A Transformative Journey from Novice to Health Reporting Specialist


By Jeniffer Gilla

Here is a little glimpse into the incredible journey I’ve been on over the past two years, thanks to my wonderful AWJP family.

It all began in July 2020 when I joined the AWJP team through the COVID-19 Pandemic Reporting Fellowship. Little did I know that this experience would be a turning point in my career.

Becoming a Health Reporting Specialist

Health reporting? Well, that was a foreign land to me back then. But thanks to the mentoring and guidance of Catherine Gicheru and the entire AWJP team, I’ve not only learned to write health stories but have become a specialist in the field.

From covering the intricacies of public health to delving into medical breakthroughs, I’ve honed my skills and developed a deep passion for health reporting. It’s incredible how AWJP has transformed my professional life.

From Local to International Recognition

The icing on the cake? Several articles I have produced as an  AWJP Fellow have received regional, local and international awards. For example, the article l wrote on Domestic Workers among the Hardest Hit by the COVID-19 Pandemic in Tanzania was awarded the first prize in the Climate Justice category of the FEMNET awards for the best women’s articles in Africa, and l was also the first runner up in the Open Print Media Award in the Open Category at the Excellence in Journalism Awards Tanzania 2021. Can you believe it? From novice to award-winning writer in just a year!

Embracing Data Journalism

But the learning continued. I’ve ventured into the realm of data journalism. Now, every story I write must include data and infographics. This adds depth to my articles and makes them simple and easy for everyone to understand. It’s about breaking down complex topics and making them accessible to all.

Collaboration and Connecting

Being a part of the AWJP family has opened doors to exciting collaborations. I’ve had the privilege of connecting with fellow East African journalists, and together, we’re diving headfirst into health reporting, working on collaborative stories that bring crucial issues to light.

Over the last 24 months, the AWJP fellowship has enriched my life— professionally and personally. It’s more than just an organisation; it’s a family that nurtures growth, fosters learning, and celebrates achievements. I am truly fortunate to be a part of this incredible journey.