I remember being about 8 years old and seeing a TV ad for sponsoring hungry kids in Africa. Those kids were just like me. Except I wasn’t starving and I knew I never would be. Something was stirred in that small me – something that knew my life had to be part of the solution for those hungry kids.
Fast forward more than 2 decades – years filled with overseas volunteer experiences, studies in culture and international development, volunteering with aid agencies, friendships with African refugees in Adelaide, and heaps and heaps of learning – and I find myself, proudly, working for Maranatha Health. I can tell my young self that I have never forgotten that moment of insight, calling even. I can say that, while my understanding of the complexities of poverty has massively expanded and I believe in a much more long-term, holistic and people-driven approach to development than sponsoring hungry kids, I am still that young girl, moved in the core of my being by the desire to make the world a more just and healthy place.
On a much less expressive note, I am have a Bachelor of International Studies, with a major in Development, from Flinders University. I have spent 18 months living and volunteering in various parts of SE Asia, including living with a family in the slums of Phnom Penh. I have previously served on the MH Board and I currently chair the Board of a local community association. I have a young, exuberant son; a creative, brilliant husband; a flourishing (though benignly neglected) veggie garden; and a love of creating healthy food, unique garments and connected community.
Kim Findlay has always had a passion for social justice, which has grown into a love of grassroots development in Africa over the past 10 years. Kim first visited Africa on a 3-month travel and volunteer trip to Kenya, and felt very much ‘at home’ in Africa. Determined to return to the continent and perhaps live there one day, Kim accepted the opportunity to complete the final semester of her BA in Uganda, undertaking a 6-month placement with a local community organisation.
Before establishing Maranatha Health with her husband, she predominantly worked with refugees and other migrants from an African background in Australia, as well as volunteering with various community and Christian groups in leadership roles. Kim and Michael moved to Uganda to establish Maranatha Health in early 2011, where Kim’s role focussed initially on management, HR, and establishing the organisational systems and structures, and then moved to include designing and implementing the community development programs for MH. In 2012 Kim completed her Masters in International and Community Development.
Kim is particularly interested and passionate about global advocacy for the marginalised, calling for greater effectiveness in the aid industry, and authentic social and behaviour change to expand women’s choices in the African context. Her latest (most challenging!!) role is raising three extremely cute but very mischievous young sons.
Michael Findlay has been passionate about medicine and Africa from a very young age. Michael was fortunate that at the end of high school he was accepted into Medicine at the University of Adelaide and upon completion of his degree he went on to specialise as a General Practitioner. Michael has also completed a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Michael first visited Uganda in early 2003 and made frequent trips back until he and Kim moved there in 2011. Michael enjoyed the challenge presented by the Maranatha Health project, although the suffering of young children was always heart breaking. Michael is proud of thw work Maranatha Health has achieved in Uganda and is keen to see what impact it will continue to have into the future. c
Beyond Maranatha Health, Michael enjoys sport, reading, politics, and spending time with his family and three young sons.