Finding purpose to learn something new

“I believe in possibilities and that I can make an impact. No matter what my age is.”

I am Rachel Vraagom a housewife I have two sons and raised 3 of my sisters’ daughters when she passed away. I thought this was it just taking care of the home and raise a family.

The day I attended one of New Heritage Foundation’s workshops in 2020 and I wanted to know and learn more. I am not educated and have not completed high school I thought that I can never qualify to be part of the organization only educated people can add value to this kind of work.

I attended more events with New Heritage Foundation and one day Chantelle approached me after I assisted with one of their events to help with monitoring and evaluation I was taken out of my depth because I have never done this kind of work. Chantelle believed from day one I could do it, she guided me and then allowed me to do it on my own. I just hoped and prayed I do it right. I said to myself if she trusts me this much to do this work then it is time, I trust myself too.

I grew up in a time when talking about period and reproductive health was to be kept quiet and non-existent even with close friend and family. When I heard Chantelle speak for the first time it was a surprise word for me and her story was so motivating and kept attending to hear more.

She often explained who funded the programs and made it possible for her to do this kind of outreach and I was glad to know that there were people who believed in such work and the support they gave for our girls and boys in our vulnerable communities to be educated and informed of this very important topic.

I would always hear her say Gender Links and a few other names but Gender Links would get stuck in my head and I am very grateful to Gender Links for their support of New Heritage Foundation.

As a mom myself I have not spoken openly to the extent New Heritage Foundation speaks of the sexual reproductive health and how they help girls and women menstruate with dignity but also help boys understand there is no stigma and no shame. Now I make sure my boys are informed and educated with everything I have learnt from News Heritage Foundation and so will my generations to come.