Meet “The Doctor” - Joy Suubo
In September 2010 Joy Suubo became the first female vet in the
SOS team. Her veterinary shop and practice is located in the
village of Serere.
Joy is not originally from this area and, not speaking the local
language she admits to feeling a little lost during her first few
days. However, she swiftly threw herself into community life
- getting to know people in the village and establishing her
veterinary shop. Whilst some of the villagers were initially wary -
could such a young person, a girl for that matter, really be a vet
or know more than they did? - one year on, Joy is fully integrated
into community life and trusted by the village residents, who
generally refer to her as "the Doctor".
Despite not having received formal sales training, Joy seems to
be a natural. She makes a point of getting to know the villagers
who give her tips on which livestock owners to visit as potential
customers. Joy does not only treat sick animals but also teaches
farmers how to prevent them from falling sick in the first
place. She also takes good care of her customers, visiting
them if they fall ill or if the family is blessed with a baby.
The shop is staffed around the clock - 12 hours a day, 7 days a
week - by Joy and her female assistant, and they take turns to go
to church. Thus the assistant is always there when Joy does her
early morning and late afternoon visits to farmers (animals are
normally out grazing during the day).
Joy's sales have more than doubled since she started. As a
result, she told her parents not to worry about paying the school
fees for her two younger brothers, as she can take care of these
from the profits she makes from her in-field activities. Joy
also helped her younger sister, Mary, to set up a poultry business.
Now into her second year of operations she seems happily settled in
the area and well on her way of taking over the business.