Ryculture directors Dr. Onyango Michael, Dr. Mugambi Derrick, Hezron Munyakin, Manyange Amos and Daniel Waruingi on 20th July 2019 took part in a discussion forum hosted by the Pharmacy Students’ Association of Kenya (KEPhSA). This was organized to encourage pharmacy students to explore various options towards changing the world in their small ways from when they are in school.
This forum convened young pharmacists and pharmacy students running different initiatives. The organizations represented were Ryculture Health and Social Innovation, RockHealth Integrated Care Organization (Dr. Hakeem Kiboi), The Medical Hub (Libeya Bethwel), Afya Consult (Njenga Muiruri).
Dr. Onyango Michael outlined the inception process of Ryculture from an idea on how we would put extra time in school to use which crystallized to a vision to democratize access to health information among the youth. This was the pillar of our work at start in which we participated widely in health promotion activities partnering with different organizations i.e. KEPhSA, JKUSA, Pink Shoes, JKUSMA among others in providing health interventions in different communities.
Dr. Onyango Michael (MD, Ryculture Health and Social Innovation) making his presentation during the session.
Life comes with a chance to evolve and pick new battles and as Ryculture we sat down and thought of better ways to ensure continuity i.e. once we graduate from school, what guarantee do we have that other students will keep on with the work we have started? It wasn’t there and as such we saw it fit to introduce our Mentorship and Coaching Program as well as Social Innovation Hub to empower fellow youth start up new projects which can give them experience and exposure to the corporate world. In this we have had one of our directors start off a media outfit, Planet Wizard which majors on telling stories behind brands through videography, pictures and stories. We leverage on this as well to propagate our starting mission to democratize access to health information to the youth.
Panel discussion where Dr. Mugambi Derrick shared his insights
Dr. Mugambi Derrick took part in a panel discussion where he tackled the aspect of growth and development while still in the university. He explained on the role of the university as a platform where students can develop life skills that are key in the day-day living and professional growth.
The key take away points were:
- Being objective and deliberate with whatever one intends to pursue. In this as young people we need to know why, how and what we want to do and set off to do it.
- Proper time-management is key considering we are first students and that is the basis of why we happen to be in these environments i.e. universities, associations etc. We have to balance between school and the extra work we engage in. (We don’t have access to the opportunities and facilities that the likes of Bill Gates had but we can use what we have.)
- Leverage on all the opportunities you have access to in the university to span networks, mentorship and friendships as opportunities to learn and try new things. Professional development is key even when still a student, push yourself to grow.
- Finances are limiting but in all we have to start from somewhere. Take the first step; the leap of faith and believe in your idea.
- Character, passion and commitment are key to a successful project. Nurture them.
- For every challenge, there is a need for a solution. Change your perspective and viewpoint in every obstacle you face in your journey. Be resilient and push on. Reach out for guidance when you need it and be open to learn. There is no limit on how much you can learn provided you set yourself on the course to pursue knowledge & competence.
The event came at a timely moment as young people are faced with unemployment woes while as millenials they are the most versatile and proactive group to engage with. In efforts to revolutionize access to services and products this is a group that needs to be tapped into and with such an initiative we hope more young people will get off and put their time and energy to good use.
Special thanks to KEPhSA Executive Officials under the leadership of Cohen Andove and Mevin Shahada and the USIU Pharmacy Club leadership for hosting the event.