USING DATA TO RESCUE KIDS FROM HIV/AIDS

MOSA MOSEME’S DECISION TO FOLLOW HER DREAM OF FURTHER EDUCATION CHANGED HER LIFE – AND MANY OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES, TOO. SHE USES HER KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS TO BATTLE HIV/AIDS AND TO HELP OTHERS REACH HIGHER.


Mosa Moseme (Lesotho) - Strategic Information and Evaluation Advisor at Elizabeth Glazer Paediatric

Mosa Moseme, or Mampho Mputsoe, followed the Master’s programme in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation for Geoinformatics at ITC from October 2010 to March 2012. ‘I am from Lesotho, a small country inside South Africa, where I work for the Elizabeth Glazer Paediatric AIDS foundation, EGPAF, in Maseru, our capital city,’ she says. ‘My journey began when I made a decision to follow my dream and further my studies. I had the greatest support structure ever: my husband. We started searching for institutions, universities and scholarships by browsing the Internet. Having been admitted at ITC in the Netherlands, I was up and about searching for a scholarship, when a friend suggested we try the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Programme. I applied and within a couple of months I received the long-awaited response: I was granted a scholarship.’

‘I COULDN’T WAIT TO BUILD MY FIRST DATABASE’

At ITC, Mosa enjoyed the classes, gaining new knowledge and skills almost daily. I couldn’t wait to develop my first database! I also attended social events and other activities, such as summer games and cultural days. One event I enjoyed was the Day of International Students in The Hague. Seeing my country flag there gave me such a sense of recognition!

‘MUCH OF MY WORK CENTRES ON DATA’

Back in Lesotho, Mosa is Strategic Information and Evaluation Advisor for EGPAF, whose mission is to eliminate HIV/AIDS deaths among children. She provides technical support to the Ministry of Health in monitoring and evaluating the HIV and tuberculosis programmes in Lesotho. Much of her work revolves around data: she is engaged in strengthening data capturing mechanisms, data management, data analysis, data quality assurance, data dissemination and reporting at all levels – including, of course, the use of GIS data. ‘I use the knowledge and skills I acquired at ITC all the time here in Lesotho,’ she says. ‘Not only that, but I also regularly assist colleagues through knowledge sharing sessions. I feel I have become very helpful to my peers and to our community at large. My studies have enabled me to guide them forward in many ways. Somehow I feel I have become a guru in Internet-based approaches, as I always give informal lectures on how to contribute helpful information on social media and how to extract and use information – especially location-based, as at ITC I wrote my thesis on that topic.’

AN INVESTMENT THAT WILL NOT BE WASTED

Mosa is thrilled that she was able to obtain a Master’s degree in a field in which she can now make a real difference. ‘I’m really thankful I was one of the few individuals to be sponsored. The investment will not be wasted, as I intend to change a lot of lives.’

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