Mary is a registered nurse from Kenya. She is on FK exchange in Norway, participating in the Primary Health Care Exchange project, which is a partnership between Melhus county in Norway and Taveta sub-county in Kenya. The focus is on people with special needs within the community including the elderly, intellectually challenged, expecting mothers, children and youth.
After the exchange, Mary hopes to incorporate what she’s learned here into her work at home, focusing on care for the elderly and intellectually challenged, with the aim of making them feel a sense of belonging in the community.
"By accepting the intellectually challenged as part of the community, we can show them that they are valued, cared for and capable. I want to provide work centers for them, where they can be supported and empowered to work, sing, play music, theater and create different beautiful things, according to their unique personalities and potentials. This will build their confidence and make them feel important and part of the community."
Nine months into her one-year exchange, Mary has learned how to adopt and adjust to new cultures and to be independent. She says the exchange has been of great value to her and has made her a better person. "I am more positive, focused, and open to new ideas and changes. This experience has made me realize the importance of respect and value for my work, surroundings and time management."
"My advice to young people who want to go on exchange is set your goals, have an open mind, be ready to learn, explore and give it your best."
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