Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wow, What a Day! (Tuesday)

We were so blessed today as we met with the orphans officially for the first time. They were supposed to arrive at the ACT Office by 9am but we knew better! They started arriving at about 10am and continued through noon. We were so organized for the day’s events that everything went very, very smoothly. We hired a tent yesterday to be set up in the ACT Office front yard because we have had intermittent rain most days. We created stations for the orphans to move between and had about 12 people helping manage the flow.

The first station the children came to was a “dental area” we created with Dale to perform dental assessments on each orphan’s teeth. She did a great job with a huge amount of patience. Holly stood by as her assistant, handing her gauze squares, rubber gloves, toothbrushes and floss and taking a photo of each dental assessment for each orphan that we plan to share with the Sponsors. Standing by interpreting for Dale to the orphans and guardians was Alexander, the ACT MEP Manager. At the same time, he was carefully taking notes about each child’s teeth as he listened to Dale. At the end of about 4-5 orphan assessments, Dale would stop and take that group of orphans and their guardians through a demonstration of teeth brushing and flossing as well as handing them new toothbrushes and floss. Dale decided not to bring toothpaste because she feared that when they ran out of that and had no more, they would cease to brush their teeth and brushing alone will help. All in all, there were not too many major problems in their teeth. Most of the orphans have really serious placque build up having never had their teeth cleaned and not having good dental hygiene. One orphan has a tooth abcess and there were several with fairly serious orthodontic issues. Charles volunteered to talk with his sister in Kampala who is a dental assistant to see if she could mobilize some volunteer dental assistants to come to Muko to do teeth cleaning. Dale estimated it might take an hour per orphans to get their teeth clean. All in all, the orphans were very brave. We had a few of the youngest really get upset and we decided it was not worth upsetting them to do it so they bypassed this station.

Next the kids came to the second station where we distributed their sponsor gifts and then took their pictures with their sponsors (some had come alone) and then another picture with one of team and Alex, the Operations Manager. From there we worked from a document listing which homes we were going to attempt to visit tomorrow and Thursday. We asked those orphans and guardians whose homes we will not get to, to meet with another one of our team and a Ugandan translator to do an interview and ask some of the questions that all of us, especially the sponsors, have been wanting to know. Some of those were, the condition of their home, who else lives there, is the sponsor a relative, what happened to their parents, what do they like about school, and so on. We plan to combine the dental assessment and the interview and/or the home visit and pictures with the sponsors upon our return. To be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment