Year Joined MKLM: 2011
Katie comes to MKLM form St. Martin DePorres Church in Columbia, SC. She graduated from NYU with a BS in Social Work and from the University of South Carolina with a Masters in Social Work. Before joining MKLM, Katie worked for 10 years as Director of Education in a rape crisis center serving 4 counties in South Carolina.
Katie currently is a technical advisor to Kivulini Women’s Rights Organization where she is helping them build a movement to prevent violence against women and children in the Lake Victoria Region and Singida. Kivulini serves 5 regions around the Lake Zone of Tanzania. Kivulini supports communities to be better organized and strengthened to take action to prevent domestic violence against women and children and influences and facilitates the institutionalization of desirable changes in policies, laws and practices to prevent domestic violence. There is a great need for this ministry as Tanzania has been ranked as one of several low-income countries with the highest rates of domestic violence; 56% of women have experienced domestic violence. Furthermore, 60% of HIV positive people are women and they tend to be affected at an earlier age than men while 36% of women are illiterate as compared to 20.4% of men.
Katie tells us, “The right to live a violence-free life is a fundamental human right. Unfortunately, violence against women and girls, including domestic violence, early childhood marriage, female genital mutilation, witch killing and discriminatory laws sap women’s energy, compromise their physical and mental health and erode their self-esteem. Kivulini Women’s Rights Organization utilizes three strategies in order to help alleviate these issues and contribute to the personal safety, health and social protection of women and girls in Tanzania. These strategies are local advocacy, building the capacity of partner organizations to support women and prevent violence against women, and mobilizing communities to affect change.”