The Norman Transcript


June 6, 2014

Med student sees ‘real poverty’ through Peace Corps

NORMAN — The following is an interview with Bartlesville resident Katie Thill. Thill is a medical student at the University of Oklahoma and was awarded outstanding first-year student in her program this year.

Q. Who is Sister Rosemary, where are you going to help her, and what does she do?

A. Sister Rosemary is a Ugandan nun who runs a girls’ tailoring school called Saint Monica’s in northern Uganda (Gulu). Having lived through the terror of the warlord Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army, Sister Rosemary dedicated her life to rehabilitating girls who were abducted.

She not only provides a safe harbor for these girls who were shunned by their own communities, but also gives them hope of supporting themselves and their children through job training in tailoring, catering and other skills.

Q. What will your job be while working for Sister Rosemary?

A. I am leading a team of OU Health Science Center students to Uganda to work in medical clinics associated with Sister Rosemary and Saint Monica’s. We will work to provide primary care and education to three clinics throughout northern Uganda.

We have also raised money to help buy medications, lab equipment and fund a scholarship for a Ugandan student to attend nursing or medical school.

Q. Uganda can still be a volatile area. Is there a training you have or will go through to prepare yourself for that?

A. The 23 years of insurgency by the (LRA) ended in 2006. Most communities in norther Uganda, while still recovering, have returned to normalcy. This is the fourth year that students from the OU College of Medicine have made this trip and safety has been heavily considered.

Q. What did you do with your time in the Peace Corps? What were your responsibilities?

A. I served in the Peace Corps from 2010 to 2012. While living in Tanzania, East Africa, I worked as a secondary education teacher at Newala Day Secondary School, located in Mtwara Region.

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