From health practitioner to community advocate; one man’s commitment to new life

Leaving the only home you’ve ever known, usually under duress, is distressing and scary. Knowing you could never go back there is difficult. But when you are a refugee, setting up a new home in a new country and finding purpose there, is your only way to cope.

For 32-year-old Dadiri Ramadhani Muya, who was forced to leave his home and settle in a new land, supporting others has helped him create a new normal.

Dadiri hopes that one day he will be able to return to his country of origin, but until then he is learning new skills as a Community Health Practitioner (CHP) in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. In his role as a health practitioner, he primarily cares for woman and children that live in his community. “I like my work, as it saves women, children, and other people’s lives,” says Dadiri.

For children, the first 1000 days of life can determine their future. Globally, 2.7 million newborns die every year from preventable and treatable causes. Most of those babies could be saved through simple interventions. Dadiri visits children born at the camp, checking on their health and supporting new mothers in this delicate time.

A man sits on a chair talking to a pregnant woman, wearing a white and purple dress. She sits on the floor, on a mat, in her home in a refugee camp in Kenya.

Dadiri sits with one of his patients, an expectant mother. One of 50 women he assists at the refugee camp in Kenya.

In Kakuma, Dadiri could see the challenges pregnant women and mothers went through. They couldn’t access the services they needed at antenatal clinics or find post-natal care. Many were affected by other sicknesses like non-communicable diseases. They didn’t have the ability to travel from the community to the hospital. And they didn’t know how or where to raise their concerns. At first, as a health care practitioner, he could only listen.

But in 2018, Dadiri was given a chance to help his community. Through World Vision’s Citizen Voice in Action (CVA) initiative, he was given a purpose and new goals. World Vision’s CVA is a social accountability model that strengthens relationships between citizens, policymakers and service providers. He would now not only have the chance to hear the voice of refugee women, but be able to create change by sharing their concerns with the CVA working group.

Working as a health practitioner along with the CVA has not only helped the community, but also impacted Dadiri. “I have changed so much because the community brings me their concerns, and I take them to the leaders. The community will ask you later, after one month, ‘Is it being taken seriously?’ You should have a positive answer,” explains Dadiri.

The collaboration between Dadiri, the community he serves and the CVA group is a shining example of the kind of partnership World Vision values most. By working together, we help people empower themselves to find solutions for their community.

Without you, people like Dadiri could not support their own communities in creating safe and healthy places to grow up, despite the circumstances. This is just an example of the kind of programs Canadians support that help vulnerable children live life to the fullest.