Speaker Scholar Katie Scrantom
Katie Scrantom, our Rotary Global Peace Scholar spoke to the Club Monday 24 November on her earlier work with children and how it led her to study for her MSc Psychology of Childhood Adversity at QUB. Noting that she was being sponsored by the Rotary Club of Chicago Far North, she thanked Rotary for the support which has enabled her to undertake this study - a pilot one year programme. Her father is a now a farmer and mother a photographer (though they are now divorced) and having been born in Georgia, she with her sister and brother had travelled all over the States before she was 18 as her father changed jobs. This she believes is what instilled her desire to travel internationally.
An undergraduate in New Orleans when hurricane Katrina hit she moved to Chicago and spent 7 years there, her longest stay in any one place. She has spent her life working with children through High School, summer camps, two week visits to orphanages in Mexico and Honduras and being particularly interested in childhood adversity, 4 years as a social worker in Chicago. She started with others the Dwon Madiki Partnership - a partnership between student members of Invisible Conflicts (IC) at Loyola University Chicago and primary students and families in Lacor, Uganda (the name Dwon Madiki translates to "voices of tomorrow" in Lacor's native language, Acholi). Recognizing that all children have a right to a prosperous education, Invisible Conflicts raises about $17,000 per year to fund the education (tuition and school supplies) of twenty Ugandan students from vulnerable backgrounds at multiple boarding and day schools in northern Uganda. Lacor was the epicentre of a conflict between the government and the Lord's Resistance Army, which began in 1986 and roughly ended in 2006. The IC Plunge (where students collect donations and take a dip in Lake Michigan in December!) raised $13,000 in the first year.
She advised that she had first come to Belfast in 2013 to work with Tools for Solidarity, which was when she learned about the Queen's MSc which has a specific focus on development in the context of adversity particularly in a post-conflict setting. Under her professional name Kale Quinby, she also finds time to be a professional singer! Quite a lot has happened for one so relatively young!