They continue to be committed and try again to succeed
I am Rachael Ameyo Were, Healthy Learning Officer. I have been with VVOB for one year and two months now. Since I joined, I have worked with people at three levels: with staff from the Ministry of Education headquarters, which is the ‘macro’- or policy level, with district officers, which is the ‘meso’-level and with teachers and parents from primary schools, the so-called ‘grassroots’ level. Regular interaction between all these people is really an exciting feature of the Healthy Learning programme, that promotes learning about health, water and sanitation, environment, agriculture and many other issues that affect our lives. We create opportunities for pupils and communities involved in the school to grow up healthily and be a productive member of society. Each group has something to offer and is taken into account at the other levels. This way, we look at what we do from many different perspectives.
It is very motivating when I see, for example, a member of a school committee explaining very animatedly about the school’s achievements, whatever these are: offering more nutritious lunches with vegetables from the school garden, introducing hand washing cans, rearing chickens for additional income, painting a health message on a wall… This stimulates the programme from ‘the-bottom-up’. And it is even more encouraging, that even in times of adversity, like the severe drought of 2009 which made most of the crops in the school gardens fail, pupils, teachers and parents do not give up. They continue to be committed and try again to succeed.
Personally, I have developed a lot in the past year, since I work with so many different - and motivated - people. I am convinced that what we do makes a difference. The programme is challenging me to become more multi-disciplinary and to learn about areas that are rather beyond my area of specialisation in social sciences and international relations.
The beauty of VVOB as an agency is its ‘smallness’. As an individual you can make a noticeable contribution. There is very little red tape, decisions are made quickly. And I like the attention given to the staff’s personal development. I have really benefited already!