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Wesleyan heads to Africa

Wesleyan heads to Africa

Our CR and charity co-ordinator is heading to Ethiopia to see for herself the work of one of our customers.

Jane Innes-Rees, a retired dentist from Kenilworth, has helped professionals in Ethiopia set up a university dental unit and clinics in rural areas of Tigray, one of the worst affected areas hit by the famine and civil war in the 1980s.

She has invited Jessica Wilkes-Reading, our Corporate Responsibility and Charity Co-ordinator, to see for herself the work Jane has done, and to find out how we and our customers can get involved.

Jessica said: "The news reports of the Ethiopian famine are one of the defining images of the 1980s. While conditions have improved immeasurably since then, there is still so much more work that needs to be done to provide children with even basic facilities to improve their health and education.

"Jane has done an incredible job to use her expertise and contacts in the UK to improve the dental service at the Mekelle University Hospital, and as soon as we heard her story we knew Wesleyan would be able to help."

Jessica will visit the university hospital to meet dental and medical staff and students, hear about the challenges they face and find out how second-hand equipment and text books from the UK can be re-purposed for their use. She will also be working with the management team of an orphanage, giving them the benefit of her own charity experience to provide practical advice on governance, bid-writing and other income generation.

Jane added: "There are very few dentists in Ethiopia and dental health is a very low priority in a country recovering from civil war that needs to feed its population and provide fresh water for everyone. But poor oral hygiene can lead to other long term problems.

"What these communities need now more than anything is help to create facilities and infrastructure, along with medical equipment and educational supplies, not just money. I am thrilled Wesleyan has allowed Jessica to come with me, so I can show her, and the company, how much of a difference can be made to the lives of people out there."

Our staff have already donated school uniforms, books and Lego sets, and we are also buying dentist text books and making a donation to fund a pair of shoes for every child in the Elshadai Children's Village orphanage.

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