Melavin Muthamaki, our intern, reflects on his experiences here at HopeCore
Hello there! My name is Melavin Muthamaki. I’m a third year student at Kenyatta University, and I’m undertaking a BSc in Population Health. I have been greatly honored to be part of Village HopeCore International, where I spent three months doing my internship. I first heard of the organization from my friends who frequented the HopeCore Youth Centre. After accompanying them to the Centre, I became a regular and fell in love with the organization. It was because of this that when the time to start my internship came, I had only one organization in mind: Village HopeCore International.
My first day at the organization was a day of discovery. My idea of HopeCore was quickly transformed from just a Youth Centre to a far-flung organization with several departments. Some of these include:
1.The Public Health Department, which deals in projects such as the mobile clinics in schools, malaria prevention and mosquito nets distribution, distribution of clean water tanks and hand washing station tanks, and youth-peer providers, who distribute contraceptives and offer counseling.
2. The Micro-enterprise Department, which addresses poverty eradication through provision of loans and financial education.
3. The Administrative Team
I was deeply humbled by the warm welcome I received. I immediately felt that I was a part of the HopeCore family. Dr. Kajira Mugambi, the organization’s founder, usually says, “ A stranger is a friend you have not yet met’’. I have felt those words come to life during my stay at Hopecore.
I spent the first month (May) getting oriented to different HopeCore activities. I particularly enjoyed riding with Dave on the motorbike to check the status of the WASH tanks. This is done to ensure the tanks are well maintained and used for the purpose intended. We also checked that soap was always placed at the hand washing stations. In the event that the school ran out of WaterGuard, we supplied them with more. When I was not touring with Dave, I attended classes taught by Lenah and the other Community Health Workers to learn how to present lessons to pupils and parents, respectively. I also took part in the net distribution exercises whereby you give mosquito nets to ECD (Early Childhood Development) children. Their parents receive the nets after they are adequately equipped with knowledge on the purpose of the nets and how to use them.
In the months of June and July, I participated in health education whereby I taught pupils from different schools on matters pertaining to Malaria and Cholera causes and prevention. I did this with help from Armstrong who has been so helpful to me throughout the process. I also did growth monitoring which I enjoyed so much. I particularly enjoyed listening to Victoria as she taught parents about family planning.
Generally, I gained the knowledge, skills, and courage to do what I previously thought I couldn’t. The many visits to various schools where I taught those angelic kids will never be forgotten. I had no idea that I could learn from kids. Some always had me laughing with their jokes and others challenged me with various questions. I also enjoyed the MCH (Mother and Child Health) clinics. I also improved my social skills a lot. I learned how to communicate with different people, how to fit in the society, and how to cope with various attitudes from different people.
I had many challenges as well. For example, one time the Public Health team’s Land Cruiser became stuck in a puddle of mud and I had to assist in pulling it out. As the driver struggled to do the same, water from the puddle splashed on me. You can imagine how I looked, so dirty and disorderly on my way home that day.
Now that I’m almost done with my internship, I am going to miss the Village HopeCore family a lot. I will also miss seeing the happy faces of children or parents after helping them out. I really never want to leave, but I have my studies to complete and therefore I must go. I’ll surely miss the Public Health team, especially the stories and laughter shared each and every single day. I hope to see them all again someday!!