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Jess' Blog No.2 - Countdown to Ethiopia SOS

By Jessica Wilkes-Reading

Jess' Blog No.2 - Countdown to Ethiopia SOS

It's just a few days now until I fly out to Ethiopia. I've got a huge suitcase full to the brim with books, crayons, colouring books, Maggie Books, Wesleyan branded mini multi-tool kits, school dresses, toothbrushes, building blocks and art materials. A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated something for the trip. Your wonderful generosity will make a huge difference to the people and communities I'll be visiting.

I'm also taking out an album with images of Birmingham to show the children at Elshadai where I live and work. I also include photos of my family (including my cat Boo) and pictures of trams, trains and planes as these will be things the children will never have seen. I'll leave the album at the Children's Village, along with the Birmingham flag, to remind the children of the visit.

Supporting Dentists

While I'm in Mekele I'll be researching how redundant dental equipment from the UK could be used over there. Today I'm visiting a dental clinic in Stafford to find out what equipment they replace and get their thoughts on how old equipment could be used overseas. Thanks to Josie Hutchings from Practice Plan for setting up the visit. Hopefully I won't end up having to get a scale and polish!

The work we're doing with dentists has already captured the imagination of the professional press and there's been some great coverage, including this article on The Dentist magazine website: Making a Difference in Africa.

Keeping in Touch

Many of you will have seen the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts, and there is also a dedicated section on the website  I'm hoping to send back daily updates and photos while in Ethiopia, depending on the wifi availability. So please keep an eye on the website or our social media channels if you want to follow my progress.

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