I was born on September 6, 1985 in Monze, a small town in the Southern part of Zambia. I am a first born in a family of two, am married which makes me to be called Mrs Phiri and am also a proud mother of one (my son lights up my world, I thank God for him). I am soft spoken, with a reserved personality, others call me introvert but my good friends say am cool hence my nick name, Sandy cool.
I started my Primary education at Muchinga Primary School in Lusaka in 1993, attended Junior Secondary at Katondwe Girls, a catholic boarding School in the Luangwa valley, East of Zambia and finally my Senior education at Njase Girls High School in the southern Province. It was at Njase Girls where I built my determination, Girls at this school really worked hard and competition was stiff, this was just an eye opener for me and that I was privileged to have been appointed into various leadership positions, up to being a House Captain for my hostel in my final grade which helped me to be more responsible and focused.
A step into prosthetics and orthotics.
I joined the Zambian-Italian Orthopaedic Hospital in September, 2008 as an Assistant (bench worker) in the orthopaedic workshop, and I worked for a year until when I got a scholarship to study a certificate program in prosthetics in 2009 at TATCOT under 500 miles. I was very grateful to be accorded this opportunity and very thankful also to our former Hospital Administrator Sr. Egidia De Luca for believing in me and seeing to it that I succeeded in attaining my studies.
My experience at TATCOT was simply awesome, it was my first time to be this far from home and studying outside my country was an honor and I just had to make the best out of it. I had my good times and my bad times too, but at the end of the day am very grateful for every lesson learnt. My biggest challenge was being the youngest in my class but most especially being the least experienced in the field of Prosthetics and Orthotics. At first, I was very scared especially where practical was concerned, but as days went by, I got on truck and told myself that I can do it and for sure I did that at the end of the program I managed to scoop the second position and I was awarded for second best student.
Away from work
I spend most of my time with my two boys (my husband and son), visit my good friends and family. I love to listen to music, Dancing, trying new recipes (baking in particular), watching and reading fashion and design magazines (I love to look good) am also a fun of home deco and am a book lover too, I love to be updated. My dislikes include, fake friends because I treasure true friendship, I hate those that pretend to like me yet they don’t and those people who destroy other peoples names just to obtain favours.I believe we are all not perfect beings but we can build another in good faith by sowing the right seed.
Before joining this field, I obtained a diploma in social work, a certificate in Psychosocial counseling which inspired me greatly to be a part of this team and am currently the national Secretary for the Zambia Association for prosthetics and Orthotics (ZAPO) I have been saving for two years now which also prompted me to study for a diploma in Public Administration which am undertaking via distance learning just to get an insight on managerial skills and polish up. I wish to go further and inspire someone someday especially my fellow females.
I wish to see a lot more people get access to training in my country so as to enable us provide quality prosthetic and orthotic services and to carter for the masses as the demand is high and also a continuous access to technical workshops along with educational programs as this will allow us clinicians deliver best services with utmost quality and success and be updated with latest technology, my credit goes to the international committee for the Red Cross-Special fund for the disabled (ICRC-SFD) for the refresher courses they have been offering which I for one have benefited on two occasions when I went to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia one in 2011 for the fabrication of a Trans-Tibial Prosthesis and the other one in 2012 for the clinical management of foot pathologies. And finally, I also look forward to equal opportunities for all Prosthetists and Orthotists with improved conditions of service so as to enable keep the motivated workforce and maintain high quality services.
Many thanks to 500 miles for the great work you are doing especially here in Africa in helping people with physical challenges, keep up with the good work and my respect to all men and women working in this noble field and have taken it more than a career but as a passion, To you all I say, God will reward you greatly and above all, if given an opportunity to explore further, I wish to be a prosthetic counselor as this service is lacking in my country I feel it is vital so as to brighten the minds of people affected and to also make prosthetic use easier. We can make the world a better place.