MCW Global Continues to Build Capacities of Young Oral Health Professionals in East and Southern Africa
MCW Global and MC-Tanzania brought together 26 oral health professionals from four African countries: Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia, in the Young Leaders Conference — Tanzania 2022, held in September.
Noor Imran, the Conference Coordinator, highlights this event's best parts and benefits, how it empowers young leaders and gives them the resources needed to contribute to their communities.
This conference equips youth with leadership skills and increases their knowledge in identifying challenges of oral health by establishing networking among them. For this, MCW Global will support up to five projects with a grant of up to $300 and with mentorship during the project implementation.
The population of those countries is mostly in rural areas, and reaching people with basic healthcare services will greatly benefit them. In this form, MCW Global keeps being part of the solution and is pushing forward positive change by doing more than simply giving away toothbrushes or toothpaste.
MCW Global is directly training and supporting young dental professionals and raising awareness in the community.
Learning Together, Relying on Each other
Noor elaborates that the participants’ exposure to each others’ practices, challenges, successes, and failures gave them the perfect opportunity to create a professional regional network.
“Participants learned from each other and expanded their network of oral health professionals through experience sharing and even friendships forged during the three days of the conference.”
The conference allowed participants to connect with the Ministry of Health in Tanzania and the Tanzanian Dental Association.
“Both representatives were present throughout the conference and extended support to all participants.”
Thanks to this opportunity, participants can rely on each other for support.
Three Components of the Conference
The conference was focused on Modern Leadership and Oral Health, Challenges in the Oral Health Community, and Networking and Resource Mobilization for Oral Health.
Noor reminds us that MCW Global family believes in empowering young leaders to take charge of the problems in their communities.
“These professionals must deal with communities daily. We made them identify themselves as leaders by equipping them with an understanding of leadership, especially modern leadership.”
“Modern leadership concepts are not about authority or a position anymore. It is about identifying the leader within,” she adds.
As we have witnessed, MCW Global defines leadership as an action, not a position.
“With this understanding that at whatever stage of their career they might be, if they are stepping up or acting on behalf of someone else, communities in this case, then they are leaders.”
Noor says it was interesting to see how the different countries had commonalities because of the shared region.
“Once they had this understanding and had identified solutions to the challenges, the final part of the conference was about networking and resource mobilization.”
She believes it was important to end with this because it is important for youth to determine what resources they already have.
“Also, they can identify how they can leverage them and where they can find what they need.”
The Lasting Connections and Support
The conference lasted a few days, but the support of MCW Global for these young people is continuing. MCW Global is now helping participants develop their own community projects.
“During October, we held a vision planning webinar for the participants to help them design their own projects. Vision Planning is a signature exercise of MCW that takes you through making your ideas into actionable project plans.”
They distributed a vision planning workbook to all participants who showed great interest.
Noor believes this regional network will be mutually beneficial for years to come, and we could not agree more after witnessing how, throughout the years, MCW Global network does not grow old; it only grows stronger.
So far, only in Tanzania, approximately nine thousand children have received oral health education, screenings, and fluoride treatment thanks to MCW Global’s dental outreaches, and YOU can help increase this number by DONATING NOW!