As a data collector, I love my work because I enjoy learning more about data collection. I also love learning how to chat with the participants in the villages. I also have learned more about research, and I like my job!
I do my work in order to know more about research and to improve my knowledge. I do my work because I love it, I love learning, and I love being part of research. Before I came to work with UTHA, I worked for GforG as a sales lady and doing bookkeeping. Now at UTHA, my responsibilities include interviewing participants using iPads, uploading data, performing quality checks, doing data entry, and scanning files.
I come from Mchezi, a big village, which is about 30 minutes by bicycle away Child Legacy. Now I live in Msundwe, the trading village near Child Legacy, and I live with my husband and my two small kids.
Overall, I love my work as a researcher because I like that research requires that we look at and consider many different aspects to arrive at our conclusions. Research teaches a lot through information gathering. I also love the element of interaction with different levels of people from all walks of life. My work involves technological devices, and I love working with modern technology.
We are living in a world where we increasingly rely on research based information, and I love that I really understand what research is. I do my work to earn a living, to improve my knowledge, to participate in the care of local people, and to contribute of the development of my country as a citizen.
I am originally from Sosola Village, traditional authority Nsamala, in Balaka District of Malawi. I have been living in Msundwe since 2013 with my wife and kids. I have work experience of about 16 years. I worked first with the Ministry of Health, and then with the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) as the nutritional coordinator for the hospital where I was based. Later I worked for MSF as an antiretroviral therapy care provider. Now I work with Ohio State University for the UTHA research project, based at Child Legacy International. I have a lot of experience in working with communities, in the use of technical devices, and with HIV counseling and testing. In the UTHA project, I lead the team in planning research, coordinate between the research program and the community, and supervise the collection of all research data. I have enjoyed working on writing manuscripts and presenting UTHA findings at national meetings.
One of the things I love best about my work is that there is coordination between members of my team. Through this coordination and my years of working with UTHA, I have learned to be independent. I can lead my team, and bring up ideas that have a great impact both to UTHA as a project, and to the community. The other thing I love about my work is that I know how to handle people who are in our study and I am able to interact with them.
The reason why I do my work is to gain more knowledge on issues to do with research and become a better researcher then I am today. I enjoy getting involved in all sorts of new and bigger research studies. I particularly like working with numeric data, and I am learning to transcribe interviews.
I come from Dedza, Malawi (south of Lilongwe), and I grew up in Lilongwe town, where I also got my education. I lost my parents when I was young, and I was raised by my mom’s siblings. This did not pull me down – I worked hard in school because I believed in myself. I knew that this was not the end of it all, and I knew I would stand on my own one day. I studied public health at Skyway University and I am diploma holder. I also have a certificate in HIV counseling and testing from Lighthouse, Malawi.
So here I am today with UTHA! I’ve gained so much. I have experience in how to work with community members and how to welcome other people’s ideas. I have also gained good experience with data management, research ethics, and carrying out research studies that involved doing biological testing. I am a proud member of the UTHA team!
I love my work with UTHA for several reasons. I am trained as a community development officer (which is like a social worker), and I like working with the community! At the same time, through my work, I am building my capacity working with the community, working closely with a team, and handling research materials. I am learning so many things about our participants, such as cultural beliefs and norms. This work also helps me and my family in our daily well-being due to employment.
I feel joy when I am working with the community because it is my choice to work with people in rural areas in order to improve their health status and the living standard of vulnerable people.
I come from Madzi II Village, which is in traditional authority Kalolo in the Lilongwe District. I worked with the Organization for Sustainable Social Economic Development Initiative (OSSEDI) as a field officer for two years, focusing on a project about water and sanitation. I also worked for Concern Worldwide for one year, on a project of sustainable livelihood. I currently work for UTHA at Child Legacy as a research assistant and I manage the finances for the research project. I am also trained as an HIV counselor; I have done HIV testing and counseling for UTHA at people’s house and now for Child Legacy in the clinic.
I work for UTHA as a data collector. I love my work when I am doing interviews in the field and entering data at the office. I love this work because I am getting experience with research and with technology. I am doing my work because I get paid, and also I am learning a lot through doing my job. I love this because what I learn can be used in the future.
I come from the same region where the UTHA project is based (traditional authority Kalolo in Lilongwe rural district) in a big village called Yonamu. I went to Chileka Secondary School and when I finished I moved to Msundwe. In addition to the work that I do, I drive a motorcycle!
As a data collector, I like to go into the field and conduct interviews. When we come back to the office, I like to upload the information. I chose to work at UTHA; if chose this over the other possibilities for me at home, which include farming and doing a small business. Working helps me to survive because of the money I am paid and thus I come to work daily. I really like working on computers, especially scanning and entering data into excel spread sheets. I like data, including working to put all of the results in order.
Originally, I came from Lilongwe District, Traditional Authority Kalolo, in the village called Chawantha. Currently I live in Msundwe trading center where I found a house to rent so that I am able to come to work on time. My experiences at home included doing all the household chores, especially those of men since I was raised in a rural area of Malawi. Now I am also doing other chores which are usually reserved for girls in the rural areas, because I live by myself, so I need to cook and wash up for myself!
Ben Belfort, Volunteer
Marta Bornstein, PhD student, Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles
Cedric Butao, Cervical Cancer Data Collector
Emily Butao, Data Collector
Michelle Caster, MD student, Ohio State University
Elly Chemey, CLI Program Manager
Joseph Chilewani, CLI Chief Medical Officer
Frank Yasi Diveli, Data Collector
Allahna Esber, PhD student, Epidemiology, Ohio State University
Kunuwo Fokong, PhD student, Epidemiology, Ohio State University
Sarah Garver, PhD student, Sociology, Ohio State University
Godfrey Gomani, Driver
Bryna Harrington, PhD student, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Sarah Huber, PhD student, Social Work, Ohio State University
Jaime Iten, Research Assistant
Enock Jumbe, Laboratory Technician
Geofrey Kalusa, Data Collector
Linda Kamgudu, Data Collector
Chisomo Kamundi, Data Collector
Mark Kasaila, Data Collector
Fodrick Kusanani, Data Collector
MacLucky Lamulani, Data Collector
Kathy Lazarus, Volunteer
Joseph Chifundo Lihoma, Data Collector
Redson Enos Masina, Driver
Stafel M’bwerazino, Qualitative Research Facilitator
Gladson Mopiwa, Research Coordinator
Rodrick Mothela, Data Collector
Ohuma Mtitima, Data Collector
Mercy Mwakikunga, Data Collector
Nyadzani Mwale, BLT Data Research Assistant and Data Collector
Patrick Nampandeni, BLT Clinician
Lydia Nkhoma, Data Collector
Lucy Ramos, MPH student, Epidemiology, Ohio State University
Nisha Rao, MD student, Ohio State University
Trish Carr Reese, MD student, George Washington University
Mary Kate Tompkins, PhD student, Psychology, Ohio State University