Lea Masamo

Country representing

Kenya

Languages

English
Swahili

Education

  • USIU-Africa: International Business& Entrepreneurship
  • BSc International Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Project Management Institute: CAPM

Current organisation

-Africa Sickle Cell Organization

Current role

Executive Director

Areas of interest

Leadership

Website & Social Links

I am passionate about

Sickle Cell Anaemia. At the age of 3 i was diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia. Throughout my life, i have known sickle cell anaemia to be frowned upon in Kenya. And in some cases considered a curse to the child or family. Due to inadequate information and health services, people with sickle cell anaemia have been given a life span of upto 15 years.

This has been a great blessing for me in that i am able to live my life in the highest expression wholesomely. With regards to my value system,vegan lifestyle, yoga and meditation and the love of speaking out about sickle cell disease does not limit me as a human being or make me less of a person.Living as an example to other sicklers and everyone else in Kenya on how one can lead a healthy life is my greatest passion.

Sickle cell disease been ranked the biggest killer disease among children under the age of 5 after malaria, hence the need for the government and stakeholders to put in more efforts to fight it. Over 90 percent of Africans are the most sufferers of the disease followed by Asians and those loving in the Mediterranean area.

Knowing this i fear that society doesnt know about sickle cell disease in Kenya as the rest of the world does. 5% population of the world is affected with sickle cell disease. And upto 22% of the population in Kenya is un aware about the prevalence and management of the disease. Medical camps held in Nyanza province and the coast are still a long way from educating the rural and urban population about sickle cell disease.

Getting news of the death of a sickler at this day and age is heart breaking. This is mostly due to lack of knowledge. Having the opportunity to actively shout about Sickle Cell disease participate in the Children Sickle Cell Foundation in Kenya and speak about living with the disease has been a great joy. And my at times jaundiced eyes are hard to miss.

Actions

Three things in life that are important i.e. Experiences, Growth and Contribution. Experiences make us stronger, and they broaden our minds; thoughts and inner beings.  In my 3 – year AIESEC experience, I have learnt how to embrace diversity and opportunities that come with it. I have learnt that despite the fact that the human race is different in its ways of life; we are quite unique in that, we want the same things; are usually motivated by the same things. The desire to develop into influential people in society occurs in us no matter where we come from, our educational background or even the time this desire develops in us.

Project Management

I am an advocate for the Sickle Cell disease in Kenya. I have partnered with Marie Ojiambo to create research systems and information abouth Sickle Cell disease in Kenya since there are no active sources of information. Being an active member of the Childre Sickle Cell Foundation in Kenya, i am able to meet many families affected by sickle cell disease and find sustainable way for them to gain knowledge and live healthy lives. With regards to growth, the ability to freely speak to different organisations i.e. Sickle Cell Foundation and the Alabastron Network Trust has made me grow into a leader and a mentor of people from different backgrounds, not just sicklers. This has given me a self reflective mechanism in all the activities i do that affect those who surround me. Being an example of hope is the only way to diffuse hopelessness.