“I lost my aunty who took care of me from an early age because she did not have access to a health facility. I remembered that evening, when she said she was feeling pain all over her body, we had no health facility or health worker in our town. We struggled to take her to the clinic, which was very far from us and we lost her. I made up my mind to do nursing and help save my people.’’
During the Liberian Civil War, Sarafina Dweh and her family sought safety in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh, which was where her father was born. She joined the Last Mile Health team in 2014, when she began working as a cleaner in our Grand Gedeh’s office as part of her desire for a better life – but she still dreamt of accessing higher education to become a nurse.
She applied to Grand Gedeh Community College to pursue nursing, was admitted, and paid her first fees out of her paycheck. But it was difficult to make ends meet. “I had a hard time paying my first fees because I support my mother, teen daughter, and myself.”
However, Last Mile Health launched a Teachers and Learners fund in 2019 to provide staff with the resources to pursue professional development opportunities. The fund is named after our value, we are all teachers and learners, which means that we seek out opportunities to listen to and learn from one another and those we serve. Sarafina seized this opportunity, applied, and received the funding to cover her school fees.
On September 3, 2021, Sarafina was capped and badged at the Grand Gedeh Nursing School – signifying the beginning of her nursing education. She is expected to graduate in 2023.
Last Mile Health’s Teachers and Learners fund is open to all employees regardless of their role, office, or level of seniority.