Scheinstock – music to Bridge2Aid's ears...
 

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Scheinstock – music to Bridge2Aid's ears...

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Scheinstock – music to Bridge2Aid's ears...

 

Scheinstock – music to Bridge2Aid's ears...

How did it get to be February already? It felt like I blinked and January was over!
 
The fact that it's now less than nine weeks before myself and 12 others go to Tanzania on behalf of Bridge2Aid makes it a little bit more real and a whole lot more daunting.
 
I think the rest of the group are feeling the clock ticking, too, with everyone rallying with new ways to raise the much-needed money to fund the work that will be carried out during the two-week trip.
 
With the new year also comes some exciting new events. At the end of the month we have Scheinstock, a full-throttle 1970s-inspired rock event with some unlikely members of the dental industry making cameo appearances in the band.

March holds the promise of a fuel-filled go-karting frenzy and tennis balls and tea towels are still going strong. I think the group as a whole will be reminded of this trip, every time we visit a family member and wash up!
 
It's not just the big events that raise the money but the day-to-day effort of every member of the team, contacting not only friends and family but members of our industry to help raise awareness for our trip and the charity itself, as well as a few pennies for the pot of course.
 
We all tipped our hats to Nadene this week who received a substantial donation from a very generous dental practice.

As with any modern woman, Nadene manages to juggle home, children, work and now fundraising with flair. The demanding role of product manager at Software of Excellence takes her the length and breadth of the UK.

When asked why she wanted to add yet another ‘ball' to juggle with the Tanzania trip, Nadene said: 'I heard about Bridge2Aid several years ago, a team was preparing to travel to Tanzania and were looking for volunteers to join them.

'At the time the teenagers were a bit young to be away from for too long so I was unable to participate. I decided to join the team this time as I feel that everyday people like me only need to give a little of their time to really make a difference to the lives of the people in this community.

'The Bridge2Aid charity is actually working with the people at the Bukumbi Care Centre, encouraging them to become involved in making lasting changes. This makes me feel that my small input will help build the foundations towards continued improvement in providing on-going support and access to medical and dental treatment for these families.'
 
However, it's not only the sizeable donations that help towards our final target and Nadene has been selling everything from tea towels, scratch cards even the odd bribe with baked goods for her team to support "dress down Friday".

‘My motto is “give it a go” and someone will show interest and want to get involved with the fundraising,' says Nadene.
 
I asked what she hoped to get out of the trip and I think she echoes many of the group, especially those who have never been before.

‘I imagine it will be quite emotional and sad and maybe even shocking at times, however I am a strong believer that inner strength, personality and a sense of humour can pull us through most of the experiences that life throws at us and I hope I can learn an awful lot from the people in the community during my visit and I'm sure there will be lots of smiles, too!'

So, the countdown continues, now that ‘buy Christmas presents' and ‘join a gym' has been ticked off the list, we add ‘get immunisation sorted' and ‘sell more tickets' instead.

Under the blind panic that has started to creep in, there is a flutter of nervous excitement, too, with the knowledge that we are really going to do this and help people and that feels quite good.

Now all we need is the support of those who believe in what we are doing as much as we do, and I assure you that every penny donated is truly appreciated.

To donate to the Bridge2Aid Tanzania trip, please click here.

Or if you're at a loose end on Friday 25 February, you're welcome to come and join the festivities at Scheinstock. Please call Ellie Nightingale for tickets on 07971 128 002 or email Ellie.Nightingale@henryschein.co.uk.


A little background
Kigongo Primary School is situated 2km from Bukumbi Care Centre in the village of Kigongo.  Kigongo is a busy village due to the ferry that takes foot passengers and cars over to Busisi, and the road that leads onto Geita and Rwanda.

Since surfacing the road in August, there is now more traffic and passing trade. Kigongo Primary School has just over 600 students, with 90 of the students from or connected to Bukumbi Care Centre. The rest of the children come from the surrounding village which is also very deprived. B2A has supported the children with uniforms, sports kits, balls and other equipment. We are also working with the school management to provide teacher training so that the whole school benefits. One of the main issues at the school is that its classrooms are in a very poor state which does not make a good learning environment.

The concrete floors and walls in the classrooms are bare, cracked and crumbling, the wire and mesh in the windows is ripped/broken, if there at all, and children are sharing three or four to a desk or often sitting on the bare concrete floors.

The school itself was built about 15 years ago by another NGO because of the overcrowding at Bukumbi Primary School. Unfortunately the classrooms have fallen into disrepair due to funding problems.  Since 2009 we have renovated two of the classrooms but the others are in a desperate state.

Before the Henry Schein team arrives, the floors of the classroom will be repaired or re-laid and the wire and mesh in the windows replaced. New desks will also be made. We also hope to have football goals and a netball posts made.

When the team arrives, it will have a huge task of cleaning the classrooms, painting the walls, windows, doors, blackboards and designing and painting lots of educational murals, such as number lines, alphabets, maps and diagrams.


 Posted on : Fri 11th - Feb - 2011

 

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