AMREF Through Canadian Eyes

Ten young Canadian interns joined the AMREF family in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda from June to December 2013. AMREF Canada’s internship program was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD, formerly CIDA).

We asked the interns to share their favourite photo from their internship, and what it means to them.

Coffee ceremony in Ethiopia

Credit: Emily Royal

"A recurring theme during my internship in Ethiopia has been the coffee ceremonies. Coffee ceremonies are a time for people to take a break and have a conversation with neighbours, friends, coworkers or family.  And of course it’s a time to eat great snacks and drink great coffee (no one cup is ever the same!)  Coffee ceremonies are also used as an entry point for AMREF who rely heavily on this event to discuss the needs of the community and possible interventions."

Emily Royal, Programme Development Officer, AMREF Ethiopia

Conrad Koczorowski

Credit: Conrad Koczorowski

“He wants to see what he looks like with his slingshot!” one of our ‘Staying Alive’ partners told me, as the little brother of one of our survey interviewees confidently struck a pose for my camera. Emerging from behind a mountain of data, reports and research, this fun field encounter in the rural North of Uganda provided an excellent reminder of the diverse, vibrant communities AMREF works with in improving their health."

Conrad Koczorowski, Operational Research Officer, AMREF Uganda

Credit: Yun (Annie) Peng

"I was travelling with a research team through a very rural area of Tanzania, conducting a nutritional assessment study that called for children to be weighed, height-measured and given an anemia-related blood test. It was my first few days with the team and there wasn't much for me to do. As we were setting up the equipments in a school yard hallway, I noticed the ground was very dirty, and thought I could clean it up before the women and children arrived. Since there was no broom, I went to the nearest tree and broke off a few branches (as I have seen local women do), and began sweeping the hall. Soon, my Tanzanian colleagues noticed me and all were quite amused. One tied a kanga (African women's fabric) around me and other people were joking that now I looked like an African village housewife, sweeping the yard before the start of the day. We all shared a laugh. That was the first time I felt like I was part of the team."

Yun Peng, Monitoring and Evaluation Intern, AMREF Tanzania

Dagoretti Child in Need Project

Credit: Ashley Meek

"This is a picture of me facilitating a weekly drama therapy class for street children at the Child in Need Project in Dagoretti in Nairobi, Kenya. Working at this centre taught me so much about arts-based rehabilitation in low-income communities. The knowledge and dedication of the local staff astonished me and seeing the positive transformation of the children was very encouraging."

Ashley Meek, Program Support Reporting and Documentation Officer, AMREF Kenya


Credit: Heidi Parker

When I travelled to Iringa, Tanzania with AMREF, although it was a work trip, the staff made sure I saw as much of the country as possible in our time off. This reminded me of the incredible hospitality and kindness of all AMREF staff, which has been a constant comfort throughout my internship. From all the trainings I have attended, and projects I have worked with, I am so grateful for everything, particularly the opportunity to work with such amazing people."

Heidi Parker, Training Officer Intern, AMREF Tanzania

Two Kenyan girlst

Credit: Jordan Jarvis

"As we were doing research on human resources for health in Turkana County, Kenya, I spent some time with these girls, Matiti and Helen (left and right, respectively). Matiti is in the second grade. Just like many other girls in Turkana, Helen wears neck beads as a symbol of beauty--but these also mean that she is being groomed for marriage and cannot go to school. Helen's unhappiness about not being schooled along with her friends broke my heart. This is an example of the many inequities I've witnessed throughout Kenya; however, AMREF's work in nomadic pastoralist communities, like Turkana, is making noticeable impact for equitable change."

Jordan Jarvis, Operations Research Officer, AMREF Kenya

Samia Tecle

Credit: Samia Tecle

"This picture is taken on a field visit during AMREF’s 2013 international board meeting. Quickly taking note of our arrival, this 13-year old girl hurried to speak with us. Immediately we were absorbed by this young girl’s dynamism, vision for her community, impressive linguistic abilities and overall boldness. Captivated, the AMREF team listened attentively. The communities AMREF works with are saturated with dynamic people like this young girl. Without a genuine appreciation of local communities however, it’s difficult to recognize the dynamism that exists amidst the health issues."

Samia Tecle, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, AMREF Ethiopia

Alex Baker

Credit: Alex Baker

"AMREF Project Managers Eberhard Zeyhle and Jillo Ali meet serendipitously on the way to Napak in Turkana, Kenya in early September. The exchange between one of AMREF's most experienced managers and a younger manager personifies AMREF's legacy of success: the younger staff in Turkana benefit immensely from the lessons learned and the goodwill the organization has built up over decades of dedication and contribution. Eberhard, Jillo and everyone with AMREF have touched the lives of so many in this disadvantaged region."

Alex Baker, Project Analyst and Documentation Officer, AMREF Kenya