This September (2012), Global Dental Relief volunteers treated 1,000 children in the town of Leh in northern India. Twenty-two volunteers, including 10 dentists and 12 general volunteers traveled to this remote Indian location to provide local children with the first dental care of their lives.
As a special bonus, each child received a gift as they exited the clinic – a hand knit scarf donated by Knitting 4 Peace volunteers. For these children a scarf is a wonderful gift, often one of the first new items they have ever owned.
The accompanying pictures show several children from the Jamyang school with their new scarves. Jamyang is a boarding school in Leh supported by the Dalai Lama Trust. Students come from the villages around and including Dha-Hanu, near the border of Pakistan, a very remote area without education or health care opportunities. Children are selected by a committee made up of village elders, focusing on the poorest families, often where one or both parents are missing. No more than two children from one family are chosen.
Another group receiving scarves were the delightful young nuns from the Mathos Monastery, a newly expanded and renovated nunnery for education.
It was a daily highlight to watch these children or young nuns solemnly consider the multi-colored pile of scarves. They often spent several minutes pulling out different scarves for examination before a final selection was made. Volunteers loved watching a smiling child exit the clinic wrapped in a colorful new scarf.
Even more fun – as volunteers walked the streets of Leh over the course of the clinic, they often glimpsed children proudly sporting their bright new scarf. Many thanks to Knitting 4 Peace for making this possible!
You do not need to be a dentist to volunteer! Global Dental Relief volunteers travel to 5 countries – Nepal, India, Vietnam, Guatemala and Kenya providing care for children. Over half of each project team is made up of general volunteers who manage clinic logistics and patients and are essential to clinic operations. For more information, please visit our website globaldentalrelief.org. or call 303 858 8857. We would love to have you join us!
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