From Kenia with appreciation
Jenipher Masawa is one of our graduating students. Before leaving back home to Kenia, Jenipher stopped by for a short interview with Prof. Nir Ohad, Head of the Manna Center for Food Safety and Security
Jenipher has been in the program for the last three years, doing her Master Thesis on “Sea grasses - Understanding the interactions between epiphytic foraminifera and their seagrass host, Halophila stipulacea".
As our student, she is known for her passion to help women in her community through an NGO she established - BLUE FIRMS INVESTMENT LIMITED, with a mission of revolutionizing sustainable green initiatives and financial inclusion to promote collective and shared prosperity in African rural communities.
Prof. Nir Ohad: So how did you perceive Israel when you first came?
Jenipher Masawa: First, I would say I was raised to love Israel as a Christian, and when I came here, I met people who are determined to build a community from scratch. They were not building for themselves, but also for the future generation. They've managed to build a resilient community for the future.
Now people around the world are discussing global warming and climate change and all that, I think the people I’ve met, saw ahead of time.
Prof. Nir Ohad: What was the major difference coming to Israel, to the Master Program, which you were not prepared for and how did you overcome that?
Jenipher Masawa: I grew up in Kenya, in a rural area, where agriculture is the only subsistence and where the common households does not have any other income.
When I came to Israel and lived in a rural set up, I saw that every household has an income and they have a very organized social infrastructure, this really took me by surprise. And given that from a young age, I always wanted to do something for my community, seeing this gave me more ideas on what I can do, change and improve back home. I saw that when the leadership is good and the people are committed, the community can achieve so much.
So apart from academics, I learn also outside of class, a lot.
Prof. Nir Ohad: If someone is considering doing their Master degree here, what would be the advantage for them to coming to Israel, as you see it?
Jenipher Masawa: I think Israel is a focal point for its innovation and I think that the whole world looks at Israel. And on a personal level, I learned from the best. I honestly learned to do, not just theory. I think Israeli Academia is one of the best in the world. Anyone applying to this program is assured of being mentored by the best in their field and the committed.
Prof. Nir Ohad: Where do you see yourself in the professional future?
Jenipher Masawa: First I want to do my PHD and the next thing I will do is becoming a leader in my home country.