Monday, June 23, 2014

Meet Loy

Today we introduce you to Loy Tumusiime, our Fistula Coordinator.

Loy came to work with Uganda Village Project (UVP) in 2010 to “help women who are also suffering from fistula because I had experience with it.” Her role has given her opportunities she had never imagined, such as appearing on the national news to talk about fistula and making friends all over eastern Uganda.

Because fistula is stigmatized, women suffering from it often don’t tell other people that they have it, minimizing their chance to get help. Loy, however, is able to tell her story during village outreaches. “Because I suffered from fistula, I had that experience so I know how to talk with them and they come up and share with me,” she says.

Loy lives with her three children (ages 17, 12, and 10) in Iganga. When she’s not working with UVP, she helps another organization teach healthy messages to people in the district…and she’s sure to always include information about fistula in her trainings. The passion that Loy has for her work is obvious when she talks about her job. Eventually, she’d like to go to nursing school in her free time so she can expand how she’s able to care for women. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Meet the Summer 2014 Interns!

Launch Team - Buwaira

Ana Leticia Nery* is a Brazilian physician. She graduated from the University of Sao Paulo in 2013. She was the Health Coordinator of a NGO that provided health care education and self-empowerment and development solutions to Native Brazilian communities. She currently works as physician on duty of the Emergency Room in a Hospital in one of Sao Paulo’s biggest and most violent slums, a high pressure environment with little resources. As Team Leader of the Launch Team she is more than excited to put to test her ideas and expertise derived from her work in underprivileged communities in Brazil and to learn from the Ugandan reality new things that can be applied in South America or other developing countries.

Kimberly Psaltis has been an RN for over 14 years with an extensive background in diabetes and disease prevention. Currently she is finishing an MPH in Global Maternal and Child Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. After graduating in the spring of 2015 she plans to continue working towards improving access to health care and disease prevention for women and children living in the developing world. In her free time she enjoys traveling with her family, kayaking, homemade pizza, and playing lacrosse with her husband, 11-year-old daughter, and 8-year-old son.  She is honored to have the opportunity to live and work in a village in Uganda as a member of the launch team and being able to learn the needs of the villagers and work towards finding sustainable solutions together.

Manon Billaud currently attends UCLA as a third year Political Science major and double minor in French and Public Health. She has participated in a water brigade in Ghana with her school's Global Water Brigade chapter. Because she loved Ghana and the work she did there so much, Manon returned to Ghana as a Global Health Intern for Global Brigades last summer. She is also an active member and was part of the fundraising committee for UCLA's UNICEF club. Manon is very excited about working with her Launch team members in getting to know the communities as well as exploring the Ugandan culture!

Michael Ervin is a third year political science/international affairs major at the University of California, Riverside. Outside of his studies, he is involved in student government and was recently elected vice-president. He also considers himself somewhat of an artistic person as he likes to sketch and paint. Though it is difficult to narrow down his excitement to one thing in particular, he is driven by a strong sense of adventure and above all, a desire to make a lasting impact. He is honestly looking forward to the work more than anything else. He is someone who likes to be useful and can't imagine how he could spend my summer better in that endeavor.

Kaggwa Keneth* is a finalist student for a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and Social Administration at Kampala University. He loves exploring new skills, places, and ideas in line with societal uplift and development. He enjoys traveling, story-telling, playing cards and mixing music (dee-jaying) during his free time.

Juma (not pictured)

WASH Team - Namunkesu

 Craig Calvert will be a senior at Baylor University. He is studying Environmental Health Science and working towards a minor in religion. He competes with the Baylor Triathlon Club and volunteers with a kids' mentoring program through my church. This summer, he is most excited about experiencing what it is like to live in rural Uganda and learning about practically applying global public health.

Jenessa Gebers is pursuing a Masters in Anthropology at the University of Memphis with a dual concentration in Medical Anthropology and Globalization, Development and Culture.  Her studies focus on human rights, water and sanitation access, international health disparities, sustainable development, and the application of anthropological knowledge to solve real-world problems.  Jenessa is also a Research Assistant for the assessment of the South Memphis Farmers Market, a community-led initiative to increase food access in an urban food desert, and is the Partners In Health | Engage Community Coordinator for the Memphis area.  This summer, Jenessa is most excited to learn from community members about water and sanitation access in Iganga District and to work in an international and interdisciplinary team.

Joshua Lee attends Virginia Tech and is in his 1st year in Master of Urban and Regional Planning, specializing in International Development. Josh is thrilled to be in the Pearl of Africa. Josh has traveled to/lived in Canada, China and South Korea in addition to the good ole USA. Josh is most excited to eat the delicacies of the Pearl of Africa.

Padraic Casserly* is a working professional in the field of global health.  He received his bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 2010 and then went on to complete his master's degree in the same field in May of 2013.  Padraic has been to Africa twice before.  During his first visit, he attended a university in Senegal for a nine-month study abroad program through his undergraduate program.  Then, after completing his undergraduate studies, Padraic returned to Africa, spending nine months in Ghana to conduct public health surveys for Hepatitis A research.  Padraic is most excited to experience African culture from the perspective of rural, village life, as he has only lived in large cities on the continent.

Nakiirya Jackie* attends the Makarere University School of Public Health. Her hobbies are making new friends, dancing, and working with rural communities. She is interested in public health issues concerning hygiene promotion and community empowerment, occupational health and safety issues. 

Wadumaga Daphine

Monitoring & Evaluation Team 1 - Bukaigo 

Ai Mahoney*  is an MPA candidate at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. In her second year, she will be pursuing the Global WACh (women∙adolescent∙children∙health) certificate and a certificate in International Development. This summer, she will be the Team Administration Leader on one of the monitoring, evaluation, & follow-up teams for UVP. She is looking forward to learning about the culture of the people of Iganga, including learning their language Lusoga.

Amy Bradshaw is a MS Epidemiology student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and has a BA in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College. She is also a research assistant at an environmental health consultancy. She has enjoyed traveling in the past, and earned degrees in International Relations and Public Health with the hope of traveling and contributing to development work. She excited to participate in hands on public health intervention this summer with the Uganda Village Project. 

Dean Haire is about to begin his second year of graduate school at Emory.  He is getting an MSPH in Global Epidemiology.  He is most excited to be immersed in a foreign culture while applying Public Health concepts on an international scale. 

Namubiru Josephine* is in her final year at Makerere University School of Public Health, pursuing a bachelors’ degree in Environmental Health Science. She is passionate about public health and loves working.

Franc (not pictured)

Monitoring & Evaluation Team 2 - Buvule

Kyle Yoo is from Chicago. He studied Anthropology and Biology at the University of Chicago and will be continuing his education at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University to pursue his M.D. degree. He has been actively involved with the Chicago Family Health Center, a federally qualified health center, that provides primary care to underserved communities on the South Side of Chicago as a Health Leads volunteer and as an Operations intern.  He is excited to be a part of the Follow Up Team and learn about health on a global stage in person.

Michele Bautista will be entering her 2nd year as a graduate student at NYU’s Global Institute of Public Health with a concentration in Community and International Health. She received her BA in History and BS in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles last June. During her time there, she taught health education to low-income high schools as well as worked with the underserved populations of Los Angeles through case management and medical services. Michele is truly excited for the opportunity to serve in Uganda and to put her public health training to good use. Additionally, she is looking forward to working with and learning about the challenges that come with serving as an international health worker.  

Natalie DiRocco* will be assuming the role of Project and Administration Leader for a Follow-Up team for UVP this summer. She is currently a second-year Master of Public Health candidate at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) where she is concentrating in Global Health, with an emphasis on infectious diseases and health program management. Given her interest in addressing emerging infectious diseases, she spent the Spring semester as a Development Intern at AIDS Action Committee; New England’s largest AIDS service organization. She is most excited to engage in challenging, creative work with people from all across the globe as they immerse themselves into the Ugandan culture and together, learn about the rich history of Iganga, Uganda and their community members. 

Susan Linn just finished her first year of medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. While at school, Susan volunteers at a student run medical clinic that serves Charleston's uninsured patient population. Ever since she was a teenager, Susan dreamt of practicing medicine abroad, therefore, she is very excited to spend the summer in Uganda learning what it takes to create effective public health initiatives in low resource areas. 

Ashaba Maggie*

Ssajabi Danson is a second year student pursuing a bachelors degree in Social Work and Social Administration from Kampala University. He is glad to work with UVP and focus much on practical-development skills in rural communities. During his free time, he enjoys playing chess, appreciating nature through nature walks, creating new and maintaining old friends. 

Monitoring & Evaluation Team 3 - Kasambika 1

Hee Won Han is an international student from South Korea. She is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University and she is majoring in public health studies and minoring in film and media studies. She is a member of JHU global health council and a board member of Asian Health Conference. She is also a member of JHU film society and a board member of studio North, a student run production company. She is very excited to meet everyone in Iganga and is very happy to be a part of evaluation and monitoring team. She thinks that it will be an unforgettable two months and she can’t wait to get started.
Helen Sheppard is a New Zealand Registered Nurse She graduated from the University of Auckland in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Nursing; a Post Graduate Certificate in Health Sciences (Mental Health); and most recently completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Sciences. She currently works in Starship Children's Hospital caring for children with complex medical health issues, and their families. She looks forward to working with her teammates as a part of a Follow up team. She looks forward to gaining an insight into the real life experiences of healthcare, health promotion and education, in a rural setting, and the successes and challenges of such. 

Mindy Huang is a rising senior at Colorado College. She is majoring in Sociology with minors in Asian Studies and Studio Art. Outside of the classroom, she can be found volunteering with conservation or political organisations with a focus on community and youth engagement. She is extremely excited to spend her summer building on her knowledge of public health, while making a difference and creating wonderful memories with some amazing people in Iganga.

Reese Cuddy* is a full-time student pursuing a Master of Public Health degree with a Community Health concentration at the University of New Mexico.  In 2009, Reese graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California with a B.S. in Natural Science with an emphasis in Physical Therapy. While traveling abroad, she realized that her clinical background would not satisfy her passion for promoting social justice.  The boundless field of Public Health can offer Reese the lifetime of influential service that she has been searching for. Her public health interest at the moment is International Nutrition and the rising issue of global population growth and how it will affect a sustainable food supply.

Ashraf* (Not pictured)

Isiko Philip

Monitoring & Evaluation Team 4 - Kasambika 2

Chelsea Powell* graduated from Cornell University with a double major in Russian and Biology.  She likes to hike, read, and travel.  She is excited to learn about initiating and monitoring sustainable village-level public health programs.

Emily Gentile is an undergraduate student at the George Washington University where she is majoring in public health and minoring in dance.  She is an EMT with GW's Emergency Medical Response Group, and volunteers as a Leadership Council Member with Peer Health Exchange.  Emily is most excited about learning more about public health in low resource communities, as well as working with and learning from the other UVP interns this summer.

Jiana Calixto is a 23 year-old Puerto Rican raised in Chicago, primarily in the Humboldt Park community. Currently, she attends the University of Illinois at Chicago as a 2nd year Masters in Public Health candidate in the School of Public Health. Her concentration is in Community Health Sciences and Global Health. She serves on the executive board of Global Health Student Initiative Group, which has a primary goal of global health awareness amongst the UIC community. Jiana is extremely excited to have the opportunity to be immersed in a different culture this summer surrounded by the people of Uganda and interns from around the world. Most importantly, she looks forward to monitoring, evaluating, and improving current UVP programs to enhance its effectiveness, sustainability, and the health of the Iganga District villagers.  

Lauryn Hong is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) with degrees in International Studies (with a focus in Global Health) and Environmental Studies. She was a member of U of M's GlobeMed chapter, an organization that advocates for global health equity, and Asian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. During her last year of undergrad, she completed an independent study in which she examined the intersection between HIV/AIDS education and religious leaders in Zambia, and spent a month in Ghana studying the prevalence of river blindness. Lauryn is excited to experience Ugandan culture, develop friendships with the other interns and Ugandans, and promote healthy living where she'll be working!
Musisi James*

Andrew (not pictured)

Monitoring & Evaluation Team 5 - Buwurempe

Ela Mema is currently a graduate student completing her MA in Health Policy and Equity at York University in Toronto, Canada. Her research interests lie in the poverty reduction strategies that are being developed in Ontario and the short-comings they convey by not taking into consideration the social determinants of health. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, reading and volunteering at a local nursing home. She is thrilled to be joining the UVP team this summer in Uganda, and is looking forward making a difference in the village where she will be working – no matter how small – and the amazing people she will be meeting throughout.

 Jasmine Kipke is a junior at the University of Michigan, studying neuroscience and Spanish. She is the vice president of the campus UNICEF club and enjoys being involved in Michigan’s club running team. Global health is her passion, especially when it comes to Uganda; the country has a special place in her heart because it’s where her youngest siblings are from. She’s excited to dive into Ugandan culture this summer, to form relationships with local people, to learn about public health and leading health initiatives – and to hopefully grow as a person and a leader!  She knows there will be challenges, but she is ready for the adventure and can’t wait for Uganda to feel like home.

Lucy Wu* is a young kiwi coming from New Zealand where she works as a public health nurse for the Auckland Regional Public Health Service. She has recently been studying a postgraduate diploma in public health through the University of Auckland. Later in this year she will be moving to Finland to start her masters in public health at the University of Eastern Finland. As New Zealand is on the southern hemisphere Lucy will be escaping the rainy winter and enjoying some african warmth while in Uganda. She is excited to meet the villagers as well as the other interns and is ready to experience the culture and take in the beauty of Uganda. 

Stephanie Ayers is a graduate student at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. She is currently midway through a two-year graduate program, working toward a Master’s degree in International Development and a graduate certificate in Global Health Affairs. She is the student leader of Santé, a global health student group, and a member of Students for Africa. This summer, she is most excited about gaining her first real-world experiences in the field of global health, and about visiting Africa for the first time!

Muleme James* 

Jarius (not pictured)

* denotes team leaders