Women in Medicine ~ A success story of a young female doctor in Kenya

 In Health & Wellbeing, Healthcare Workforce of the Future, Innovation & Hope, Refugees and Migrants, Women's Health

Kenya Communit Health

Meet Dr. Esther, HopeCore’s first Physician!

This is a success story that MedTreks & HopeCore couldn’t wait to share.

This past August, HopeCore hired their first medical doctor to join the public health team in Chogoria, Kenya.

We were thrilled and honored to hire Dr. Esther, a young, vibrant female physician who was obviously the strongest candidate with her passion, confidence, and determination to give back to the community she grew up in.

While we were interviewing Dr. Esther, it became clear that she grew up in the community of Chogoria and we were all touched that after working and living in Northern Kenya, Dr. Esther wanted to return to work with HopeCore, helping them to strengthen the healthcare system. What we didn’t realize initially is that:

Dr. Esther is the daughter of one of the original 12 women who received a loan from HopeCore back in 2001.

Dr. Phil Rasori, HopeCore’s Medical Director shares that he remembers distinctly, the day when they gave the first set of loans to the Rwancege group of women, one of these women was Dr. Esther’s mother. Dr. Phil Rasori states that this is an example of a full HopeCore success cycle, where one village woman received help from HopeCore and now her daughter is returning to help HopeCore provide healthcare to the communities that we serve. 20 years later our program is reaping the benefits of the seeds that we have sown.

Dr. Esther shares her story growing up in Chogoria and becoming a doctor in Kenya:

“Growing up in Kieganguru as a little girl I remember seeing my mother go for group meetings in the afternoons and sometimes in the evenings. When she would come back home, she would talk to my father about her day. I remember her talking about the Rwancege women group and with time it became a common name in our household. She would talk about how the group was enabling her to work with my father to finance their small projects like bringing piped water to our farm, improving the coffee farm and zero-grazing, as well as helping them stock and manage our agro vet.

I remember meeting Dr. Mugambi (President of Village HopeCore International), his sister Mary (Chairlady of the Rwancege Women Group) and their friends from the United States who became frequent visitors and from that friendships and relationships flourished. With time their group with the help of well-wishers continued growing into an organization, which is now widely known as Village HopeCore International.

The first school I attended was Chogoria Complex (Nursery to class three) a school right in the middle of Chogoria Mission Hospital. If my memory serves me right, during that time (it’s amazing I get to say this now, reminds me that I am getting old) we would occasionally see doctors passing by our school on their way to their residence and I would admire their charisma and elegance. I would look forward to giving way to them as most times we would probably be playing as they pass by, and always thought to myself, I want to be a doctor like them when I grow up.

I have loved and enjoyed helping others from an early age. This is one of the reasons I decided to pursue a medical career. So as you can imagine, meeting Dr. Mugambi and his friends was inspiring. As young as I was, I understood that he had come back from the United States and was helping the community.

As I grew up, I was privileged to see my mother benefit from a group of dedicated women who were determined to better their lives and the lives of their families with the help of an organization they loved and were proud of. I had never imagined that one day I will be working for/with the same organization that my mother was talking about all these years. At a time when I felt the need to do more community work, I happened to see an advertisement on a part-time physician’s need at Village HopeCore International.

As they say charity begins at home, I applied for the position hoping to get a chance to do what I love, at the same time give back to a community I call home. Fortunately, I was given the chance to do exactly that and I couldn’t be more grateful and excited to work with Dr. Rasori and the team.

Looking back on how Village HOpeCore International empowered my mother enabling her to model me into who I am, now being a part of the same organization and see it continue empowering and helping others is remarkable.

Indeed as the Chinese proverb goes, “All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today”.

Welcome to Dr. Esther! We are proud to have her as part of our team!

 

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