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Our Stories

A Tale of Long-Lasting Impact: A Volunteer’s Journey in Pursuit of Justice

By Syndia Chemutai

After my final law school exam, I knew I wanted to join the team at Afya na Haki because I admired the type of work they were doing. Embracing positive African narratives and harnessing Africa’s potential. They recognised Africa’s peculiar needs and sought to address them. I liked the idea of collaboration and deliberation to forge solutions without having to wait for good Samaritans to do everything for us. The idea of taking part in building the Africa I want, especially in health and human rights, was appealing to me, and without a doubt, I wanted to partake in that.

I reached out and secured an interview, which was aimed mostly at finding out which part of the organisation I would be best suited to serve and eventually learn from. I knew I had a thing for research and had not done much of it yet, but Ahaki would offer a place for me to nurture and love art. In early May 2022, I was placed in the Research department.

My very first assignment on my first day was a writing retreat to analyse Uganda’s Public Health Act and give it an up-to-date touch. Public health issues faced by the country over time proved that the Act was not meeting the current needs of the public, and therefore, on my first day, we called for its modification to suit the dynamic trends of Uganda’s public health system. This is just an example of the great work that Ahaki is doing, not only nationally but also regionally. I take immense pride in it and feel very privileged to have played a part in the analysing process of the said law. Ahaki’s quest to harness Africa’s potential in health, human rights, and SRHR is undeniable. It was indeed a pleasure to be a small line in that book, which is Ahaki.

We spend most of our time at our workplace; the vitality of working in a place that values everyone in the team cannot be overemphasized. The people are very friendly and open to helping in any way possible, whether the challenge is work-related or personal. It is a family that everyone needs to experience. The retreats and the reflection days brought us closer together to the extent that we knew each other and knew who to go to and for what, but also who cracked the most hilarious jokes.

At Ahaki, I was thrown into the deep end of the pool and guided through to avoid drowning. For instance, I closely supervised an intern and was fully in charge of her learning process, ensuring that she had a wholesome experience at Ahaki. That was a big challenge, but the fact that I was deemed capable of that, and many other major tasks, meant so much to me. Ahaki put me on a pedestal and made me believe in myself and what I had to offer the world because, there, my voice mattered, I was seen and valued, but mostly I was supported. These challenges helped me grow very much, and by the end of the six months, I had a clear trajectory of what I wanted to pursue in my career.

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