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2007: creation of the foundation: Balkan Dental Help.

First visit to the handicapped people, living in Monastery Sveta Petka, Serbia. All people were examined, but unfortunately, for several reasons it was not possible to support them anymore.

2008: big transport of a fully equipped dental office

and donations to a colleague there who helps people in need, for free if necessary.

2009, 2010, 2011: lots of material support and during the holidays much dental work.

2012: big transport to Banja Luka, Bosnia. In a small clinic 100 doctors are volunteering to help about 3000 people a year, during 10 years already. This clinic also has a fully equipped dental office now.

2013: starting of a new policlinic in the northern part of Serbia; advice and meetings with colleagues to discuss the possibilities.

2014: Northern Serbia

Big transport to the northern part of Serbia. The dentist there had the chair, the lamp, the drilling unit etc. Our foundation supported him by donation of filling materials, small instruments, etc.
All the materials that were donated to our foundation are unpacked in the kitchen and put in small bags and boxes, to safe space. All materials for a practice in just some boxes!
This dentist is not only helping his own patients, but also people in need, who cannot afford to pay a dentist if they are in pain.

I did some dental work myself, together with a Serbian colleague from Canada. We did a lot of work, restaurated man front teeth, black ones became white. People can laugh again and felt so happy! Unfortunately, we did not make photos. That is always so difficult; people feel ashamed and we don’t dare to ask.

In Belgrade we had some meetings. It would be good to have there a kind of clinic too. But that is not easy, where, who is going to run the place, to set it up and how to select the patients that are really in need?

After the big flooding we contributed to help our sister organization “Humanitarna” and also the transports from the Serbian Orthodox church in Rotterdam. In Holland we just got a little bit of information in the media about this big catastrophe. A part of the Balkan, as big as Holland was under water in a very short time. People lost their family, their houses, their cattle.

Thanks to the help of our sponsors we could send gloves, disinfection materials soap and face masks. The president of Humanitarna visited the area and came to a family with a handicapped daughter. They were living on the first floor of their house because the water was in the lower one. This girl was in terrible pain in her mouth and we got some photos. Thanks to our contacts in Banja Luka, Bosnia, this girl could be helped in general anesthesia and is now out of pain and the family is so happy!

2015 spring: another visit to Banja Luka, where we had brought the whole equipment in 2012. They asked us to come back, to help to reorganize the dental office and to give some instructions to young dentist with hardly any experience.
This was a very interesting question!

In may the trip had to be stopped unexpectedly, because of threatening situations in the Balkan.

Summer: more meetings with a dentist in Belgrade and we had contact with people from the church, who have a small polyclinic with doctors and they would like to start a dental office as well.
More information about their real needs was necessary.
Just now, beginning of 2016, we know that we will not continue there, they found local help.

In October back again to Banja Luka, where we worked a lot in the “ambulanta”. The polyclinic. There were 3 dental students and 3 young dentists. We reorganized the dental office totally and they worked with patients, as much as possible to the western standards of hygiene, treatment planning and dental procedures. They were very enthusiastic and willing to work hard. It was an instructive and nice period for all of us and we finished with a fantastic meal together.

They would be very happy to repeat this again, so why not??

22 november: birthday of Sonja
As we told in a newsletter, Sonja wanted to celebrate her birthday, but not to receive presents. She prepared a fantastic buffet, full of lovely and tasteful bites. On the table was a box where the guests could put a donation. The result was overwhelming! Thank you dear guests, thank you Sonja!

We visited sponsors, the university clinic of Nijmegen, an endodontologist, all just in a few days. It was a tiring period, but very satisfied they went back to Serbia. In the beginning of 2016 they will organize the transport by themselves; a dental chair, a drilling unit, lamp and boxes full of materials. It is fantastic what has come for them!

2016 Spring: short visit to Serbia. This was especially to organize some things for our foundation, to find out where our help was needed.. The request from Belgrade was not satisfying and we decided to cancel all.

2016 Summer: The Serbian dentist that has been in Holland had organized the transport from Holland by himself. All was stored at Alldent and from there it was picked up. On visiting the dental office in Serbia the second room was almost finished and looked very nice.

2016 Summer: Bosnia, Banja Luka
Student Marko has become dentist Marko, our congratulations! We hope you will still work for many years in the ambulanta.
They are working for 2 days a week now, a very enthousiastic team of dentists and students. They work in couples, like dentist and assistant and that is a very satisfying way. They received materials through Serbia.
They have still one request: an “apexlocator”, an important tool if they are doing root treatments, to mesure the length of a root canal.
We hope to be able to donate this instrument next time, with your help.

Plans for 2017
Just before driving back from Serbia to Holland, we got an interesting request; could wedonate equipment for a childrens dental office, close to Belgrade?
Of course our hearts get warm for such an idea. We received the first donation already, but it is not enough to be able to buy a unit and all the rest that is needed.
So we kindly ask your help!

2017: Unfortunately, we could not realize our plans, We did a lot of consultation, talking and traveling, really looking for possibilities to realize a dental office in the school. We talked to the school board, to ministers and even tot the Serbian patriarch Irinej. But we could not succeed to get it done, allthough all equipment was available. We really regret this, especially for these children in need for dental treatment. In that village is not a single dentist and also parents could have got help. There is no instruction about prevention at the school, neither fort he kids, nor fort the parents. Even that turned out to be impossible.

We could offer some small dental equipment and filling materials to dentists in Serbia and Bosnia.

And again we worked with the colleague from Canada.

2018: It was a difficult start, how could we get all organized fort he dental office at the school? We have been talking again to so many people but unfortunately, in spite of all the promisses, we could not get it done.

Another very big problem was the bill we had to pay to DHIN; Dental Health International, Netherlands. We did not expect it, so we were at the border of ban root. But finally, the DHIN skipped it and transformed it into a donation! Thanks to whom it concerns…

Summer 2018 we got a question from Montenegro; could we help there with a fully equiped dental room. It was their aim to do it in the same way as in Banja Luka, so local dentists working as volunteers. A very good system because that gives continuation.
So all the materials we had for Serbia, went there. We are in contact with the local dentists and the bisdom of Montenegro, to find a good and safe place. In spring we hope to go on, winter is not a good time to do it.

And we also worked again with the colleague from Canada. We offered small materials to some dentists.

2019: this year was extremely hard. In spite of a lot of work, a lot of trying, a lot of good will, we could not realize our plans again: te realize a dental office in Montenegro.

The situation in this country was and still is very difficult, unquiet. We don’t hear anything about it here in the west. So it was not justified to continue what we liked, that dental office. The risk it would be confiscated was too high and that would not help the people in need. The positive side is, that we are in touch with the local dentists, who would like to go on and who are prepared to start as soon ass possible. Just like in Banja Luka. We really regret it, but we have to be wise and patient and see how the situation in Montenegro will develop.

We offered again materials tot the dentists in Banja Luka. It is going very well there. They even started to work 3 days a week. A team of young, enthousistic dentists is working there, together with a technician and they also can refer for specialistic treatments. They even have some minimal sponsoring from their own country. You can’t wish better!

And we donated some smaller offices, where they treat people for free if necessary.

Plans voor 2020: we go on, in a low gear and we will see what is going to happen in Montenegro. Only if the situation is going fort he better, we can go on talking with the colleagues there and look for possibilities to accomplish our aim. This is all we can do for now.