Iklas Balingo is 28 years old and is from Mundri County. She is married with five children – two boys and three girls. As a child, during the war between North and South Sudan, Iklas moved to Northern Sudan where she then completed her studies in business administration at Omdurman Al Ahalia University. She started working with the Trumpeter Community Health Project in 2014:
Every day for me it’s a learning process, we have been able to learn through trainings with consultants, UNICEF and facilitators. All the efforts have made me a better health worker. I work for two days a week for Trumpeter Community Health – Tuesday and Saturday.
For a normal Trumpeter Community Health day, I will wake up and prepare my children to go to school. As soon as they leave the house, I will prepare myself to leave. We meet at the local church, we pair ourselves two by two. By 9am, everybody is there at the meeting point and we say a prayer before we depart. Normally we reach seven houses in a day meaning in a (two-day) week we reach 14 households as a pair.
We normally knock the homes, introduce ourselves to the owner of the house then request to have some time with them discussing sanitation and hygiene. Not all homes are welcoming and sometimes we also find difficulties. After sharing about sanitation and hygiene, we request the homeowner if we can pray together – some will agree and some will not agree. We do respect everyone’s views. But 90% of homes owners will always agree we say a prayer together. In most cases we don’t have time to read the Bible but sometimes we find welcoming homes that we even share the Word of God.
Our day normally ends at 3pm when it is very hot and at 4pm when the weather is cool. We stop for 1 hour for lunch during working hours. Our main challenge is sometimes walking under the sun can be difficult but we push on.
Working with Trumpeter Community Health, I have learnt a lot. I can call myself a trained community health worker. I have learned handwashing, water treatment and communicable diseases among other subjects. When rewarded [my salary] every month, I provide for my family daily food and paying school fees. I thank everyone who contributes to the project for saving lives.
Please pray for Iklas and the other Trumpeters as they continue their vital work. They are currently expanding into other geographical areas and focusing on addressing malnutrition.
‘May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.’ – Psalm 90:17