In 2008, I came to the United States as a refugee. Past circumstances did not deter my determination to pursue higher education. It was not easy to navigate the educational system due language barrier, at the time. However, I worked assiduously year after year to improve academically and to fully integrate into the system. I graduated in 2014 from Colby College. Passionate about pursuing affordable and accessible health solutions for impoverished communities around the world, my volunteering experience asserted my fortitude. This trip changed my life because it solidified my keen interest in pursuing an advanced degree in global health policy and management.
In the summer of 2016, I volunteered, along with 3 other students and the Moores, in Minembwe. We worked with Eben-Ezer University of Minembwe in an intensive summer camp language program to teach English to primary and secondary school students from diverse ethnic backgrounds. This program was coordinated by Lisa Moore and Dr. Lazare Sebitereko, two amazing individuals whose passion is to serve and to transform in a positive light the life of people in Minembwe.
While there, I witnessed women and girls fetching drinking water in streams, while just a few feet upstream, others were washing clothes. I noticed that there was little concern for disposed human waste and I immediately recognized the lack of communal awareness pertaining to the connection between the ecosystem and human health. As a result, I devised and executed the summer program’s first ecology course on protecting water resources, which was directly connected to a greater public health nuisance to the community.
My current plan is to pursue a graduate degree in Global Health. After this program I hope to gain employment in international development to serve and advocate for equitable access to health and social services. I intend to keep volunteering in Minembwe whenever possible. I loved the positivity of people regardless of their hardship.
Kimara F Nzamubona