I feel absolutely blessed to have a career that satisfies, challenges, and inspires. You can’t get much better than that. When I look back at the path I have chosen, I realize that I could never have imagined that I’d be paid to perform such incredible work. I am fortunate.
The people I help assist often are not. I work with people in some of the most difficult places on earth, where just being born in such places reduces the likelihood of positive life outcomes. As a woman in Congo the odds are stacked against you. You are more likely to be raped, die in childbirth, loose a child, go hungry, be married off at a young age, be beaten, you name it. As a man you may become a child soldier or a perpetrator of violent sexual abuse against women; and you’ll most likely have difficulty providing for family.
Despite all of this, there is hope.
Last year I visited a hospital that was completely deserted because of word spreading of militias in the area who were raping, pillaging, and burning communities along their path. While the doctor on the premises is eager and hard working, he faces continued challenges.
Last year it was pitch black in the hospital when we showed up at dusk and toured the empty compound. Now thanks to our work there is a generator providing power at night for emergency surgeries such as the c-section that took place the night I was there. A year ago this would have been performed by lantern and flashlight. Now there is light.
The woman was one of the success stories, where both her and her child survived. In Congo you can’t take that for granted.