Jessica Kaku is South Sudanese, moving to Uganda following the war for South Sudan's independence. She returned to South Sudan in 2009 and began working for development organisations, concentrating on agricultural strategies.
Jessica's MSc in International Development from Bristol University helped strengthen her knowledge and understanding of underdevelopment. The course was highly-structured, with cross-cutting units that looked at different aspects of development: social, economic and political. She says that the course units provided her with the analytical skills to understand different concepts of development and to develop strategic interventions and apply these to various projects in her own country.
She is currently employed as a consultant to the Eastern Africa Grain Council. By improving warehouse operations and imparting skills to various stakeholders, the assignment will help farmers to grow and sell more produce in order to address food insecurity, as well as escape poverty.
With this great wealth of knowledge I feel more confident and better skilled than ever at performing tasks in the field.
Mukhtar Ahmed Mohamed is currently Deputy Country Director for Action Contre La Faim (ACF) in Somalia. Raised in Kismayo, Somalia, he was displaced to Dadaab in Kenya, where he volunteered as a teacher in Hagadera refugee camp in 1992. At the time there was little provision of activities for children, and the initiatives started by Mukhtar and his colleagues attracted the support of UNHCR International and NGOs. Mukhtar progressed to found the first secondary school in the camp in 2000, serving as the founding principal. Between 2002 and 2004 he worked in the Somali Bantu Survival Literacy Programme.
Mukhtar lead an inter-agency initiative to eliminate the abuse of refugees in Kenya. Despite his extensive experience and ability, he was then told by the UN that he would need high level qualifications to continue in his post.
Windle Trust supported Mukhtar’s undergraduate study at Kabarak University in Kenya, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. Following a stint with the World Food Programme (WFP), he came to the UK with Windle’s support to study for a Master’s Degree in International Project Management, at Glasgow Caledonian University. He graduated with a distinction in 2013.
His master’s degree was the route to his current position with ACF. His duties include supporting ACF’s developmental strategy n Somalia, ensuring high quality project management, team building, capacity development and security management.
My study in the UK exposed me to diverse cultures and ways of doing things. I was inspired by the advanced state of political, economc and social development in the UK. It gave me an idea of how such development is attained and what it takes to maintain it. I believe that such systems are possible everywhere.
Lemlem Mesfin Mebrahtu is 27. Originally from Eritrea, she now lives in Cairo, Egypt. She was supported by Windle under the DAFI programme to study physiotherapy from 2007 to 2013 at Ahfad University for Women in Sudan, from which she graduated with a first class bachelor's (honours) degree. Windle's support included paying the university fees that Lemlem could not afford by herself; providing funds for transportation, books, and other study costs; and providing pastoral support and help in solving any problems in the university.
One of the reasons she chose to study physiotherapy was that it provides good job opportunities, and, whereas before the scholarship Lemlem was unemployed, now she is working part-time in the health sector for a local, private organisation as a therapist.
Lemlem is also currently studying osteopathic medicine. This is a five year programme of study for postgraduate students at the International Academy of Osteopathy. This school is found only in European countries and Egypt, which explains her move to Cairo. She is in her first year, due to start the second year in September.
Although when she started studying, Lemlem thought that her education would benefit only her and her family, she has since learned that she can help her community and others through her education. Not only can she support her family by being able to secure a good employment position, but she can also provide important health services in communities where there may have been no physical therapist. Through communities helping each other in this way, says Lemlem, peace can be secured.