Global Health Corps inspiring young Malawi professionals: Apply for 2016-17 fellowship

Established in Malawi in 2009, the Global Health Corps (GHC), a non-profit organization,has not only been a source of employment to the youth in the country, but continues to inspire young Malawian professionals.

Some of the GHC alumni and current fellows with Malawi Country Manager, Martin Kanjadza (standing fourth)

Some of the GHC alumni and current fellows with Malawi Country Manager, Martin Kanjadza (standing fourth)

From left to right_ Isabel Kumwembe (GHC Malawi Program Associate and alum), Lonjezo Sithole (president - GHC Malawi Alumni Chapter), Esnatt Gondwe (GHC alum), Peter Pindani (GHC alum)

From left to right_ Isabel Kumwembe (GHC Malawi Program Associate and alum), Lonjezo Sithole (president – GHC Malawi Alumni Chapter), Esnatt Gondwe (GHC alum), Peter Pindani (GHC alum)

GCH is a body that mobilises young graduates and other professionals below the age of 30 and places them in high impact health non-profit making organisations and government agencies in the USA, Malawi, Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda to serve at the frontline of promoting health equity.

The recruits are known as fellowsand come from diverse backgrounds. They vary in educational experience, professional expertise and personal backgrounds.

In the five years of its operations in Malawi, GHC has recruited over 50 young Malawians who are currently affecting change in different organisations and communities, using their skills to help improve access to health facilities by the vulnerable in society.

Dorothy Mkwezalamba, a 2014-2015 fellow now working with the Ministry of Health as a pediatric HIV expert, shares how becoming a fellow impacted herpersonal and professional life.

“I have grown so much in these aspects. Personally I am a changed person, I believe in myself more and I know that I have a responsibility to change the world whether through doing the smallest things like volunteering and fighting for all sorts of social injustice, including health inequities. I call myself a leader now.

“Professionally, GHC fellowship helped me to find my career path. I started working in HIV/AIDS programs as a HGC fellow [and] now that’s my passion, it’s something I love doing,” she explains.

A holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Systems Management from the University of Malawi, Mkwezalambaadds: “I love working for organisations that are working on improving lives of people living with HIV.I now believe this is my purpose in life until HIV becomes history.”

With her inspiring story, Mkwezalamba takes time to encourage fresh graduates and all young professionals in Malawi to join the health fellowship programme as the 2016-2017 GCH applications are underway until 2nd February.

Says she: “The fellowship is a life-changing experience. The leadership trainings that you go through, the global family you make, professional networks and the support system you get are all what a young leader needs”.

Peter Pindani, a soccer star playing for Silver Strikers, is another GHC alumnus. He is currently working for Partners in Hope as Procurement Manager under the USAID funded EQUIP project.

Pindani, a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Malawi ,shares his story: “I joined GHC to develop my career in Procurement and Logistics and did my fellowship at Partners in Health in Neno as a Procurement and Logistics coordinator.

“GH Cgives you the technical expertise in several fields. As a fresh graduate or someone who intends to develop their career, GHC gives you the platform to be creative, to learn and to inspire others in the community in standing up against issues that violate social justice, more especially in the field of health care.

“I would encourage everyone who is thinking of applying not to hesitate because this programme turns out to be one of the best experiences one would have.

“You get to travel around the world, learning more about your job, gaining alot of experience in your field by working for 12 months at a placement organization and above all the people you meet from different countries and the lessons learned,” he states.

In Malawi, GHC is partnered with several high impact health organizations including Save the Children, the Ministry of Health, Partners in Health, Clinton Development Initiative, Dignitas International, mothers2mothers, Elizabeth Glazier Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Emmanuel International, Village Reach, Arts and Global Health Centre, Banja La Mtsogolo and the Africa Institute for Policy Development.

To apply for the 2016-2017 fellowship programme visit http://ghcorps.org/fellows/apply-to-be-a-fellow/.

Applicants do not necessarily need to have a background in clinical healthcare. According to Isabel Kumwembe, a 2013-2014 fellow and now working as GHC Malawi Programs and Operations Associate, the institution encourages applicants with diverse backgrounds and interests to apply.

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