Kathleen Hollis and Agnes Twishime

Kathleen Hollis and Agnes Twishime

Born in Congo, Agnes Twishime arrived at a refugee camp in Uganda when she was just three. Now with laundry services at Providence Alaska Medical Center, Agnes shares with Mission Services Director Kathleen Hollis, her experience as a child refugee and desire to help care for the vulnerable and those in need.

Thanks for listening!


Agnes: I was born in the Congo, but I came when I was little to the refugee camp.

Kathleen: So your life was the refugee camp?

A: Yes!

K: Until here.

A: Until Here.

K: So what was it like, in the refugee camp?

A: Really, I liked how they handled us, in the refugee camp, and that was in Uganda. They really cared as they could.

K: What would you do in a refugee camp, before you came here?

A: Before I came here I was a student. I was in high school. I went to the school that was in the refugee camp for one year, of which was the first year of high school. In all normal days I didn’t live at home. I moved away from the home to study from there because I stayed in boarding schools. And I really gained from it, because it helped me a lot. I knew from women of integrity, I knew whom I am.

K: When you came here did you come with the whole family?

A: Ah, I didn’t come with the whole family, some of them remained. I have dad, mom and one elder brother.

K: Is your family….do they want to see you get this schooling?

A: Um, before, they were not interested in educating girls. But nowadays, they came to notice the importance of studies, of education. But now they know any person can help because they have seen girls making it.

K: What did you think when you came to Providence?

A: It was interesting. The reason why I applied for this job, you may ask me that question!


K: Why did you apply for this job?

A: Since my childhood I like to work for the community. I liked to work with a group of people. It’s like, I liked caring about the vulnerable, needy? And then I thought “This is the right place.” I dreamed of being a nurse before, when I was still schooling. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to complete my studies, but I hope I will.

K: Agnes, here, in Alaska, in Anchorage and at Providence, I really hope that you’ve found your experience to be welcoming.

A: I did! And this one has made me believe that even my friends, who are still over there in Africa or in refugee camp, they will make it. Because I didn’t know that I could reach to this step of sitting in a hospital caring for someone that is a patient. I did!  I have done it but I didn’t believe it, and I did not believe that I could be here.


Hear Me Now is a partnership with the Providence Institute for Human CaringStoryCorps and Alaska Public Media to record interviews with patients, family and caregivers. Storytelling and listening have proven clinical value, and are keys to whole person care, which addresses emotional, spiritual, and psychosocial comfort, as well as medical needs of patients and those who care for them.

Eric Bork, or you can just call him “Bork” because everybody else does, is the FM Operations Manager for KSKA-FM. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the FM broadcast. He produces and edits episodes of Outdoor Explorer, the Alaska-focused outdoors program. He also maintains the web posts for that show. You may have heard him filling in for Morning Edition or hosting All Things Considered and can still find him operating the soundboard for any of the live broadcast programs.

After escaping the Detroit area when he was 18, Bork made it up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he earned a degree in Communications/Radio Broadcasting from Northern Michigan University. He spent time managing the college radio station, working for the local NPR affiliate, and then in top 40 radio in Michigan before coming to Alaska to work his first few summers. After then moving to Chicago, it only took five years to convince him to move back to Alaska in 2010. When not involved in great radio programming he’s probably riding a bicycle, thinking about riding bicycles, dreaming about bikes, reading a book, or planning the next place he’ll travel to. Only two continents left to conquer!

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