GIVING CARE ON TWO CONTINENTS #StickYourNeckOut #GiraffeHeroes Ekene Amaefule left her Nigerian home to earn degrees in nursing and in business administration at the University of Washington. She’s parlayed that education into a good job at Seattle’s Harborview Hospital and used that good job to create changes in her village back in Nigeria. Her nonprofit, Caring Hearts International, has drilled the first well in the village, and Amaefule is heading toward building a village clinic and a school. Until the kids can go to that new school, she’s sponsoring 25 of them to attend school in a nearby town, paying for their uniforms and their supplies. She’s been named Nurse of the Year at Harborview for the quality of her work there, received a humanitarian award from Washington State for the free care she gives to some of Seattle’s poorest residents, and her Nigerian village has made her an honorary chief—the first time such an honor has been given to a woman. At the same time that she works a grueling hospital schedule, does volunteer nursing for the poor, and manages the Caring Hearts programs, Amaefule is raising five children, three of her own and twin boys she adopted in Nigeria. When asked how in the world she manages it all, Ekene Amaefule says, “I pray every morning and just go day by day.” UPDATE: Nurse Amaefule is now the nurse manager of the Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit at the Puget Sound Veteran Administration Medical Center.