Cynthia, 19, who is studying nursing at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia, has been volunteering at a local health center over the break between semesters as a way to give back to her community.
Cynthia joined KCE I as a fourth grader in 2010. She is now a member of our Network for Excellence program and in her first year of study at UTS.
Cynthia has learned a great deal from her experience as a volunteer nurse at a health facility in Transmara West. She says her most memorable moment was her very first day, when she arrived for work and found several casualties of an accident waiting for emergency treatment. Earlier that morning, a truck carrying sugarcane cutters had lost control and overturned resulting in several injuries.
“I arrived at the facility and found several injured men waiting for attention. Some had head wounds and broken ribs,” Cynthia recalls. In an understaffed facility, the incident was overwhelming. “Because the health workers are few, my presence and efforts were recognizable.”
Cynthia says she has been supported well by the other health workers at the clinic, who have taught her about record-keeping, administration of family planning, patient counseling, storage of vaccines, and how to conduct minor procedures. She has also had the opportunity to work in the laboratory and the antenatal care clinic.
Since early 2020, Kenya has seen a drastic rise in unintended teen pregnancy as a result of the pandemic and school closures, and during her time at the health center, Cynthia came face to face with the ugly reality. She explains, “The teenagers often have challenges during delivery. One lost a child after a three-hour struggle to deliver. Others have underweight infants. Some teenage mothers seem unaware of what is happening to them.”
“From the experience I have acquired so far, I can say that I have a clear picture of what I want to do in the future. When I graduate, I want to volunteer in such a facility as a way of giving back to my society,” Cynthia says. We’re so proud of Cynthia and the rest of our KCE graduates and look forward to seeing how they give back to their communities as they finish school and enter adulthood.