The 'First Name' in making a difference in Uganda

16 June 2016

Dorathy Lee, Financial Controller in our Hong Kong office, has an incredibly philanthropic family. Her husband Dennis is a dentist with two practices in Hong Kong, and in 2014 he and two other dentists were inspired to visit the Watoto community in Uganda to assess its dental service needs, as well as providing simple check-ups and dental education to the community.

Following this visit, the three dentists spent a year planning and finding sponsors and other dentists to get involved – so that in 2015 they were able to set up the first dental clinic in one of the Watoto villages. A team of seven dentists and two dental students served almost 1000 people in five days, providing dental check-ups, treatments and oral hygiene talks.

For this 2015 trip, Dennis was also accompanied by his and Dorathy’s 10-year-old daughter, Toby. Toby spent a day helping out at the dental clinic, preparing cotton for the dentists and calming down the children who were nervous about their first ever check-up. She also helped paint the teachers’ quarter and build a pavement in the village. Even more impressively, she taught the locals Tai Chi!

Watoto was birthed through Watoto Church; a thriving, community-focused church founded by Pastor Gary and Marilyn Skinner in Kampala (the capital city), Uganda, in 1994. Since its establishment, Watoto has cared for more than 4000 orphaned and vulnerable children, with over 3000 currently receiving care. Some are former child soldiers and some were born to rebel leaders during the civil war. They have been enabled to regain control of their lives and to realise their potential. Many of these children have gone on to become lawyers, teachers, computer scientists, journalists, farmers and doctors.

Dennis is unable to go to Uganda this year, but instead Dorathy will be travelling with both of their children for a two-week volunteer trip – using her holiday leave and finances to continue the family’s good work. They will be joining the building team and will also visit the three main projects in the community:

  • Baby Watoto – to feed and play with the babies
  • Watoto Village – to visit their sponsor kids and spend an afternoon with them
  • Living Hope – to visit the women left abandoned or widowed, many of whom are HIV+

It’s fantastic to see one of our First Names and her family making such a valuable, tangible and positive difference to a community that needs it. We wish Dorathy, Toby and Jamie a wonderful trip this summer!

Pictured below:  Dorathy's husband Dennis as part of a team of seven dentists, two dental students and one local dentist in Watoto, Uganda