Ik weet slechts een ding, dat ik niets weet. - Socrates

“You need a good team”

SMM Lusaka 1 (2)

During my visits of our See & Treat teams in Africa, one of the nurses gave me this advice for our new project in Ethiopia: “You need a good team!”. It is now that I am visiting the Save My Mother project in Zambia, that I understand the full meaning of this advice. It doesn’t only concern the team of nurses that go out early in the morning to come back only after dark after a long day of screening (although these dedicated men and women are crucial to the success of cervical cancer prevention in any country!), it concerns all the people somehow involved with cervical cancer prevention within […]

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In search of a lodge

In search of a lodge

Hi there! We are Margit and Cardy: a medical doctor and a hospitality professional from Holland, currently living as nomads on the continent of Africa. Our goal is to find a more permanent home once we are ‘real grown-ups’ – when we are mature enough to settle down, start a family and open our own bar. Not just any bar: we dream about a “Hey, you don’t feel well? Tell me all about it, and here is your coffee” kind of bar. A place where we make people aware of their life outside work. But that’s our far-far-away future. We want to talk to you about our nearby-future. At the […]

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An acquaintance with our new partners in Ethiopia

An acquaintance with our new partners in Ethiopia

This year the government of Ethiopia started the Ethiopian Female Cancer Initiative, with an overall objective to “reduce mortality and morbidity from breast and cervical cancer in selected zones of Oromia and Southern Nations and Addis Ababa Regions of Ethiopia”. One of the collaborations that were established for this initiative is the one between Cordaid, the Female Cancer Foundation and two local partners. Last week I met our two local partners for the first time: Mary Joy in Addis Ababa and Beza in Yirg Alem, a small town in the Southern Nations. They will be responsible for the Tell that precedes the See & Treat. Nurses in local health centres […]

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Supervision in Africa, Dr. Margit Vegter in Malawi

Meeting 2 (2)

Last week I attended the evaluation meeting in Malawi of phase I of the Save my Mother programs (SmM) in the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia. This was the first international meeting I attended as part of the Female Cancer Foundation team. Although the experiences, challenges and lessons that were shared have taught all of us a lot about the process of cervical cancer prevention in the five African countries and are definitely worth writing a blog, this is not what I will be writing about. Being new to an organisation gives me the opportunity to reflect on the organisation’s culture. What struck me the most during the meeting […]

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Cervical Cancer Prevention in Kenya: our team in Nairobi

Outreach Kenyatta Uni - Nairobi 2 (2)

“I have learned a lot today”, says Ann. I am not sure if she is telling me so to please me, or because she actually had learned a lot. Probably, the truth lies somewhere in between. Even though I must admit, that we have share a lot this week. And I have learned a lot as well. Fact is, the nurses who have been working with the Save my Mother programs in the last four years, have more experience than I have. Especially regarding the target group of the area they are working in. They speak their language, know their cultural habits, conceptions and preconceptions. And so, I learn a […]

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Cervical Cancer Prevention in Kenya: our team in Eldoret

Key stakeholders interview 2 - Eldoret (2)

I love it when my stay with one of the Save my Mother teams starts with a hands-on outreach. Arriving in Eldoret on Tuesday morning 8.00 am, I have a quick acquaintance with the team before we leave to Baharini. Baharini is far. Since the Eldoret team has started their phase II of the SmM program, they are going deeper into the communities. We arrive at a new dispensary which has not even opened yet to the community, which requires some improvisation. The local community feels blessed to be visit by this team. However, the male visitors feel left out and request to be screened for prostate cancer. Being a […]

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Female Cancer Foundation

Female Cancer Foundation

In May 2015 I started working for a Dutch foundation, called the Female Cancer Foundation (FCF). Only shortly before I had finished my medical studies and somehow, the offer to work for FCF came exactly at the right moment. And in the right place: Africa!  Together with local partner we work on the prevention of cervical cancer in the most rural and less developed parts of the world. FCF has several projects in The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Ethiopia, projects that I have been visiting and supporting since the beginning of May. I try to write about my experiences “in the field” on a regular basis, and in […]

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Mee doen met de Tien geboden?

Wij zijn Margit en Cardy en hebben in november 2014 besloten om voor onbepaalde tijd door Afrika te reizen. Mei 2015 zijn wij vertrokken. We hebben deze keuze gemaakt omdat we samen willen uitzoeken hoe we, bij terugkomst, ons leven willen gaan leiden.

Als je in Nederland opgroeit dan krijg je uiteraard de Nederlandse normen en waarden geleerd en is er een duidelijk verwachtingspatroon over hoe je je leven leeft. Om hier niet direct in te vervallen of misschien zelfs een andere keuze te maken, wilden we weg uit Nederland. Weg om onze gedachten op een rij te zetten en weg om andere normen, waarden en paden te leren kennen.

Op het moment van vertrek waren wij beiden zesentwintig, Margit had dat jaar haar studie Geneeskunde afgerond en ik werkte fulltime in een eetbar. Hoewel we allebei een totaal andere achtergrond/geschiedenis hebben, denken we hetzelfde over onze toekomst en vullen we die heel graag samen in.

Eenmaal terugkomen in Nederland, Groningen om precies te zijn, willen we graag onze eigen buurthuisbar starten. Een plek voor de buurt om bewust te worden van alles wat in andere landen of culturen misschien heel normaal is maar wat we in Nederland soms vergeten. Een plek waar we mensen bewust willen maken van hun gedachten over tijd, maatschappij, familie, creativiteit, filosofie en geld. En een plek waar we kunnen samen-leven.

Ondertussen zijn we bezig met ons grote mensen leven in Groningen vorm te geven en gebeurt er even niet zo veel op deze website. Wie weet volgt er nog een nieuw avontuur of een nieuw project, dan horen jullie van ons!