Since 2009, a Global Health Fellow has been working at Village Hopecore in Chogoria for six months to a year offering techincal expertise and management skills to the health program. While contributing to the organization and the village, the fellows gains invaluable experience working with the community to promote health.
Stacy Gray was the fellow for the end of 2012. She graduated from University of Utah with a Masters in Public Health and concentration in global health. She brings with her experience working in Ghana on a nutrition census, providing one-on-one support to Burmese refugees, and expertise as a prevention counselor and educator for HIV/AIDS. Her enthusiasm has earned her the local name “Kagwiria” meaning someone who makes people happy. Her knowledge, experience, and passion are strenghtening and expanding the school mobile clinics and community outreach programs significantly.
Mitsuaki Hirai was the fellow from 2011-2012. After graduating from a high school in Japan, he spent six years in the United States. He attended Soka University of America for his undergraduate study and received masters in public health at UCLA. During his time at Hopecore, he strengthened the health education provided at mobile clinics, established a water sanitation program at partner schools, and secured a relationship and funding from Planned Parenthood Federation of America for a youth sexual and reproductive health program. His contributions to the Chogoria community are immeasurable and the health program owes a debt of gratitude to his hard work and dedication. He is currently working towards a Doctorate in public health from George Washington University.
Liz Applegate was the Global Health Fellow from 2010-2011. She greatly enjoyed her fourteen months living in Chogoria and gained invaluable experience in health and development. Liz is from Sacramento, California, graduated from Emory University in 2007 with degrees in psychology and women’s studies, and received a Masters in Public Health from UCLA in 2009. She is passionate about social justice, racial and gender equality, and sustainable agriculture. Working with Village Hopecore and living in rural Kenya was a dream come true for Liz and she now serves on the Board of Directors as the Assistant Medical Director. She is currently working at New York University as a Research Associate at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research. Her favorite memory of working at Hopecore was teaching health education and being mobbed by (what felt like hundreds) of adorable school children.
Cristin Weekley was the inaugural Health Program Coordinator. She received her undergraduate degrees in Human Biology and Anthropological Sciences from Stanford University, and moved to Chogoria after graduation in 2009. Living and working in Kenya and helping implement the medical program for VHI was an invaluable learning experience for Cristin, and she loved her time working there. She is currently a research assistant at UCSF in San Francisco, and is applying for masters programs in public health, where she plans to study the effects of environmental change on the spread of infectious disease. She enjoys seeing the enormous progress that has been made at VHI, and hopes to one day return and visit the Hopecore family!