Dr. Amy Lehman, founder of the Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic, presented a thought-provoking and inspirational speech that left TASIS seniors with true insight into the NGO’s founding and mission. Amy, as she instantly requested we call her, arrived at TASIS in mid-October and instantly immersed herself in the TASIS community. She visited the Global Health and Serving Africa Service Learning groups on campus, and sat in on some of Dr. Price’s IB Biology classes. Her biggest contribution to the TASIS community, however, came in the form of a presentation for the senior class in which she shared stories of the people she had met in her work on Lake Tanganyika. She posed challenging questions and shared her views on true philanthropy.
Amy referred to an article that she had recently read that argued that the motto “follow your passion” was not all it was cracked up to be. Having broken down that pre-conceived notion in our minds, Amy shared that posessing a variety of skills are what has allowed her to be successful, and that learning to become good at a lot of things is more beneficial that simply focusing the one thing that you are passionate about.
She told us about stories she’s heard firsthand from the people she’s dedicated her life to helping, and left us all questioning what we, as individuals, were doing to help the world, and how ready we are to further commit to this cause. She left us in a state of complete awe, as she challenged our thoughts and ideas.
After the talk, we were invited back to Casa Fleming for delicious cake and an opportunity to ask Amy about her project. She eagerly answered our individual questions and discussed with us the unique problems that are present in the Lake Tanganyika region and the overwhelming difference that the clinic has made in the 3.5 million people that live around the lake.
It was amazing: the founder of this immense NGO sat and spoke with an intimate group of students about what we are capable of achieving if we spend the time to learn as much as we can about as much as possible. This matched the very goal of the founder of TASIS, whose home we were inside. Dr. Lehman’s visit to TASIS was an opportunity for students to truly see what can happen if they use all of the opportunities Mrs. Fleming, our own founder, strived to give us all.
Written by Zoe Hunter ’13
Photograph by Taylor Tomasso '13