Through the loss of her mother, husband, and two children over a nine-year period, ICAP’s Enala Daudi discovered her purpose as a community health worker—using her lived experiences to accompany her clients throughout their own health journeys after a new HIV diagnosis.
Daudi initially encountered the power of outreach workers as a young woman. With her mother bedbound with a long-term illness, an outreach worker from a regional health facility came to the family home regularly to provide care for Daudi’s mother and provide guidance to the family. Daudi was deeply touched by the support provided by the outreach worker and thought that one day she might like to be one too. Over the next nine years, this dream would sit beneath the surface, dimmed by the business of a new marriage and two children.
With the death of her husband and first born child however, she found herself jumping from job to job to care for her surviving daughter. Despite the hardship, she quickly realized that this change of circumstances was a chance to follow her long-quieted dream of pursuing a career in the health care field. She jumped at an opportunity to participate in a month-long training session conducted by a local non-profit organization to prepare her to work as a community-based health care volunteer. The training would prove to be a launching pad for a new career for Daudi. Fifteen years later, she now works as a community outreach worker with ICAP in Tanzania.
For Daudi, working with ICAP is an opportunity to use her life journey to support others in some of their darkest moments. She describes herself as a strong woman because she has been weak before. Wise because she has been foolish. And, now, fearless because she was afraid for so long. Driven by an intense desire to fight back against the spread of HIV in the communities she serves, she uses her lived experiences to build connection and to accompany her clients throughout their health journeys.
As an outreach worker, Daudi never knows what a day will look like as she travels by motorcycle to visit each of her clients, many of whom are living with HIV or have a partner who is HIV-positive. She works with each individual to ensure that they are receiving the support they need to safeguard their health to the fullest extent possible. Whether through encouraging her clients to take their antiretrovirals as prescribed, escorting her clients to their medical appointments, delivering at-home HIV test kits, or even providing ad-hoc health education talks on the benefits of HIV prevention measures like condoms and PrEP, she is ready for anything—and takes great joy in seeing her clients on the path to good health.
“My purpose,” she says, “is to help the community access better health services.”