“To me the sky is not the limit and I see a bright future ahead of me. I want to be the agent of those changes that I want to see in my community.”
Meet Rose Omollo, a 2016 Watipa scholar, studying Community Health and Development at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, in Kenya.
I am studying Bachelors in Community Health and Development and am currently in my fourth year of studies. My motivation for the choosing the career path that I am pursuing was the fact that I became the care giver to mum when she was terminally ill. When I was in grade eight, I would feed her and made sure she took her medication in time.
Though I wanted to study nursing I didn’t get the chance at the Kenya Medical Training College and opted for Community Health and Development. Immediately after finishing my fourth form I became a volunteer at PATH Kenya as a Community Health Worker. I was engaged in a number of activities like walking from household to household to teach the importance of proper nutrition, as well as things like how to manage fever and referral of cases to the health facility. Working with the community and understanding various aspects of the community gave me the motivation to pursue it as a course.
My ambition is to change the perception of my community on mental illness and mental health. Mental health is an area where there is no investment at all.
I also would like to help people to have ideas and build their capacities to have an income. For example recently a friend taught me how to make doormats, and I think this could be a great idea with the women in my community. I would like to share with them these skills so that they can make doormats to earn a living for themselves. By doing so I hope they will become empowered economically. I want the women in my community to be independent women with the ability to make informed choices in life – especially the young mothers.
I look unto the women who have made it up the ladder and they inspire me more everyday whenever I read their stories. Someone like Dr. Lucy has set the standards so high for us and encouraged us that we cannot afford to aim low.
To me the sky is not the limit and I see a bright future ahead of me. I want to be the agent of those changes that I want to see in my community.
Rose Omollo, Watipa scholar and young woman aged 24, Kenya