This blog post is written as part of the Twitter #NurseBloggers2020 challenge. This month’s writing topic is “who inspires You”.
I would like to introduce you to Margaret who is in her first year of nurse training in Nairobi at the Nairobi hospital and inspires me in so many ways.
2020 The Year of the Nurse and Midwife
2020 The Year of the Nurse and Midwife is a global campaign that recognises the importance of nurses and nursing worldwide. It also seems very fitting that in 2020 the year of the Nurse and Midwife, I am making a lasting contribution on a personal level by co-sponsoring Margaret to become a qualified nurse.
#EachforEqual is about ‘Collective Individualism’
This year the theme for International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual”
“The IWD 2020 campaign theme is drawn from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism.’ We are all parts of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society. Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender-equal world. We can all choose to be #EachforEqual.”
Through the co-sponsorship of Margaret, my hope is to make change happen and have an impact for other young people in Kibera in supporting the next generation of nurses.
I am proud to call myself a nurse and a professional coach. When I was developing my coaching business ideas and writing my business model, I was very clear about Investing a percentage of my annual income back to sponsor a young person to undertake nurse training. This was and still is a very important part of who I am and what I want to achieve in my life. Partly through the recognition that I have been very fortunate to have received a school and university education that has helped me to be successful in my career as a nurse. Partly because I hope to encourage others to consider sponsorship. I am also very aware that for many young people globally they do not always have access to even a primary education let alone be able to study at University.
I knew that I wanted to sponsor a young person to undertake nurse training in a part of the world where this would not be possible without financial sponsorship. Early on I started to research organisations that could help with my goal. I came across the organisation women for women in Africa (WFWIA). I emailed the contact person and asked the question.
It is funny how the universe aligns sometimes. I received a reply straight away and WFWIA did have a student who had just finished her secondary school education and wanted to train in Nairobi to become a nurse. This is how I became connected to Margaret.
Margaret and her family are from Kibera, Nairobi which is East Africa’s largest slum and one of the largest slum’s in the world. Last year Margaret completed her secondary school education and expressed an interest in undertaking nurse training. She passed her school exams with high enough scores to be considered for nurse training. Margaret received sponsorship to be able to complete her school education. I co-sponsor Margaret with another sponsor and together we have committed to supporting Margaret financially through her three years of nurse training, something that would not have been possible without sponsorship for Margaret. The organisation that supports Margaret locally, said that without sponsorship Margaret would not have got this far and would probably be a mother to many children living in poverty in Kibera.
Why Margaret inspires me
Margaret inspires me in so many ways. I am taken by her enthusiasm to become a nurse, she has already expressed an interest in working in the field of aged care in Nairobi when she qualifies. This is another passion close to my heart as I worked for a number of years as a community nurse in the UK working with older people in the community. I loved working as a community nurse and especially loved working with older people hearing their life stories was a great privilege. I have yet to meet Margaret in person and hope to do so one day in the not too distant future to able to tell her in person how proud I am of her.
Hope and enthusiasm
In the photos that she sends me, I see hope, enthusiasm and a recognition that this will be life-changing for her in her smiling eyes and a huge grin. I have two photos of Margaret. In the first, she looks very young and reminded me of my early days as a nursing student not realising what I didn’t know back then! The second photo she sent in a Christmas card to me and I can already see the transition from a young school leaver to a young woman embarking on a career. Margaret writes to me frequently and in her last letter in January Margaret told me that she worked Christmas and that she got to celebrate Christmas with the patients and in her words “which was fine and self-motivating to put a smile on somebody’s face.”
She certainly put a smile on my face reading her letter.
I guess most people when they think about someone in nursing who inspires them we tend to think about some of the great nurse leaders who are inspiring in their own right for the contributions that they have made to the nursing profession in their careers. For me personally to see a young person with a goal and a dedication to enter into the nursing profession despite the difficulties that this poses from a financial, cultural and practical viewpoint certainly inspires me.
It fills me with confidence that young people still want to pursue a career in nursing wherever they may be in the world. Most of all I feel a deep sense of gratitude for all the opportunities that I have had in my career and also gratitude for being able to help someone else have access to those same opportunities that they might only ever have dreamed about without sponsorship. Being a co-sponsor for Margaret has already taught me many things, I have a real sense of pride every time I see photo’s of her and hear about her progress. I have no doubt that Margaret will achieve her goal and will go far in her nursing career.
The final words go to the organisation that has and continues to support Margaret and her ambition to become a nurse.
“Thank you so much for supporting this beautiful determined girl who is certainly going to make the world a better place for thousands of people. You will be so proud of her as we all are at the Centre.“
If you would like to sponsor a young person in Kibera with WFWIA you can find out more here
Eva Storey is a nurse and a professional coach and works with nurses and Midwives to maintain their work-life balance and support their resilience at work. Contact me here if you would like to know more about the work that I do with nurses and midwives