Africa Director Rosemary on her journey to KidsOR
KidsOR Africa Director, Rosemary Mugwe, was recently interviewed in The Saturday Nation (Africa) newspaper about her role and journey towards a career in the not-for-profit sector.
Originally trained as a lawyer and with a Masters in Gender and Development, Rosemary always thought of herself in a courtroom. But soon after graduating she found a job as a Program Officer with Children's Legal Aid.
Talking about that first role, Rosemary recalls: "That position put me in a vantage point to appreciate many unvoiced issues affecting children, and most especially children from poor families. The cases I came across made me want to become an advocate for children. To always be able to amplify their issues."
Her interest in the health sector was peaked
After graduating for her Master’s degree, she was appointed Regional Policy Coordinator at Ipas International, where she was responsible for developing various key health strategies and policies, and fundraising, among other things. Rosemary was later appointed the first female CEO at the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA). These two jobs were her first introduction into the health sector.
"I oversaw the day-to-day running of the institution and led the successful implementation of the strategic plan of the college that saw over 500 surgeons graduate in four years. Then the challenge presented itself to lead the KidsOR project," she says.
Working at Kids Operating Room is a great challenge
Of the many children admitted to hospital, almost 90% of the recorded cases in low- and middle-income countries can easily be rectified by timely surgery, from broken legs leading to a life of disability to birth anomalies such as cleft lip.
“Unfortunately, many children cannot obtain the surgical care they need. Even in urban communities with more convenient access to healthcare, kids die or develop lifelong disabilities due to issues that could easily be corrected through surgery."
Rosemary became Africa Director to lead the operations of the organisation in 36 African countries.
It gives me satisfaction being part of that team; voice and action that brings change and has an everlasting impact on our children's lives. That gives me the drive.