In Kenya, a co-op student finds her calling

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Co-op student Rachel Zammit with a group of children.

By Naz Kittani

With a work term spent in Kenya at an HIV/AIDS clinic and an orphanage, Arts student Rachel Zammit’s co-op experience was anything but ordinary.

Zammit worked in two different HIV/AIDS clinics, one dedicated to mothers and their babies, and another for the general public. She also took on roles in the community, including work at an early childhood development program teaching three to seven-year-olds math, science and personal hygiene. She also taught English.

“Through my co-op work term with Caring Partners Global and the Matangwe Community Health and Development Program, I was able to travel to Kenya, expand my comfort zone, and gain experience working in an international setting,” Zammit says.

It was an earlier trip to Africa that inspired her to pursue both her academic path and her work term in Kenya. “The summer after first year I was fortunate enough to travel to South Africa and Swaziland. While there I had the opportunity to visit an orphanage and learn about their funding, how they take care of the children and how the children come to live there” explains Zammit. “What I saw inspired me to pursue a minor in Peace and Conflict studies.”

The best part of Zammit’s co-op experience in Kenya? “Fridays, because I had the opportunity to work at a local orphanage,” says Zammit. “I took care of the children that were no older than one-year-old. Initially, there were seven babies, but by the end of my term, that number had grown to twelve. I welcomed this challenge with open arms, just as I welcomed all of the babies.”

Today is Zammit’s convocation ceremony. Congratulations to Rachel and all the Spring 2017 graduates!