Recent Graduate Working to Improve Family Health in Mali

An Elliott School education has led a recent graduate from Foggy Bottom to Mali for an immersive, global experience. Kelsey Oliver, BA ’19, studied international affairs with concentrations in global public health and security policy. Now, she’s living with a host family just outside Mali’s capital city, Bamako, and working as a communications fellow with an organization called Muso. Muso brings preventative care to Malians by deploying hundreds of community health workers, mostly women, to go door-to-door in search of patients. Among the most important services these health workers provide are family planning, newborn screening and treatment for children with malaria, diarrhea and malnutrition.

Kelsey says the best part of her time in Mali has been the sense of community. Her host mother, Tata, and her many host brothers and sisters have become Kelsey’s second family. In this immersive environment, Kelsey also continues to learn the language and cross-cultural communication skills she needs to be successful in her work with Muso. “Whether you’re interested in public health, medicine, engineering, or international affairs, it’s really important to be able to understand where other people are coming from,” Kelsey said. 

Kelsey is using video to document her life in Mali and share a visual story about the impact of Muso’s work. You can watch an episode from her video diary here. To get in touch with Kelsey and hear more about her work, please reach out to her on LinkedIn.

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