Her passion to serve communities has helped Brenda’s light shine at Sanergy!
The month of February marks Field Officer Brenda Mwelu’s first anniversary at Sanergy. During the last year, she has developed a strong commitment to community development. “Working at Sanergy has helped me learn a lot about myself and where I want to be in the years to come,” she says.
Born and raised in Mukuru Kwa Reuben, Brenda knows too well the challenges that come with living in a slum. As recently as five years ago, there were few clean toilets in her neighborhood. Her family and friends struggled daily to find decent facilities. However, there was reprieve in 2012, when Fresh Life Operator Leah Gachanja installed two Fresh Life Toilets in Brenda’s neighborhood. “These experiences have really shaped who I am today,” she emphasizes.
A year after completing an Information Communication Technology course at Carlile College and finding it difficult to secure a job, Brenda opened a grocery shop and offered typing and printing services to make ends meet. While running her business, she heard about a Field Officer job opening at Sanergy, and she decided to apply for it.
She had liked working for herself, but the inconsistency of customers made it difficult for her to provide for her son Tyron Mutuku. “I also wanted to hone my professional skills, which I knew I could do at Sanergy,” Brenda adds.
Over the last year, Brenda says she has grown personally and professionally: “I have learnt a lot from working with a network of sixty Fresh Life Operators in Kamukunji. I am a better communicator and very flexible when it comes to handling our customers.”
Brenda has developed a good rapport with the Fresh Life Operators assigned to her in Kamukunji, and helps them comply with Fresh Life’s standards. “All Fresh Life Toilets in my area always score well in the Mystery Loo User survey conducted every month,” she beams.
What inspires her to perform so well at work? “Seeing a happy Fresh Life family!” she says. “I strive to empower Fresh Life Operators, so that they may offer the best possible sanitation services to their customers and fulfill our promise of making hygienic sanitation affordable and accessible to all.”
Brenda has not achieved all this by herself; her friend Christelle Nzau has been key in her success over the past year. “Christelle has taught me how to relate to Fresh Life Operators and to organise my work.” Brenda’s mother, Margaret Kabura, is also a source of inspiration: “She always supports me and has been instrumental in my personal growth as a mother and a leader,” she says.
This year, Brenda has big dreams. “I hope to pursue community development studies because I want to work with my community in the long run, especially advocating for children’s rights,” she says.
As for her work, this year she has been tasked with maintaining the standards of residential Fresh Life Toilets in Kiambiu, Makadara, and Mukuru Kwa Reuben areas. “These new responsibilities require more from me , and I am up to the challenge,” she states.
She is currently conducting regular refresher courses on cleanliness and hygiene for plot caretakers and tenants. “I hold sessions where I teach them how to clean a Fresh Life Toilet and how to develop a schedule to involve all tenants in caring for and maintaining the toilets,” notes Brenda.
With her diligence and collaborative spirit, we have no doubt that Brenda is bound to succeed in this new role and beyond!