Democratic Republic of Congo
For the past 33 years, Collette has been working as a matron at the Elila health centre in Maniema, DRC. The centre serves over 5 000 people and, until recently, Collette was the only matron available for the female population, delivering babies by candlelight because of a lack of electricity and accessing remote patients by pirogue. Despite these challenges, Collette has stated that she "will never turn her back on those who need her".
At 61 years old, Collette meets around 20 pregnant women a week and is a mother of five. She has never received a wage from the government, and only recently started receiving financial incentives from Merlin to keep the centre running. In fact, the maternity ward was just renovated by Merlin, and Collette now has a clean and safe space to support deliveries.