By: Jackie Glodener
Dr. Kerry’s motivation for starting Seed stems from her family’s history. She grew up in a home of public service; her father, John Kerry, is a public servant and her mother, Julia Thorne, is a public advocate, who wrote a book about depression in a time when the issue was not yet well known.
The program starts by forming partnerships with ministries of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. An extensive recruiting process follows in order to find volunteers from America. Then, applicants are interviewed for potential year-long positions; Seed looks for people who have flexibility, creativity, and a strong work ethic. After acceptance, volunteers have a 2-week orientation in Washington, which prepares them to teach and provide care in a limited resource environment. Volunteers then travel to the outside countries and spend another two weeks learning about the culture and the local disease burdens. The volunteers then begin their year in that country, integrating with the community and bringing knowledge and experience to the partner institutions’ healthcare workers.