In this interview, our reporter FATSANI GUNYA talks to Country Director for Global Health Corps (GHC) MARTIN KANJADZA, an institution which is at the helm of mobilising diverse young professionals to fight for health equity in Malawi.
Tell us more about Global Health Corps (GHC)
GHC was founded in 2009 and mobilises a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity. We do this by recruiting talented and diverse young professionals from a range of backgrounds and sectors around the world, and placing them with excellent nonprofits and government agencies for a year of service. Fellows work with organisations on the front lines of health equity in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, the United States of America and Zambia.
How does the GHC fellowship work?
Our fellows are fighting for global health equity today and together will lead the movement in the coming decades. To begin with, we identify high impact health organizations with gaps that need filling. Secondly, we competitively recruit and select exceptional young leaders with diverse skills. We open the door for passionate young people with diverse professional backgrounds to apply their skills to solving global health challenges.
What kind of NGOs are your fellows placed in?
Here in Malawi, GHC has partnered with several high impact health organisations including Save the Children, the Ministry of Health, Partners in Health, Clinton Development Initiative, Dignitas International, Mothers 2 Mothers, Elizabeth Glazier Paediatric Aids Foundation, Emmanuel International, Village Reach, Arts for Global Health Centre, Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education, Banja La Mtsogolo, and the Africa Institute for Policy Development.
We are constantly looking for more organisations with gaps that need filling to become GHC partners.
QWhat happens after the fellowship year?
Global Health Corps alumni are leaders in various fields, and in various levels of the health system, across issue areas, and across continents. Most of our alumni rise into positions of leadership within global health, though many are doing excellent work in other sectors. About half are offered permanent positions with their placement organizations after their fellowship year ends. Some are completing MDs or PhDs, while others are leading country offices on the ground, working in government, or working to affect global policy changes.
One of our GHC Malawi alumni who was a fellow at Partners in Health Malawi 2011-2012 is now the acting executive director at Partners in Health Liberia. Another one of our Malawi alumni from 2013-2014 at Arts and Global Health Centre Africa is now the Programmes and Operations Associate for GHC in Malawi. We are tremendously proud and inspired by the work of our alumni, who continue to motivate us every day in the important work we are doing as a movement.
QWho is eligible to apply for GHC Fellowships?
Our eligibility requirements include fluency in English, an undergraduate degree, and that applicants are aged 30 or under by the start of the fellowship year on June 26, 2016. Everyone has a role to play in the health equity movement. We welcome applicants with diverse experiences and skill sets from many sectors, including business and finance, research methods, technology, design, and engineering.
Part one of fellowship applications opened on November 4 2015 and part two—when placement positions are posted–opens on December 9 2015. Applications close on February 2 2016. It is important to note that specific experiences and skills are required for each fellowship position as determined by each placement organisation. One should carefully review the requirements of each fellowship position and apply for the opportunities for which they are best suited. n