Professional Work Experience:
For more information about my work experience, visit my Linked In Profile.
Master of Public Health Projects:
Thesis: An exploratory analysis of factors associated with interest in postpartum intrauterine device (PPIUD) uptake among pregnant women and couples in Kigali, Rwanda
Practicum: Assessing the Supply and Demand of postpartum intrauterine device (PPIUD) and Implant Services in Kigali, Rwanda
Peace Corps Projects:
As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda, I lived in a community in the Southern Province where my primary job assignment was to work at and collaborate with a local health center. During my service I was able to plan, design, and implement projects and activities with different partners.
- WASH Community Based Environmental Health Promotion Program: I implemented the community based hygiene ‘WASH’ program. This program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, introduced a 20 week hygiene education program to one cell in my sector (about one-fourth of my health center catchment area), covering hygiene as it relates to malaria, parasites, food security, HIV/AIDS, and sanitation, among other health topics. The goals of this project are to reduce water borne illnesses, establish productive health/hygiene clubs at the village level, and to increase awareness about hygiene issues in the community. After holding a training at the district and sector level, I held a training in the cell with the nine villages that are implementing this curriculum. Each village in this cell has a 7-person community hygiene/health club that leads and teaches the lessons to community members. The village level hygiene classes took place from July 2015 to January 2016. Following the lessons, the villages installed five hand-washing stations in five target areas in the cell. Before the lessons were implemented the hygiene clubs conducted a baseline survey with 1,003 households that will be repeated at the end of the program.
- Community Finance Initiative: In collaboration with the NGO Global Communities, my library counterpart and I facilitated the Ejo Heza community finance classes with a local Rice Cooperative at the community center. In the first phase of the program from May-September 2015, we taught a group of 23 rice farmers about household budgeting, loans, and savings. The goal of this program was to help the members improve their overall understanding and daily activities in household finance. In the second phase of the program the group continued to learn about finance and saving as a group as they become a formal ISLG (Internal Savings and Loans Group).
- Community Library Literacy Project: I collaborated with community partners, the USAID Literacy, Language, and Learning Initiative Program, and a U.S. based school district to create a fully stocked community library with over 1000 of books in Kinyarwanda, French, and English, library supplies, and furniture.
- Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) and Boys Excelling (BE) Student Club: Many Peace Corps volunteers in Rwanda have GLOW/BE clubs or send students from their schools to attend the yearly camps. I collaborated with the boarding school in my village to send a group of girls and boys to the camp that took place in August, 2015. At these camps, students from the Southern Province learned about a variety of topics such as healthy living, leadership, and communication skills. After the camp, the eight students that attended camp from my village assisted me in starting the GLOW/BE club at their school.
- Health Center Kids Club: This group is a combination of children living with HIV/AIDS, children with long-term illnesses, and other children in the community. Each month I taught a lesson , followed by sports or a movie. Topics included HIV/AIDS, malaria, hygiene, hand washing, and nutrition.
- Let Girls Work Career Club: In collaboration with the Peace Corps Rwanda Gender and Development Committee, my school counterparts and I implemented the Let Girls Work program- a Let Girls Learn initiative- at a school in my community from April 2016 to June 2016. I taught a group of female students five career development lessons, including career paths, interview skills, resume/cv writing, goal-setting, and personal savings. After completing the lessons three students were chosen for a mentorship day in a regional town, where they spent the day visiting an organization that matched their specific career interests. After the mentorship day, one student was chosen to participate in a weekend-long mentorship and workshop program in the capital, which brought together students from all of the participating schools.
Committees: STOMP Out Malaria Committee, HIV Committee, Ndi Umunyamerika (Racial and Ethnic Minority Diversity) Committee:
- STOMP Out Malaria Committee: I served as a Southern regional malaria volunteer (RMV) and media/communications chair. In my role on this committee I work to encourage volunteers to become involved in malaria work, provide them with the resources to do so, and publicize the malaria activities that are taking place in Rwanda via our various social media outlets. I also work to include a malaria component in many of my community projects previously listed. To supplement the three-day malaria training we receive in country, I was able to attend the two-week long Africa-wide STOMP Out Malaria Boot Camp in Senegal, where volunteers and Peace Corps staff members from 15 other countries in Africa were able to learn about all aspects of malaria through a variety of sessions and hands-on activities.
- HIV Committee: I served as a Southern regional representative. The focus of the HIV committee is to work in HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, and to motivate volunteers to do HIV related work in their communities.
- Ndi Umunyamerika (I am American) Committee: Ndi Umunyamerika helps promote a better understanding of American racial and ethnic diversity both in the Peace Corps and Rwandan communities. Many volunteers of color are often confronted by skepticism from host country nationals who don’t understand how they can be American because they are not Caucasian. This committee serves as a forum for volunteers to create methods such as trainings and curriculums to address these situations in an informative and enlightening way.
Regional Events: I also participated in and assisted in the planning and implementation of Southern province regional events, which are described below:
- 2014 BE Camp: In November 2014 I was a facilitator for the Southern regional boys camp, which brought together 60 boys who attend secondary schools from all around the southern province. I taught lessons on the risks associated with HIV, peer pressure/bystander intervention, communication skills, and malaria prevention.
- 2015 Malaria Walkabout: In collaboration with my fellow southern regional malaria volunteers I planned and executed a three- day Malaria walk between three sites, including mine, from April 30-May 2nd, 2015. During this event seven other southern regional volunteers and I taught malaria lessons and implemented a vareity of malaria-related games and activities.
- 2015 GLOW Camp: In August 2015 I was a co-director and facilitator for the Southern region girls camp, which brought together over 60 girls who attend secondary schools from all around the southern province. I assisted in writing the lessons and preparing the materials for the camp, in addition to teaching lessons on nutrition, hygiene, peer pressure/bystander intervention, and how HIV works.
- 2015 BE Camp: In August 2015 I was an organizer for the Southern region boys camp, which brought together over 60 boys who attend secondary schools from all around the southern province. I helped implement the activities, crafts and sports during the camp.
To all the brilliant and driven people who worked with me on these projects and activities- my supervisor, counterparts, coworkers, teachers, students, community health workers, community leaders, Peace Corps staff, fellow volunteers, and my family and friends who supported me along the way- I truly thank you all.