Serah Mayon | Kenya
What do you do in your home country and what do you hope to do upon your return? In particular, with the integration of your experiences here?
I'm a nurse by profession and am currently working as the supervisor of a health facility with around 50 nurses. I overlook all the services that the nurses give to our patients. I am also an upcoming advocate for nurse education and training, specifically in the community that I come from. We are having a shortage of nurses because we are remote and not many nurses want to come there. That is my vision and passion. At the university where I am working, I am trying to develop the careers of my nurses. I seek to do this by advancing their education or specialities, mental health care nursing, critical care nursing, etc. Before, nurses didn't realize that you are supposed to grow. There is little motivation within the profession, people are not told they are supposed to grow their career. That is what I'm doing currently, I've seen that it has been fruitful. We are looking for a lot of nurses to grow with their education and profession.
Today we visited a Steven and center family health center, in that place I saw the integration of health services, many services, that have promoted health in ways such as musical therapy, physical therapy, more holistic approaches. Health education. Not drugs. You don't have to have specific reason to be there. You will be served for whatever you need. I also like how they give back to their communities. I've learned how so many Philadelphians are so committed to giving back to the community. They include the community members and ask them what are their needs, they involve other big organizations and that is how they find their funds. The idea is now in me and I can take it back. I want to come up with a modern medical training college for nurses. Today I learned you have to start it in a small way and then build it up to something big. Maybe even if I start it with just two rooms it can eventually grow to become a medical training college.
What is your favorite thing about your home country? How about Philadelphia?
A good thing about Kenya is the culture. They really know how to maintain and sustain the culture. The community has sold out after itself, everyone wants to follow our culture. How we put on our beads, how we do things, it is very different from many African cultures and many African cultures have learned from us. Our culture has spread worldwide.
The spirit of togetherness of Philadelphia. Coming together, sharing together. Tomorrow there is a dinner at the Dornsife Center, they come together, they discuss their community, how far they came, where they still have to go. The spirit of giving back, very encouraging.
The other day we visited the center for the homeless and the disadvantaged, people have just volunteered to give others the opportunity to live, to grow, they can be taken care of and learn. Even drug addicts have psychologists there to help them.
Do you have any hobbies or an interesting fact you wish to share about yourself?
I love listening to music a lot, especially gospel music. I will either be singing or listening to music. Plus also reading novels, inspiring books of course.
If I were to come to your home country, what is the first thing I should eat?
Ugali and sukuma. Maize meal together with greens.