Celebrating Dr. Eliza Smith: A Decade of Dedication to One Health and Community Empowerment

As we prepare for Dr. Eliza Smith, Kyeema Technical Manager & Monitoring Evaluation and Learning transition from full time Kyeema staff to consultant, we reflect on someone who has been an integral part of the Kyeema family for 10 years and are filled with gratitude for the incredible journey we have shared with her.  

Eliza’s story in development began when she volunteered through Australian Volunteers International for the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in 2013, with Kyeema as the Australian partner organisation. Her experiences in Kenya and Uganda ignited her passion for development work, and upon her return to Australia, she was engaged as an intern and then a casual position at Kyeema to establish our communications channels and revitalise the Kyeema digital presence. 

As Kyeema grew, so did Eliza’s role. Embracing a full-time position, she became the driving force behind many of our organizational improvements. Despite her background in veterinary science, Eliza fearlessly took on new challenges, including leading our M&E and communications efforts, while also providing technical support across our projects. 

Eliza ILRI

Eliza working on an ILRI research for development activity involving local feeds development for smallholder pig farmers in Masaka, Uganda.

Celia, Merilyn and Eliza at the Master Farmer workshop in March 2024

Celia Grenning, Merilyn Donigi-Saiwa and Eliza Smith at the Master Farmer workshops at Tutu Beach, PNG. 

Eliza’s impact on Kyeema’s growth and success cannot be overstated. Her work in developing our strategic plans, and setting up the Organisational Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, propelled Kyeema to new heights and was instrumental in achieving accreditation with DFAT’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program. Her dedication and leadership have been instrumental in strengthening our programs in Mozambique and Malawi and establishing new programs in Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea.  

Eliza has a passion for teaching and for One Health and Welfare principles, which promote the integrated, unifying approach that balances and optimises health and welfare of people, animals and the environment in which they live. She has ensured that Kyeema’s activities align with One Health principles, bringing this holistic perspective into our programs. Eliza has played an integral role in 

developing training materials, particularly in PNG and the Pacific. Eliza has provided in-person training and ongoing support to the PNG Village Chicken Master Farmers and recently developed training videos for the Pacific on village chicken keeping, creating valuable resources for Kyeema and the communities we work with well into the future. 

While we will miss Eliza dearly as a permanent member of our staff, we take comfort in knowing that this is not goodbye. Eliza will always be a part of the Kyeema family, and we are thrilled that she will continue to support our work as a technical consultant. Her passion for education has now led her to seek new opportunities to teach the next generation in life sciences, including One Health and Welfare. We have no doubt that she will excel in this new chapter of her journey.