Dr. Ivan Hucal and his dental assistant Melanie Bott will head to Ethiopia next month to help fix the teeth of African youth. Contributed photo

Red Deer dental duo returning to Ethiopia to help kids

Dr. Ivan Hucal and Melanie Bott hope to create ‘ripple effect’ of kindness on expedition

A Red Deer orthodontist and his dental assistant will fly to Ethiopia next month to work on hundreds of children’s teeth.

Dr. Ivan Hucal and Melanie Bott, of Hucal and Edwards Orthodontics, are set to return to the African country for their second two-week stint with Canadian Humanitarian, a Medicine Hat-based non-profit agency that brings health and dental services to developing countries.

The two travelled to Ethiopia for their first stint in 2018.

“It was such a successful journey that we pledged to go back again,” Hucal said Tuesday.

“You saw a direct correlation between what you do and the outcome – it was so immediate and impactful, but also long lasting.

“Although it’s been two years, we’ve seen another dental team go in the year between ours and they noticed the successes created by our initial expedition.”

Before the first trip to Ethiopia, Bott said she had a 17-year dream to go on an aid mission.

“Two weeks of our lives will affect the kids in these programs for the rest of their lives,” said Bott.

“Just meeting these kids, talking to them and hearing their stories was pretty empowering.

”Knowing the big impact and ripple effect it has on these kids, their families, and even the community that they’re in, kind of drew us to want to go back and do it again.”

Olds dentist Dr. Jared Ord, his hygienist wife Lindsey Ord, central Alberta dental assistants Becky Bitz and Pam Pinard, and hygienist Kayzia West will join Hucal and Bott on the trip.

Hucal said he sponsored an Ethiopian child a few years ago and got the chance to meet her in 2018.

“I’m looking forward to seeing her again. She’s part of my family. It’s exciting to see how she’s been doing these past two years and how she’s been able to improve her education and general standard of life,” he said.

Bott said she is less nervous about the trip this year.

“I’m … definitely looking forward to going and seeing kids we saw last time,” she said.

“We definitely made some connections with kids last time, so I think it’ll be a surreal experience to see them again and even the program workers there. It’ll be exciting to see and learn the changes that have been made in the past two years.”

This year, the duo launched a campaign to purchase 50 goats to support families. That goal has been surpassed.

“The idea now is to actually start a program for long-term sustainability,” said Bott.

“We’ve see first-hand how something very little, in Canadian terms, can have a big impact in Ethiopia.”

To learn more about the campaign, search Goats for Kids on www.canadahelps.org.

Other members of this expedition have campaigns as well. Bitz is raising money for chickens and the Ords are raising money to purchase clothing for children.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce announces business of the year winners

All finalists ‘displayed courage’ this year, says chamber CEO

More than 400 COVID-19 cases reported in Alberta Wednesday, according to multiple reports. (File photo)
Over 400 additional COVID-19 cases Wednesday

3,372 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta

A 47-megawatt solar power project has been proposed for a site southwest of the Nova Chemicals petrochemical complex.
Map contributed
$52-million solar power project proposed for Joffre

Project to be built southwest of Nova Chemicals plant could be producing power by the end of 2021

AnnaMarie Lea, artistic director of Lacombe’s Cow Patti Theatre, thinks a lot of people would love to focus on something other than the pandemic, with a few hours of entertainment. (Contributed photo).
Some Red Deer-area shows will go on — with new pandemic precautions

Some theatrical productions are happening under new rules

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer will be at the legislature Thursday to urge members of the UCP caucus to drop the plan to consolidate EMS dispatch by Jan. 4. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Red Deer mayor takes EMS consolidation fight to Edmonton

Mayors of Red Deer, Lethbridge, Calgary and Wood Buffalo to address UCP caucus on Thursday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

Tampa Bay Rays' Brandon Lowe rounds the bases after a home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin during the first inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Lowe homers twice, Rays hold off Dodgers 6-4 to even Series

Lowe homers twice, Rays hold off Dodgers 6-4 to even Series

Mighty Heart is held outside trainer Josie Carroll's stable by exercise rider Des McMahon, as the colt is washed down after being breezed at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto on October 15, 2020. Mighty Heart will make his Triple Crown quest from the the No. 8 post Saturday. The Queen's Plate and Prince of Wales champion was named the even-money favourite in the draw Wednesday for the $400,000 Breeders' Stakes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Mighty Heart to take run at ending Triple Crown drought in $400,000 Breeders Stakes

Mighty Heart to take run at ending Triple Crown drought in $400,000 Breeders Stakes

Toronto Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro watches during baseball spring training in Dunedin, Fla., on Friday, February 24, 2017/ Short on specifics and long on bullishness, Shapiro set an optimistic tone during his first general media availability since the team was eliminated from the post-season a few weeks ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro short on specifics, long on bullishness

Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro short on specifics, long on bullishness

Liverpool's Fabinho, saves from the goal line after a header from Ajax's captain Dusan Tadic from scoring during the group D Champions League soccer match between Ajax and Liverpool at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Real Madrid beaten again, Bayern surges in Champions League

Real Madrid beaten again, Bayern surges in Champions League

Toronto Wolfpack captain Josh McCrone raises the Betfred Championship Trophy alongside teammates after defeating the Featherstone Rovers in the Million Pound Game in Betfred Championship rugby league action in Toronto on October 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
Financially troubled Toronto Wolfpack could learn fate soon as early as next week

Financially troubled Toronto Wolfpack could learn fate soon as early as next week

Kansas City Chiefs' Demarcus Robinson (11) holds off Buffalo Bills' Tre'Davious White (27) as Bills' Justin Zimmer (61) also pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Bills defence looks to rebound after consecutive losses

Bills defence looks to rebound after consecutive losses

CPL champion Forge FC ready for CONCACAF League opener in El Salvador

CPL champion Forge FC ready for CONCACAF League opener in El Salvador

Most Read