"FAME was a catalyst for me." - Martin, Lab Attendant

Based on interviews with Martin, FAME Lab Attendant

 
Martin talking with a patient in the laboratory after taking a blood sample.

Martin talking with a patient in the laboratory after taking a blood sample.

Working at FAME is a family affair for Martin. His father, John, is a member of FAME’s original 20- member staff. Since 2008, John has been on the Grounds and Maintenance team and has been the head of the team for the past seven years. Martin grew up in Karatu and did his schooling just a couple kilometers from FAME. When he was out of school, he started working on the grounds team at a local coffee plantation for about six months before he decided to come to FAME and see if there were any opportunities for him here. In 2014, he was hired as a groundskeeper alongside his father. Martin was planning to work for as long as it took to save money to attend medical school. Fortunately, luck was on his side. At that time, we hadn’t yet installed our digital recording system in the laboratory. When Anthony, the lab manager, started looking for someone to help input the lab’s records, he saw Martin as a smart young man with a lot of promise. He requested to pull him from the Grounds and Maintenance team and brought him to the lab where he would start his career in the lab inputting records into the computer. After a few months, FAME gave him a chance to apply for a scholarship to go to school to become a Lab Attendant and join the laboratory team. Martin had been interested in studying medicine, but it was his initial opportunity to help out in the lab that peaked his interest in the field. “In primary school, I was dreaming of working in medicine,” Martin said. “I always think about how long it would have taken me to collect enough money for the school fees and how I can ever thank Frank and Susan. FAME was a catalyst for me because they sped up my dream.” Martin traveled to Dar es Salaam for six months to study. “School was good because I had some prep,” Martin said. “I already had some experience doing things in the lab that other students didn’t.” When he returned from school, he joined the lab team full time as a Lab Attendant. He enjoys working with FAME’s medical staff because, “everyone at FAME works as a team and everyone is happy.” In the future, he hopes to further advance his capacity by returning to school in a program to become a Lab Technician for FAME. Martin started his journey at FAME hoping for any working opportunity nearly five years ago. Now, he’s a Lab Attendant in one of the most advanced labs in the country, all spurred by trust that led to a simple data entry job.

 
Kathrine Kuhlmann