Stories : I would do it again

“Volunteerism means being ready to share your experience and skills without expecting much in return. You must be ready to sacrifice and be flexible.” Angelique Muhawenimana

As the only pharmacist working at the Level I clinic, Angelique is always on duty 24/7. But she loves her job and says that given a chance, she would do it again. Before joining UNISFA July 2019, Angelique was a pharmacist with the American Refugee Committee in Rwanda. After several years of service, she was ready for international experience; however, she admits that the decision to leave home was not easy and her family was apprehensive because she travelled to Khartoum at the height of civil unrest.

However, despite the initial hiccups she experienced while settling down in Abyei, she has learnt that you can live everywhere. She had to adjust very quickly because the conditions in Abyei were not easy, the weather, new people and even the language. While she was previously used to Kiswahili and English as her official languages, she now had to rely on translators when dispensing drugs to the local community. “It was not easy, because medicine is delicate and people must get the instructions right, plus some medical terms cannot be translated directly.” But she has adjusted, and to working longer hours and working in a multicultural environment. She is now at home away from home!

She is very proud of her contribution at the height of pandemic when she had to take on additional responsibilities including procurement. She also had to work under pressure and ensure she delivers. As medical personnel, Angelique understands the importance of work life balance and ensures that she engages in different activities including playing badminton and basketball. Watch out for her at the next tournament, she will for sure win a trophy!

Angelique has one advise, “Covid has forced many of us to self-medicate, we must be extremely careful and aware of the adverse effects of interactions of medicine. Always consult your doctor!”