No one can ignore the humanitarian aid that these people need just across the border
Salman Sheikh, King’s Dental student
Three students from the Dental Institute at King’s travelled to Calais and Dunkirk to volunteer their services to people in the refugee camps. As part of the Refugee Crisis Foundation, a group of young healthcare professionals wanting to make a difference, Salman Sheikh, Obaid Khalid and Yousuf Bashir spent a weekend providing dental aid to those in need.
The group experienced varying conditions at the two refugee camps and had to adapt their dental techniques to the different environments. They were met with a hugely diverse group of people and language barriers provided another challenge with Arabic, Urdu, Pashrun, Farsi, Kurdish, English and more being spoken throughout. But with the professionalism and teamwork skills learnt at King’s, the students were able to assist with providing emergency dental aid to a significant number of refugees.
Salman sums up their experiences and his determination to make a difference: “Politically we choose our sides and fight for a way for this to end but no one can ignore the humanitarian aid that these people need just across the border. One weekend of work is not enough. One drop load of welfare is not enough. It is only through the regular and consistent provision of care that the refugees’ situation will once again become bearable and we can truly help.”
The students put together an emotional and eye-opening account of their weekend across the Channel which was published on the British Dental Journal website. Their tale brings the reality of the refugee camps to life. They describe the state of the refugees’ situation in an honest and accurate way. The group has since returned to the camps to provide more aid with the Refugee Crisis Foundation, and hopes to inspire others to help out.
Find out more about the Refugee Crisis Foundation: http://www.refugeecrisisfoundation.com/