TEAM

HHERF / TEAM

Matt Mamrot

Position: HR Director

Biography

Matt is an experienced leader in Human Resources. Matt is originally from Poland living in London for 17 years. Matt has over 14 years of experience in the UK and globally, with a great number of projects successfully delivered within the UK and overseas.

Matt has worked in various HR roles over the years, specializing in the private sector and recently in the public sector for the NHS. Matt used his experience and hands-on approach to help people to develop and become more successful within the organizations, set up strategies, and bring efficient and effective programs on board to make sure that people within the organizations have the best possible tools and environment to achieve their goals and grow within the organization.

Matt led on a number of teams, and efficiently headed HR functions within many successful organizations across the UK. Matt holds BA in Sociology from the University of Westminster and an MSc in HR and is also CIPD certified.

Matt‘s aim is to create a People department operations where HR functions are seen as a core of the wellbeing and engagement of employees, and our values are shared and integrated into our organization.

Matt Mamrot

HR Director

Kathrin Gnilka

Position: Director Business Transformation

Kathrin is a nature enthusiast and philanthropist, a Sales and Marketing professional, Life Coach, Freelance Journalist, and Sustainability expert with 20 years of experience in corporate environments.

After having spent 20 years in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Kathrin decided to make a radical change in her career and dedicate her life to the betterment of people and the planet. In 2019 she founded 1001 Good Deeds, an impact business focusing on environmental, social, and health education, to raise global awareness and initiate targeted action to tackle the most pressing issues in this world.

Her aim in life is to help businesses and individuals build environments that value people and the planet equally, embrace difference, and give a voice to those that aren’t heard.

Kathrin Gnilka

Director Business Transformation

Wessam Mousa

Position: Director of Strategy

Biography

Wessam Mousa is a senior Marketing strategist with a 23-year outstanding performance record in the areas of regional sales, Strategic Marketing, communications, Corporate Public Affairs, Brand planning and world-class product launch. Qualified with an MBA and CIM Diploma in Marketing from the UK. Experienced in the sales process of Ethical pharmaceutical products, lifesaving medications, OTC, Skincare, and cosmeceuticals.

Wessam has a track record of successfully conducting product analysis and identifying lucrative opportunities for business growth. Expertise in translating a company’s vision and goals into comprehensive long- and short-range plans while ensuring definite sales impact.

Currently, Wessam works as Head of Projects and Business Support in an International software
solutions company.

Wessam Mousa

Director of Strategy

Chiraz Bensemmane

Position: Director Corporate Affairs
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Chiraz is Algerian-French, graduated from EM Strasbourg & Georgetown University in France. She has worked and lived in 10 different countries. She founded Pitch World Fast in May 2015, a business development & project management company. Through this company she has been handling export projects for her clients as well as projects for the Ministry of Health of Algeria in regards to healthcare through round tables.

She is also the founder of Coach Tribe, a platform for online coaching, launched in December 2019. She is a Facilitator of the Hive Women Leadership Program in Algeria since April 2019. She speaks fluently Arabic, French, English, Spanish.

Chiraz Bensemmane

Director Corporate Affairs
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Maria Cecilia Aponte

Position: Director of Communication & Mobilization

Biography

Maria is a physician, specialized in Health Services, Marketing and Management with 18 years of experience. She has had leadership, management, and advisory roles in the pharmaceutical industry, health insurance, and service delivery. Also, she has a background in marketing, international relations, and new business development for markets in Latina America.

Dr. Aponte is a bilingual professional and given her experience, she has a thorough knowledge of the overall health social security, the decision-making dynamics, and demonstrable achievements of successful launching, positioning, and high-cost therapy support in the Andean region and Central America.

Currently, she is leading the international department of The Panama Clinic and the access and positioning of Panama in the international scope with the city´s Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Aponte has a wide scope of international experience in the USA, Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Aruba, Curazao, and St. Maarten.

Maria Cecilia Aponte

Director of Communication & Mobilization

John Hayek

Position: Director of Partnerships and Sponsorships

Biography

John possesses advanced commercial acumen through his multi-decade cross-functional roles in media, education, and financial markets covering partnership management, advertising & sponsorship sales, creative services, marketing, branding, education management and financial markets.

John is culturally shaped as a citizen of the world with an adaptable and transformational mindset. Committed, people’s person, loyal, and conscientious. John’s qualifications include MBA International Business, BSc Media & Communications and Level 5 Diploma in Applied Financial Trading.

John Hayek

Director of Partnerships and Sponsorships

Paul Kingett

Position: Art Director

Biography

Paul has extensive hands-on design and Art Direction experience, ranging from corporate identity and coffee-table books to tabloid newsletters, from glossy newsstand magazines to high-end customer publications, from organizing and directing photographic shoots to bespoke image library creation, from infographics and data visualization, from pitches and presentations to branding and brand development, across both print and digital platforms, from concept through to launch.

Paul Kingett

Art Director

Baligh Mhanna

Position: Director of Audio Visuals

Biography

Innovative and creative professional with 20+ years of experience leading and coordinating television production and post-production processes across international news and entertainment agencies. Experienced working in English and Arabic speaking environments as well as translating complex ideas into compelling digital experiences.

  • Project Management.
  • Video Production & Editing
  • Business Operations & Objectives
  • Budget Management
  • Resource Allocation.
  • Process Improvement
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration.
  • Time Management
  • Team Leadership & Development

Baligh Mhanna

Director of Audio Visuals

Kenta Ebisawa

Position: Managing Director
JAPAN

Mr. Ebisawa is a Japanese expert who has been contributing internationally and domestically in healthcare management over the last 18 years.

He is currently the Administrator of a 180-bed COVID-19 designated facility in Japan. This facility is the first COVID-19 designated facility built in Japan. In 2018, he became the Group Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Department Head in one of Japan’s largest private health care providers.

He was responsible for standardizing processes among the organization through implementing internationally recognized standards and evidence-based practice in his role.
He also serves as the Joint Commission International’s corporate manager in Japan, providing consulting services and advice to JCI accredited hospitals.

He has been into several leadership positions in various domains during his career, including and not limited to Medical Accounting, Human Resources, and Administration. In addition, he used to work as the Secretary of the Board of Directors in one of the biggest private healthcare providers in Japan.

Mr. Ebisawa holds a Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA.

Kenta Ebisawa

Managing Director
JAPAN

Abhilash Joseph

Position: Senior HR Manager

Biography

Abhilash Joseph, aka Abhi is a seasoned HR professional and people strategist. With more than ten years of experience across industries delivering people programs and organisational development strategies, Abhi is a true believer of human potential, a trusted advisor and partner who empowers businesses and top leaders with a unique perspective that people are every organisation’s greatest asset. Prior to moving to the UK, Abhi was a Senior Strategic HR Partner at Oracle Corporation in India. He has recently completed his “MBA in Strategy and International Business” with Distinction from Aston Business School, Birmingham, UK.  Outside his work, Abhi is a cinephile and a traveller who also enjoys watching football and attending music concerts.

Abhilash Joseph

Senior HR Manager

Abisoye Ajose

Position: Knowledge Manager

Biography

Abisoye Ajose is a Public Health and Development Professional with superb skills in data analysis, data visualization, project management, research, monitoring and evaluation.

Abisoye earned a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the Lagos State University, Nigeria and a Masters’s degree in Public Health, Medical Statistics track from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria.

She has provided technical support in project management, monitoring, evaluation for projects funded by International Agencies such as the British Council Nigeria, and Global Affairs Canada including coordinating the project implementation, monitoring and evaluation of 12 community-based organizations located in 3 Senatorial Districts of Lagos, Nigeria.

Abisoye is also an Adolescents Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Advocate who has sensitized 1,000 adolescents about the adverse impact of teenage pregnancy, unsafe methods of contraception and equipped teenagers with life skills on how to manage sexual pressure and cope with peer pressure and Academic challenges.

She has also been involved in research work funded by ActionAid Nigeria and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) where she was instrumental in data collection and reporting thereby identifying barriers militating against gender equality and social Inclusion among vulnerable women, girls and marginalised groups in Lagos and Osun States.

Abisoye is a fellow of Young African Leaders Initiative Network and a Global Health Development Fellow at Young Beninese Leaders Association.

She works and lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

Abisoye Ajose

Knowledge Manager

Geeta Dordi

Position: Project Manager

Biography

Geeta is a senior marketing communications professional, based in Dubai, UAE.
She has 16 years of versatile experience in Advertising Account Management, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Channel Partner Development, Networking & Business Development in both Corporate & Agency environments.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Geology as well as an MBA in Marketing & Sales management and has successfully managed a portfolio of premium clients & luxury brands within FMCG, Travel & tourism, Luxury goods and Retail sector in MENA & SE Asia.

Her robust understanding of diverse markets and having worked in leadership roles for companies allows her to design and lead advertising strategies uniquely structured to reach and impact targeted audiences. Geeta is considered a trusted adviser and strategic partner by clients and enjoys collaborating within her network of C-suite associates building lasting relationships.

In her personal time, she enjoys travelling, jazz music and is a movie buff. Talented and trained in performing arts Geeta has staged several live performances in India & the UAE. In her years in Dubai, she has also actively organized annual charity initiatives.

Geeta Dordi

Project Manager

Jannat Amarnani

Position: Project Manager

Biography

Jannat is a healthcare marketing strategist with over 12 years of experience working with some of the leading hospitals and clinics across the UAE. She holds a graduate degree in preventive medicine from the University of Southern California. Through her experience working with different hospitals and clinics in the region, she has developed and launched integrated public health awareness campaigns focusing on education and prevention of diseases such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Jannat Amarnani

Project Manager

Hyelhirra Adamu

Position: Project Manager – Nigeria

Biography

Hirra is a medical doctor and global health professional with over 9 years of work experience both in clinical practice and the global health development space. She has worked in various locations and across a wide range of organisations on projects in service delivery, health planning, health financing/economics, and health policy contributing her knowledge and skills to address complex health system challenges through exceptional leadership, thought partnership and trusted advisory.

Hirra has a strong interest in health system reforms and strengthening and also a passion for solving complex health systems problems. Her strengths are critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, research, leadership, communication, collaboration, teamwork, analytics and a strong desire to have an impact on the world. She believes that through functional health systems, people live healthier lives and the economy thrives.

Her specialities include health policy & systems research, health systems reforms & strengthening, public policy, health equity & the social determinants of health, globalisation & health.

In her free time, Hirra loves to travel, bask in nature and spend quality time with friends.

Hyelhirra Adamu

Project Manager – Nigeria

Samia Emam

Position: Sponsorship and Fundraising Manager

Biography

I am Egyptian based in UAE. I am a seasoned professional with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organizations industry on development and humanitarian projects. I have 10+ years of experience in areas of sponsorship communications, project management, youth mobilization and technical assistance. Currently, I am a business setup coordinator.

I am a recipient of the Global Change Leaders Program Scholarship at Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University, an international program for social innovators, for my role in advancing women’s career development and entrepreneurship.

I am also a graduate of Alexandria University; Faculty of Arts and I am currently studying for a post-graduate diploma at Cairo University “Conflict and Crisis resolution management”.
I am a feminist who is passionate about women and girls rights, gender equality and social justice.

Samia Emam

Sponsorship and Fundraising Manager

Fatima Izem

Position: Marketing & Communications Manager

Biography

Fatima Izem has been a noteworthy leader in marketing and communications in Europe and the Middle East for over 12 years. With vast experience in B2B and B2C healthcare marketing, Fatima is driven to improve people’s lives through the increased accessibility and exceptional delivery of healthcare. She currently holds a BSc Hon in Business and an MSC in International Business with a major in International Marketing. She loves to travel with her family and meet new people and finds herself constantly inspired by the fierce intellect and curiosity of her 17-month-old daughter.

Fatima Izem

Marketing & Communications Manager

Priya Ayyappan

Position: Content & Communications Manager

Biography

Priya is a double-post graduate coming with years of experience in Marketing and Operations in a multi-national environment. She has previously designed and implemented many localized campaigns, engagement initiatives, and process optimization resulting in exemplary results.

In her role of Content and Communication Manager, she helps optimize and accelerate the speed to market via enhanced client journeys online.

Priya Ayyappan

Content & Communications Manager

Ann Obieje

Position: Communications Manager – Nigeria

Biography

Ann Obieje is a public health specialist with a major in child and adolescent health and over 5 years of experience in working for both international and national non-governmental organizations, supporting development initiatives that address vulnerable groups especially women and children through program management, research and advocacy.

Ann possesses vast experience in health initiatives such as nutrition, HIV/AIDS, immunization, adolescent sexual and reproductive health as well as education.

Ann has served as an independent monitor on immunization plus days exercise for UNICEF Nigeria as well as data collection, management and reporting. As a UNICEF trained Peer Educator, Ann has trained over 500 adolescents and established HIV/AIDS prevention clubs across ten high schools.

In her work, she has also led the design, planning and implementation of infant and young child feeding projects as a community and advocacy officer with the Feed to Grow Initiative in Nigeria.

Ann is a team player with multicultural experience as she currently volunteers with Slum2School Africa as program support and adolescent mentor ensuring that underserved children in slums and remote communities are empowered with quality education, entrepreneurial skills and psychosocial support.

Ann Obieje – The future you don’t picture you can’t feature!!!

Ann Obieje

Communications Manager – Nigeria

Adeyanju Abiodun Emmanuel

Position: Web Developer

Biography

Abiodun is a certified Full Stack Developer (Back-end & Front-End), UX Designer, Digital Marketer, Graphics Designer, and Brand Specialist with Google Certification, Facebook Certification, AWS, Cisco, and some globally known IT and Telecommunications companies such as WME GROUP (Australia), MTN (South Africa), NASPERS (South Africa), FASTCOMET (California).

He is a Master’s holder in Computer Application (RMIT), a bachelor’s degree holder in Computer Science (AAUA), Associate Degree in Digital Marketing (Harvard University), Diploma in Digital Marketing (DMSI), Diploma in Design Management (SIT), and he OMCA (Online Marketing Certified Associate) certified. He was the winner of the 2020 AWWWARD competition for Webmaster.

He is industrious personnel, and he has worked with reputable organizations as a Full Stack Engineer, UX Designer, Graphics Designer, Webmaster, Digital Marketing Specialist, Social Media Marketing Specialist, and Content Creator with 13 years of experience in the industry starting his career journey at an Adolescents age.

He is the founder of ALLUBAREAKA BUSINESS EMPIRE LTD, a group of companies that specialize in Software/Web Development, Marketing & Advertising, News Media, and E-Commerce. He is SME (Subject Matter Expert), and he is endowed with the latest and trending skills in Technology, Marketing, and Design industries.

He is also proficient in Marketing Strategy/Development, Digital Marketing, and Its components (SEO, Google Ads {PPC}, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Affiliate Marketing), Blogging.

Adeyanju Abiodun Emmanuel

Web Developer

Gbemisola Anifowoshe

Position: Social Media Manager

Biography

Gbemisola Anifowoshe is a digital marketing performance specialist based in Dubai, UAE. She has experience working for brands in consulting, financial services, travel, B2B, and B2C industries.  During her time, she manages the online marketing performance of various marketing activities that include social media account management, campaign management (PPC), SEO & SEM, creative copywriting, and digital project management.

Sola is passionate about all the work that she does and has skills organized, communicative, detail-oriented, multi-tasking, and responsible while holding a consistent positive attitude.

Gbemisola Anifowoshe

Social Media Manager

Augustine Lambonmung

Position: Health Researcher

Biography

Augustine Lambonmung, is a nurse clinician, educator and health promoter. Working in an LMIC for about a decade, my training in global health and the covid pandemic has increased my desire for more collaboration and partnerships in evidence-based interventions at community, individual and personal levels in reducing health inequities. No matter the size of our efforts, the time to act is right about now!

Augustine Lambonmung

Health Researcher

Emmanuel Adamolekun

Position: Health Researcher

Biography

Emmanuel Adamolekun graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science from the Prestigious Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Nigeria.

He is passionate about the role of Laboratory Medicine, Molecular Medicine, and Research in Global Health, Infectious Diseases prevention, Global Vaccination, and Health systems strengthening.

Emmanuel is a strong advocate for SDG 3 with a focus on health education and affordable healthcare for all individuals regardless of their age, gender, race, or status.

He is currently the Campus Team Lead at LEADMed Lab Africa where he focuses on identifying potentials in Medical Laboratory Science students who would work assiduously to learn the dynamics of leadership in strengthening the health systems in Nigeria and beyond. As a skilled health writer and Researcher, Emmanuel has co-authored a number of research publications. He has a vast research interest in Bioinformatics, Immunology, Genomics, and infectious diseases, he aspires to pursue a post-graduate study in Immunology of infectious diseases with a focus on vaccines for Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Emmanuel Adamolekun

Health Researcher

Huda Al Ziyarah

Position: Executive Assistant

Biography

Huda is an Iraqi-Jordanian; she holds a BSc. in Accounting from Al Yarmouk University in Jordan and an MBA in HR from NYT.

She lived in Kuwait, Jordan, Abu Dhabi, and Lebanon throughout her life, and is currently located in Jordan.

Huda is a Senior Administrative professional with 25 years of diverse experience in several international companies. All with top management teams. She was the executive assistant and office manager to the Chairman and the Chief Strategy Officer of Orange Jordan for 4 years.

Huda is a very resourceful person with an excellent background in HR and employee management skills. She is a forward-thinking, agile person, always looking to join a highly-skilled, creative-thinking, enthusiastic team.

She wholeheartedly believes that every individual has the right to learn and develop themselves, so they can share their knowledge and expertise towards a more compatible work environment. Accordingly, she obtained her certificate in Communication, Engagement, Customer service, and Leadership from Dale Carnegie and worked as a part-time trainer. In her free time, she loves to swim, watch documentaries listen to music, and travel.

Huda Al Ziyarah

Executive Assistant

NOUREEN JAVAID

Position: IT MANAGER

Biography

Noureen is a Human Resource Officer in Khairun’nisa Eye Hospital. It’s a project of Vision Trust.  She is from Pakistan. Her job is recruiting and it gives her an opportunity to meet new people. Managing and Training is also the best part of her job.

She is also an experienced Web Designer is skilled in all stages of advanced web designing, Proficient in the dynamic Website. SEO Expert, Leading forth expertise in the design, installation, testing, and maintenance of web systems. Equipped with a diverse and promising skill-set. Able to efficiently self-manage during independent projects, as well as collaborate in a team setting.

KEY QUALIFICATION:
● Over eight years of experience as a web designer and blogger.
● Experienced in all the stages of web designing and information gathering, planning, design, development, and testing.
● Worked as a productive and positive team member to design, code, test, report, and debug operations.
● Evaluated and became knowledgeable in new standards, technologies, and trends in website designing and SEO.
● Good knowledge of SEO including White hat SEO, On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, Technical SEO, Creating Backlinks, etc.
● Helped to achieve a consistent look and visual theme across the website by promoting uniform fonts, formatting, images, and layout.
● Successfully identified, diagnosed, and fixed website frontend problems, and formatting issues.
● Can resolve web issues via Zoom or Skype.
● Proficient in Social Media Business page management. Including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn.
● Advance knowledge of YouTube channel SEO and monetization.
● Proficiency in Google search console tools and Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and other Google tools to analyze website page speed and errors.

QUALIFICATION:

She is doing an MBA in HR to grow further in her career. As a web designer, she is performing her role in HHERF. Designing a website is not only a job for her but also her passion.

NOUREEN JAVAID

IT MANAGER

Vicky Lowe

Position: Graphic Designer

Biography

 

Vicky Lowe – Bio

Vicky Lowe has over 20 years’ experience working as a creative designer in a variety of agency, in-house, B2B and B2C roles. She is currently working as a graphic designer for a non-profit organisation in the education sector. She finds it hugely rewarding to work on projects that help make a real difference to the futures of so many learners – especially important during the recent period of disruption and evolution caused by the Covid pandemic.

She is extremely excited to be able to contribute to the work of the HHERF and support the objective to create a future defined by health equality, through education, collaboration, communication and research. She hopes that her creative experience will help to bring the strategic purpose and campaigns of the HHREF to life in a meaningful, engaging and impactful way.

Vicky Lowe

Graphic Designer

Plínio G. Gomes

Position: Graphic Designer

Biography

My name is Plínio Gomes and I am the Co-Founder and Creative Director for Push Brand Design in Lisbon Portugal. With twenty years of experience working in design and advertising agencies. I graduated from the Universidade Lusíada with a Master’s Degree in Architecture. While in school, I study design. I’m married and have two young children. In my free time, I like to play Golf, video games, and paint.

Plínio G. Gomes

Graphic Designer

Mohammed M. Al-Masri

Position: Graphic Designer

Biography

I am a Graphic Designer based in Gaza, Palestine. I would describe myself as a multidisciplinary creative. I studied graphic and video editing at university and my first job after school were as a graphic designer for charities and startups in Gaza. My first international design was a magazine cover for Velvet Magazine, an Italian version. It ended up getting accepted to several companies in UAE, which was exciting. My work has progressed a lot since then, but it’s still interesting to look back on. With several years in the professional industry, I have worked on many freelance projects, as well as contracted placements with various establishments.

Mohammed M. Al-Masri

Graphic Designer

Arohi Bangera

Position: Data Visualizations Manager

Biography

 

Arohi Bangera is a data and information designer based out of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Her journey in design is self-taught and initially started in graphic design, before she moved into combining the art of data with design to tell meaningful stories. She recently completed her Masters in Digital Media Design at Harvard University and is currently working in Strategy and Innovation at TikTok. She is passionate about building awareness about data visualizations as a medium of storytelling in Dubai, UAE and the Middle East, where it is still a novel field. She is also the co-founder of Project EQ, an organization founded to build better world citizens by holistically developing the personalities of middle school students.

You can find her work on Behance @Arohi Bangera or on Instagram @arohimadethat. 

Arohi Bangera

Data Visualizations Manager

EMMANUEL KELVIN GAISIE

Position: Project Coordinator

Biography

Kelvin is a member of the Human Health Education and Research Foundation (HHERF). He is a healthcare professional with expertise in the field of Biomedical Science as well as security intelligence.

Kelvin is an Ex-Police Personnel who served with the Ghana Police Service. He was an outstanding member of the Ghana Police Hospital Laboratory Department, the Public Health Operational Team before and during the Pandemic, and a current member of the International Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals.

He has been involved in many operational duties in the field of Health, Security and Diplomacy for almost two decades. He served as a coordinator on the national planning committee for the Africa Security and Safety Awards (ASAS) project; and in his era as an administrator with the Royal Philharmonic Choir-Ghana, Kelvin collaboratively organized the program dubbed  ”Honouring our Heroes”.

In the Canadian enclave, he plays a significant role in individuals with cognitive and behavioral challenges in the field of mental health. Prior to this position, he was the coordinator for the Center for Strategic and Defence Studies-Africa (CSDS) Africa.

EMMANUEL KELVIN GAISIE

Project Coordinator

Rita Ghrayeb

Position: Young Global Leader

Biography

My name is Rita Ghrayeb. I am a distinction high school student at Horizon Private School Branch, Abu Dhabi with a total GPA of 3.94 out of 4. I am 16 and very passionate about sports and helping others as well as the environment. My participation in activities and programs ranges from being an executive assistant in an Eco-Club at school and participating in an ADNOC competition for designing new and improved service stations to participating in interviews conducted by the Inspired Youth Summit and taking part in football, running, athletics, swimming, and volleyball competitions in several schools along as in NYUAD. I am a very ambitious and determined person. I intend to study medicine (surgery in specific) at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Rita Ghrayeb

Young Global Leader

Jeanne Namanda Wanyama

Position: Young Leader - South Africa

Biography

My name is Jeanne Wanyama I was born on the 4th of April 2005 in Nairobi Kenya, I live with my mother in South Africa Gauteng, and I am a student at Parktown High school for Girls in grade 11. During the four years I’ve been schooling at Parktown High school for Girls I have been able to participate in various after school activities such as Contemporary dance, Marimbas and Soft Ball, but one that has really stuck has been Community Service which I have been part of since grade 8 and fortunate to Vice-Captain in 2020 and Captain in 2021.

Community Service on media like movies for example is often depicted as insubstantial punishment for petty crimes, thus creating a stigma that has influenced many to avoid it. A friend of mine asked why I was punishing myself when I told him that I was involved in the Community Service extramural at school, I explained to him that Community Service allowed me to build a home away from home with like-minded people who have now become family and through those secured relationships we are able to work interconnectivity to make a difference.

One of the biggest projects I’ve been a part of is the Feeding Programme held by St Francis Of Assisi Anglican Church in Parkview, Johannesburg, that has run since May 2019, which started out small where we fed appropriately 40 people on a Saturday and Sunday, then grew to our highest recorded turn out of 306 people, as much of a huge milestone this was, it only highlights the extent of poverty and need, among other things we are continuously facing in South Africa. Alongside the volunteers of the Feeding Programme we were all able to be part of something important, we were given the chance to interact, understand and sympathise with the people we were helping on a personal level, and what I love most about the work I have done is realising and acknowledging the differences and similarities of the people I worked with and the people we helped. I was able to experience different characters and learn that no matter where one is in life we’re all the same. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed taking part in Community Service school events such as helping out at Christmas Markets, competitions such as the school’s Fun Runs, assisting the school’s Parents Association with their events, assisting with food packaging schemes like the Nelson Mandela 67 minute Rise Against Hunger packaging programmes and making visits to old age homes and orphanages. Community Service is fundamentally about voluntary benevolence, humility, perseverance and understanding, it is both fulfilling and eye-opening where I have found friendships in people and places I never would’ve guessed possible, I have been exposed to so many beautiful experiences and I look forward to an abundance of possibilities to work towards doing more good.

After matric, I plan on going into the medical field to study and become an Orthopaedic surgeon – Orthopaedic surgeons are Medical professionals that diagnose and treat various conditions related to the musculoskeletal system.

After participating in sports like Gymnastics and Netball during my junior phase of school and netball throughout primary school I received my fair share of injuries from a fracture in my ankle, sprained wrists and two broken fingers, I always marvelled at the process of diagnosing correcting, preventing, and treating of skeletal deformities, solely because of my persistent appointments, where I was met with Orthopaedic specialists who were conversant, patient and reassuring that my injures were just minor setbacks that could be overcome. Their confidence and ability to work without failure and remain positive inspired me to challenge myself and strive towards entering a very male-dominated speciality. After a lot of research, my goal is to push myself in ways that will assist in emphasising that I and the many other women that’ll choose to go into the speciality are more than capable of success.

In grade 9 one of the compulsory assignments we are tasked with is a group or individual Expo project for Natural Science where we have to tackle environmental issues. Due to the implemented Lock-down and regulations in 2020, my grade 9 year, the project was made optional. I had already started my planning and was eager to participate in my project regarding ways to effectively clean up oil spills, I decided to continue and finish what I started. After it is marked and received a high score, my research paper became one of the many projects that were sent to the annual prestigious Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair, I was very fortunate to receive a “Highly Commended” certificate at the end of the fair as well as an Academic Enrichment Scroll from the project. I’m excited to get started with this year’s project where I’ve chosen to research and carry out experiments for a BIOMEDICAL AND MEDICAL SCIENCES Expo Project.

I am so excited to be part of the Human Health Education and Research Foundation during the course of 2022 which will hopefully help me further develop my knowledge and skills.

Jeanne Namanda Wanyama

Young Leader - South Africa