Get To Know is an introductory series on our blog where you can familiarise yourself with our staff and their work at More Than Me!
I come from a long line of educators. My grandfather was a high school principal. My father was a sociologist and a demographer who worked extensively in different parts of Africa. He was a leader in starting the Social Work department at Addis Ababa University and was a co-founder of a family planning and reproductive health non-profit organization in Ethiopia. My mother was a public health consultant who worked with UNICEF and USAID over a long career in health capacity building. Needless to say, the expectations for me were high! Watching my parents work tirelessly with passion and love for their work gave me the inspiration to work exclusively in underserved areas.
Naturally, I gravitated towards health. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Biology, I worked primarily in laboratory capacity building under PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief) that allowed me to work on health projects in Africa and the Caribbean. This opportunity opened my eyes to the level of unnecessary human misery that a lack of education can cause. I knew I needed to be a part of the solution. So, I pursued a Medical Degree to get a better understanding of health and the issues surrounding effective delivery of health especially in areas that are economically disadvantaged.
Delivering health in countries such as Liberia requires an investment in the person as well as innovative solutions to age old problems that have plagued disadvantaged communities. It requires human capacity building at levels that go beyond the commitment usually given for single project implementation. A wholesome approach is needed to develop and empower the person and communities to believe that they can achieve higher standards of living. This is the human touch. MTM embraces this idea and incorporates it as its core principles, by providing Safety, Health and Education in all its schools.
I joined MTM as the Director of Health and Safety in December 2016. MTM is currently engaged in rolling out Health Stations at every MTM PSL school and I am blessed to be at the forefront of making that happen. The challenges are enormous. MTM faces these challenges head on and has the organizational belief that they can be overcome with hard work, dedication and a solid education. Furthermore, MTM shares the same love and passion that my parents embodied. It was a natural fit for me.
Educating a person takes time and patience. And it has to be done with love for it to be effective. I believe my calling is to provide health education and treatment to ensure people who need it the most live a long and productive life. This is my challenge. And I embrace it.