Forgive the absence of my weekly movie critiques and ramblings. 2013, with all it’s craziness I’ve shared (and yet to share), has lead me to an opportunity I couldn’t have dreamt of.
I have taken the offer to step into a full time career of writing in an area of great need and innovation with a not for profit organization that is transforming healthcare in East Africa.
LifeNet (LN) International is based in Burundi, Africa, and partners with community health centers to build their medical and administrative capacity and connect them quality medicines and equipment. Burundi (a tiny country you’ve likely never heard of, that crams a total of 8.5 million population) lies right beside Rwanda and was just as severely effected in the civil war that took place from 1993 to 2005.
But Burundi never received the spotlight in the aftermath of this genocide as Rwanda has and is what LN would call “ a forgotten country”, still facing deplorable health realities.
Here is a snapshot of Burundi’s current state of health:
- Life expectancy is 50
- 139 of every 100 children don’t reach their fifth birthday
- It’s the world’s sixth highest rate of maternal mortality
- It is ranked the third-poorest country in the world, one in which nine in ten people rely on smallholder agriculture to survive.
- Nurses, often quickly trained & ill-equipped, carry 80% of all healthcare needs
In February I accepted the position as Communications Associate, with the responsibilities of grant writing and social media management. Facing a bit of a learning curve, it's been a while since I’ve had the brain capacity to muster up a post on the hype and controversy on ‘Noah’ (which I haven’t even seen yet) or the latest news in Russia (which I clearly need to catch up on), but I do plan to return to some kind of consistent rhythm soon.
The poor state of Africa’s health has always been obvious to me, just as it is common knowledge, but until now I had kept it at an arms length. While I can’t fully comprehend the present conditions until I have the opportunity to visit, I am honored to work to strengthen the quality of life in Burundi and East Africa. To fully embrace this exciting work, which I will surely update you all on, the blog will not be such a central focus in this season.