MY MISSION TRIP TO NEPAL 2018
I was inspired to volunteer as a dental assistant to gain a new perspective on dentistry and to serve the underserved children of Nepal. I am grateful for the opportunity to have explored their unique culture. This was all made possible by Cranberry USA and through their generous scholarship they provided me.
CRANBERRY X GLOBAL DENTAL RELIEF
A passion toward to improving oral health around the world
Kevin Arafat is from Michigan, a pre-dental student who is applying to dental school for the 2019 cycle. He recently graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. He is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified Personal Trainer. Kevin has volunteered at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, Gleaners Community Food Bank and Wayne State University School of Medicine.
Kevin always had a passion for fixing things and using his hands. "What attracts me to dentistry, is the combination of both science and art. I love how dentistry is very team centered. Also, I love working with my hands and working with a diverse patient population. Furthermore, I chose dentistry because I desire to give care to those who are limited to access of care." Kevin said.
My MISSION trip to Nepal 2018
I was inspired to volunteer as a dental assistant to gain a new perspective on dentistry and to serve the underserved children of Nepal. I am grateful for the opportunity to have explored their unique culture. This was all made possible by Cranberry USA and through their generous scholarship they provided me. It was a pleasure to have volunteered alongside the talented dentists, hygienists and dental assistants who helped make this experience possible. I experienced first hand the importance of the role dentists have in the community and the impact they have on many lives. I learned a great deal during my chairside assistance to dentists as they performed many amalgam restorations, tooth extractions, and other dental care.
Furthermore, I learned the importance of working together as a team. Together, our team of dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants made a substantial improvement in the oral health of the Nepalese community. Not only did we deliver physical care but we also provided education, inspiration, and hope. Each person had an essential role in ensuring the flow of the clinic ran smoothly. It was empowering to have served hundreds of children who were limited to access of care.
In addition to the physical care that was provided, I also learned the importance of education. Together, our team in the clinic made a substantial effort to help educate the children on preventive oral health care techniques such as proper brushing, flossing, and explaining how certain foods can cause cavities.
I was impressed how Global Dental Relief helped educate the local Nepalese students in becoming dental assistants. They played a major role in sterilizing equipment and ensuring the clinic ran smoothly. Consequently, the dentists and hygienists were able to serve a large volume of patients. Assisting in many extractions and amalgam fillings gave me a tremendous amount of experience.
I am very thankful for the entire staff that helped make the Global Dental Relief trip a pleasurable and memorable experience. This mission trip exceeded my expectations. Mark and Victoria did a great job in ensuring we all had a great experience. I plan on doing many more global dental relief missions trips in the future and I will only go through GDR. I am going to miss the many amazing people I met and going around the stupa every morning.
I was especially impressed by Mark who is a retired dentist with over thirty years of experience and dedicating his time to volunteer abroad. He was an incredible mentor, and I learned many dental techniques from observing him. He was always eager to teach and help. Volunteering alongside Mark made me feel like I made the right choice in choosing to pursue dentistry.
The dentists and dental hygienists who also volunteered their time to help assist the Nepalese children truly motivated me. It was an honor to serve alongside an altruistic group who took their time to help serve those who are less fortunate. So too, I aspire to one day come back to Nepal as a dentist and help those who would otherwise have no access to treatment. I also aspire to one day be able to assist the underserved population locally as a dentist. I am truly thankful for the support of Cranberry for making this journey possible. My dental peers, and amazing people that I volunteered with have truly ensured me that dentistry is the right path for me. My experience in the Kathmandu Valley solidified my choice to pursue dentistry.
By Kevin Arafat, May 2018