“I first visited Kenya as part of my undergraduate course in BA (Hons) Youth and Community Studies Work, and instantly fell in love with the country and the people. I returned several times since then, including whilst studying the MSc Global Governance course, and I am now truly blessed, even on the tough days, to call Kenya and Hekima Place my home!
I was head hunted for the role at Hekima Place by an American-based global recruitment agency, who found me on LinkedIn. Because of the incredible opportunities I had been given at USW my LinkedIn page was bursting with things that made them think I would be suitable for the job. After several months of intense Skype and in-person interviews with both the US Board of Directors and the Kenyan Board of Trustees, I was offered the position of Executive Director of Hekima Place. I had been up against three other highly qualified applicants from various corners of the globe - I still think it's crazy how they chose a (not so young) girl from Newport to take on this incredible opportunity.
In total I now have 89 ‘daughters’ ranging from 7 months to 27 years. At Hekima Place we provide a loving home and education support for orphaned and vulnerable girls in Kenya from pre-school to university graduates. We aim to help these girls to fulfil their dreams in a way that will not only benefit them but will improve Kenya. My job role as Executive Director includes me managing a staff of 27, and ensuring that the best interests and future prospects of all my 'daughters' are upheld at all times. This includes daily activities from policy writing, to reading bedtime stories, risk management to cooking supper, financial overview and budgeting to doing homework and fundraising and opportunity finding to singing songs and playing games. In addition, I also manage and oversee our 7 acres of Farm land in which we grow various vegetables to feed ourselves, give to those in need across the local community and sell at the market, as well as having over 200 chickens and 11 cows to provide us with eggs, meat and milk! Who knew I would become an agricultural and poultry expert (I'm still working on the cows!). My job is like no other I have experienced and I am so grateful to both the Youth and Community Work, and Global Governance teaching staff at USW for providing me with the knowledge, experience, confidence and strength to overcome every challenge that is placed in front of me as the head of this incredible organisation and family!
I feel like I grew as a person and learnt so much on the Global Governance course. My course mates were from a range of backgrounds – some had previously done Business and Law degrees, whereas my background was completely different coming from a youth work perspective. Because of this, a key part of the course is peer learning with classes including a lot of discussion and debate. You really challenge each other and each other’s ideas. The course gives you an incredible insight into global politics. We went on several fieldtrips, including to NATO in Brussels and the US Embassy in London.
I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities the course allowed me, and am sure without it, I would not be where I am today."