Sunday 11 October was International Day of the Girl Child and we would like to celebrate it by asking Naomi, one of our current female students, to tell about a time when she helped others. Naomi doesn’t come from an affluent family and has few resources at her disposal, but she has always had a desire to help others. One day, while children were playing hide and seek in the yard, Naomi heard a cry in pain. The water, boiling in an open pot on the brazier, had spilt onto her sister’s hand. 

“I have always been interested in healthcare, ever since I visited one of the hospitals in Lusaka. Many people around me suffer from ailments that should be possible to find remedies for, but there are too few doctors and nurses to spend time diagnosing properly. I couldn’t just stand by and see my sister suffer, so I did some research and discovered that the plant, aloe vera, is good for healing skin problems and burns. I spotted a plant growing in someone’s garden, asked if I could dig up one of its seedlings and then planted it in our garden.

Researching aloe vera further, I was able to find that it can help digestive problems as well. From that one seedling, I was able to offer relief to so many people in my community. That initial plant produced more seedlings which I shared with other families after teaching them how to use it and what ailments it could help with. I was so pleased that more and more families were using aloe vera. It taught me that you don’t always have to have money to help others and reaffirmed my desire for assisting others”. 

Naomi is interested in preventative medicine, especially nutrition and how it can help to resolve some of the health challenges she sees around her in Zambia. She is currently applying to universities where she will be able to make the most of her passion.

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