I would later spend a few days (and my Eid vacation) training teachers and children alike about dental health plus offering basic dental treatment to 200 orphans and vulnerable children.
Children from the ages of 2 to 16 were screened for dental disease and were all offered fluoride treatment to decrease their decay levels. Almost 500 fillings were placed in total for this group of children!
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It was January 2017, the time of the year when resolutions were made. This year is a bit different, for I re-added a section headed “Philanthropy”. I thought to myself this year was the year I go back to serving underprivileged children.
As a pediatric dentist, I take such pride that my mission is always to serve, and go above and beyond my duty of care!
Unfortunately, a time came when I only focused on serving those children who have parents who can afford my services. This realization hit me hard, during my education in Egypt, it was easy to give back to society; however, now that am fully back in Dubai, this side of me has had no outlet for a while.
Ask and you shall? Receive! Sometimes all the universe needs is you asking the right question!
Honestly, just a few days later, I stumbled upon Dr. Michael Kloep, a non medical professor in a University in Dubai, attending a non dental workshop (very rare occasion for me).
It turns out he runs a foundation named D.R.O.P.S. (www.dropsfound.org), based on the fact that any effort on any scale, be it large or small, is a Direct Relief of Poverty. His cofounders and himself are dedicated to being D.R.O.P.S. that make an ocean. One that complements lives; that makes a change!
It is quiet simple really, one drop can make a torrent, even an ocean. This is how change surely happens.
Did you consider that sometimes we can all be giving for selfish reasons? Did you consider that when you give your own child a gift, their smile gives YOU happiness, and this is why it’s natural that we do give, because its an innate source of happiness.
I honestly thought that I was volunteering my precious time away from my bustling clinic in Dubai Health Care City to give those underprivileged children of Malawi, dental care and education. I must admit I was completely wrong!
Turns out they gave me a lot more!
With their smiles, their love, their openness, their acceptance, their vulnerability; they gave me a lot more than I bargained for!
True power lies within the giving!
When you give beyond your own self, this fuels your inner fire, empowers your inner soldier, your true self awakens inspired and ready: to contribute, to grow, to change, even beyond your own comprehension or even abilities, it fulfills many of your basic human needs.
For me, it was more like I was loaded with drugs and was high! It was euphoria, so strong that it is really indescribable! Fulfillment, achievement and ultimately happiness all rolled into one! I felt like my heart shock and my existence had a new definition!
Did you consider how you can enhance your life being that single drop?
You can become a drop of goodness, of love, delivering life and all its goodness to whomever is in need. A simple smile can be your drop in the so-called river of life.
For me, this vibrated with my inner being and I was hooked.
I urge you to think for a minute, the effects it may have on you? It’s not just the ripple effect in the ocean of goodness that affects society; it’s also a butterfly effect that returns the deed your way doubled or quadrupled.
I am not talking about financial gains at all, for they are sometimes the least gains obtained, I specifically mean the soul enriching experiences that helps you be a better you, a you that can achieve anything and everything your heart desires.
I became a D.R.O.P. Can you?
This is my 2 cents for now. Wait for part 2 of my experience volunteering in Malawi, Africa.
Dr. Yasmin Kottait DDS, HDD, MFDS Ed, MSc
A pediatric dentist with a special mission: spreading smiles to children wherever she goes.
Currently working in MyPediaClinic in Dubai Health Care City