Enida – Goal NextGen

“When I went to study reproductive health in the School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, we were required to submit a thesis on a topic for which we had conducted research and propose a solution. I had identified an area in Albania with a high maternal mortality rate. By “high,” I mean it was significantly above the country’s average. I will never forget being the first to present my thesis. I passionately argued that, while Albania’s maternal mortality rate was at the time 15 deaths per 100,000 live births in this particular area, they were double that at 30. As I presented, I noticed my classmates, mostly from Africa, seemed unimpressed, and I couldn’t understand why. Wondering why they couldn’t grasp the significance, I sat down, puzzled. Then they began to share their figures: 300, 500, 1000, 400, and 2,000 per 100,000 in countries like Somalia, South Sudan, Sierra Leone. This highlighted to me that there were places with significant inequalities in dire need of assistance—places I wanted to help.

My motivation has since been to fight inequality. The challenges these places face are a lot more complex than just sending aid and expecting things to fall into place. Inequalities in accessing quality health care, education, housing, income, transport, water, and sanitation are all factors. I remember it was such an eye-opener learning about this in Liverpool, and then, of course, having first-hand experience working in these countries. I started in Kosovo in 2001, then travelled to Cambodia. After that, my first African post was in Angola. From there, I felt I needed to learn more, so I furthered my studies in Liverpool, and then returned to Africa in Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and then I moved to Ireland. From Ireland, I have worked in many low- and middle-income countries.

I want people to know that the people and communities GOAL supports are not passive recipients. They are active actors. With the resources we bring, we are listening to their guidance and act as facilitators. Be it in Gaza, Ukraine, or Syria, the people are being supported to reach the goals they are working towards. And that’s what GOAL does best.”

Enida is the Head of Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning at GOAL.