Blog post written by Martin Mugendi, Public Health Intern
My name is Martin Mugendi. I am an intern at Village HopeCore International. I am currently studying a diploma of Community Development and Social Work at Chuka University. Previously, I was attending high school at Kianjagi High School, where I had my first encounter with Village HopeCore. At the time, I was suffering from ringworm and the HopeCore nurses gave me some tablets that helped heal me. From that experience, I vowed to join HopeCore one day if I ever got a chance.
Fast forward to 2018 and after a period of waiting, I was informed that I could join HopeCore for a 3-month internship. I was overjoyed and hoped that during the three months I would be able to gain invaluable job experience. I also wanted to develop professionalism as I prepared to join the working world.
Two months later, I have learned more than I had anticipated. I have learned how to file documents and conduct surveys. Working with the ever-busy Public Health team was challenging at first but now it comes easily to me. HopeCore, being an epitome of integrity, has taught me how to conduct myself in the office, as well as, core lessons in work ethics. In the field, we measure the growth of children. The measurements range from the head circumference to height and weight. This helps us intervene early in case a child is stunted or is underweight. We also conduct outreaches where we give free tests for a couple of diseases including blood pressure. With the recent rise in sedentary diseases, it has been really great seeing Hopecore at the forefront of preventing this disease that has been described by some scientists as a “silent killer”. I really like field work because I have been able to really apply what I had learned in class.
My favorite moments at HopeCore come when I am offering health education. As a way of cultivating health habits from a young age, HopeCore offers health education to school going, children. The topics include, but are not limited to, adolescence, development, and sexuality. This is a topic that is shunned by many Kenyan parents. HopeCore provides a way in which we can provide useful information and cover this gap created by cultural challenges.
An aspect of HopeCore I was not previously aware of is the Micro Enterprise program. This department offers loan to groups of 12 people. They also conduct business training and help you invest the money wisely. I found this very noble. I have been able to meet people whose lives have been transformed by these loans.
The staff at HopeCore have been really welcoming. I feel like I am now part of the HopeCore family. I have grown to appreciate the increased confidence they have shown in me. Allowing me to take on more duties and help when a member of the staff is absent. I have been able to apply a lot of the skills I learned in class. I have been able to gain more wisdom from Dr. Kajira Mugambi`s advice during the monad morning briefings.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped me grow my skills set. I have been able to make more friends and start connections that will last a lifetime. Surely, my time at HopeCore will never be forgotten.