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Imagine the discomfort of a toothache, the agony of dental decay, and the inability to access affordable dental care. These were the challenges faced by many in the Talek community in Masai Mara, until the inception of the dental clinic, a remarkable initiative by the Hardwick Foundation in partnership with Saruni Basecamp and Basecamp Foundation Kenya.

It all began with a simple question posed by Jim Hardwick during his first safari to Kenya in 2018 together with his wife Jody Hardwick. Upon visiting a local medical clinic, they inquired on whether they received any dental aid to which they learned they don’t. This revelation sparked a mission within Jim and Jody to make a difference. Back home, they mobilized support from manufacturers, family, and friends, receiving an overwhelming response to his call for donations.

Eleven months later Jim, and Jody returned to Masai Mara, setting up the first clinic at Basecamp Masai Mara. Despite initial limitations, they considered it a success, paving the way for bigger plans. However, unforeseen circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic stalled their efforts for two years. Yet, as soon as borders reopened in 2022, Jim, accompanied by a larger team returned to Masai Mara.

2024 marks the fourth year of the dental clinic’s operations. The Hardwick Foundation’s team of 15 dedicated individuals provided emergency dental care, leaving an indelible mark on the community. From 5th to 8th March, 291 patients received treatment, totaling an impressive 1244 procedures. But beyond the numbers lies a deeper narrative of transformation and relief.

Saruni Basecamp Dental Clinic Dr Bhatt and Paul with Anne, a patient

Anne, from Talek village, shared how much she appreciated the clinic, “I can’t thank them enough for the clinic. It’s been such a big help because getting dental care around here is tough. It’s just too expensive for most of us and the doctors there were so kind and patient, especially with the children.”

Saruni Basecamp Dental Clinic Jim and Jody with member of Basecamp Foundation Terry and Leah

Stronger Together

Saruni Basecamp’s involvement in the dental clinic is not merely peripheral; it’s woven into the very fabric of its success. From Svein, founder of Saruni Basecamp, generously offering his tent for the inaugural dental clinic back in 2019, to Basecamp Masai Mara serving as the perennial venue for this evolving initiative. Beyond hospitality, Saruni Basecamp extends financial support, enabling the Hardwick Foundation to secure and bring with them the latest dental equipment.  This collaborative effort mirrors Saruni Basecamp’s ethos of positive community impact, exemplified by bringing dental care closer to the underprivileged.

Saruni Basecamp Dental Clinic Dr Kim with her dental assistant Christey

Looking Ahead

As we celebrate the achievements of the dental clinic now in its fourth year, a shared vision for the future emerges. With plans for expansion and the forthcoming establishment of a clinic in Samburu next year, the impact of Saruni Basecamp’s community work continues to ripple outward.

As we look to the horizon, we invite you to be part of this transformative journey. Consider contributing to the Hardwick Foundation’s efforts by donating to their GoFundMe account. Together, we can illuminate more smiles and nurture brighter futures for the communities we serve.

Link to donate: Hardwick Foundation’s GoFundMe