Compassion in Action: Providing Free Dental Care to Afghan Refugees.
As Refugee Awareness Week 2023 comes to an end, we’re reflecting on the importance of helping those who come to us in their hour of need.
Refugees and asylum seekers dominate the news almost every week here in Britain, but this year’s theme of ‘compassion’ reminds us that anyone forced to flee their own home deserves to be welcomed and treated with respect. Whether travelling from oversees from war-torn regions or victims of natural disaster, refugees travel to new countries for one collective reason: safety.
Here at Penny Appeal, we’ve been supporting refugees through numerous initiatives since our founding in 2009. We have provided food, shelter, and emergency resources to people across the length and breadth of the map including Syria, Turkey, and Afghanistan.
In this blog post, we’re sharing one of our most successful initiatives yet. We partnered with Pure Smiles, a dental practice in London, to provide emergency dental care to Afghan refugees after the Taliban advanced through their home turf. Many received check ups and hygiene cleans, while some needed extensive work to alleviate pain and infection. The best thing about this initiative was that it was completely free for the refugees, thanks to our generous donors. Dental care is something many of us take for granted, and when we have an issue in our mouths, we can pop to our NHS or private dentist the very next day. When your country is taken over and engulfed in war, poverty or natural disaster, dentistry takes a back seat.
Principle Dentist Ayzaaz Akram, who provided his expertise to the refugees said the initiative made him feel valuable as he was relieving their pain and suffering. He explained that he couldn’t believe how many of the refugees were professionals, meeting people from all walks of life, doctors, accountants, and engineers who all needed our help.
The impact of this compassionate initiative was far-reaching. Not only did it address the immediate dental needs of Afghan refugees, but it also fostered a sense of belonging and care within the community. Patients left with more than just a dental treatment; they felt seen, heard, and embraced. We work all over the world to support refugees. We’re currently on the ground in Turkey, providing essential aid to those who’s homes were destroyed by the earthquakes of February 2023. We’re also assisting the governments in Pakistan and India to rehome those displaced by the recent storms. We stand in solidarity with Palestinians who live in conflict zones and we’re helping Ukrainian refugees who have fled to safety.
As we reflect on 25 years of Refugee Awareness Week, it is essential that we remain focussed on the bigger picture. As natural disasters become all too common and conflict takes over various parts of the world, let us remember this year’s theme of compassion and take a moment to think of those who come to us with nothing but the clothes on their backs and the hope of a better life.
To find out more about our initiatives for refugees all over the world, visit appeals | PennyAppeal.org
FRIDAY 23 JUN 2023