I wanted to reach out to you all about something very important coming up for me at the end of this year. I am currently attending the University of Southern California earning my Master’s of Science in Global Medicine. I will be (fingers crossed) be starting my journey to dental school this coming summer after graduation from USC.
This fall, I applied and was accepted to participate in an academic and clinical trip to Kigali, Rwanda and Kabale, Uganda for two weeks over winter break 2017. I was one out of the ten medical/graduate students chosen to accompany Dr. William Cherinak, a USC doctor who founded Bridge to Health organization (https://www.bridgetohealth.ca) and Dr. Geofrey Anguyo of KIEFO (Kigazi Healthcare Foundation http://www.kihefo.org), a local nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping the people of Uganda, and the rest of the team on this clinical trip.
This December 26th we will be flying to Kabale, Uganda a rural southwestern part of Uganda to help conduct research on how to better distribute antenatal healthcare and assist with dental and medical clinics. I will be helping at the maternity ward assisting the doctors delivering babies onsite, helping provide primary care to the local population, assisting in dental procedures, and learning how to best offer preventative medical skills to patients who maybe have never seen a doctor. We will also be traveling to meet the local traditional healer and learning how to integrate strongly-rooted cultural ideologies with western medicine to provide a holistic approach to medicine around the world. I will be getting hands on experience as a global healthcare volunteer, working, and learning directly in the field alongside of some of the most incredible and inspiring doctors I have ever met.
It will without a doubt be the highlight of my academic and healthcare journey so far in my life. I am beyond blessed to have this opportunity, but it also means volunteering for a nonprofit and we need to support ourselves throughout this endeavor. My parents are paying for my USC tuition, including academic credit I will be earning from my research there in Uganda. The rest of the expenses I am trying to pay for and raise myself in the spirit of this nonprofit venture.
The flights, lodging, vaccinations, East African Visa, and program cost adds up to around $2,500 total. I worked this past summer as a dental assistant to gain experience and save up for a possible trip I might be taking during this Master’s degree. This first semester has been so rigorous that having a job in addition was not realistic. I know this Ugandan clinical experience will shape my entire approach to future endeavors in healthcare.
It would mean the world to me if you all could be a part of this along with me. I plan to document and send out updates of my fieldwork during my time in Uganda and Rwanda. Any little bit would help, $10, $25? One way or another, I look forward to sharing this experience with all of you. Many of you have played a huge part in getting me to the place I am today. I am very grateful.
In light of the holiday season, instead of presents I would love if you could support me on this journey. I have attached the link to the campaign that I have started. If you click on the link it will let you know how to go about donating, in a step by step fashion. It can all be made anonymous as well.
Wishing you all the best in the coming year.
I hope to see you all soon.
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