A heart for people

One step at a time
Theresia Lucas
Alicia Marques is an intern occupational therapist at Windhoek Central hospital. Born in Grootfontein and raised in Walvis Bay, she is currently 23 years of age.

She attended primary and high school in Walvis Bay, where she matriculated from Walvis Bay Private School in 2016.

After matriculating, Marques took a gap year and worked at a clearing and forwarding company.

When occupational therapy was introduced as a course at the University of Namibia (Unam) in 2018, she immediately applied and graduated in 2022.

One of her biggest motivators is following her destiny. She added that she had a passion for helping people since the age of 15 and always wanted to be the voice for the voiceless.

“Occupational therapy is about a person’s doing, being, becoming and belonging. It creatively enables people of all ages to reach their potential for meaningful participation within their contexts,” she said.

In addition, Marques stated that her new position allows her to see different areas of occupational therapy - be it mental or physical health. She added that she now has an opportunity to journey with different people, where both her clients and co-workers serve as inspiration.

She narrated that her journey has not been the easiest and, like many people, she had her share of battles to fight. She chose to learn from her experiences instead of surrendering to them, she said.

She added that she has quite a busy schedule, both in her personal and professional life.

“A typical day for me is usually busy, even outside of working hours, but I invite the challenge and I am grateful for every moment,” she said.

When she is not at work, Marques likes to spend her time reading, painting, listening to music and spending time with her family and loved ones.

One of the biggest messages she wants to give aspiring occupational therapists is that they need to value opportunities as they come, and to always be brave and value teamwork. She also advised that one should take things to step by step and moment by moment, saying that the most important thing is to show up for yourself and your loved ones.

“It is important to not compare yourself to anyone else. You are here for such a time as this and as a friend once also advised me: ‘Give yourself the grace to become’.”