|Year Joined MKLM: 2009
City: Phnom Penh
Focus: Education, Gender Based Violence, Gender Equity, Peace building
Project(s): Karol & Setha
People Served: Cambodian adolescents, youth, couples, and Cambodian NGO staff
Project Goal(s): The goal of the K&S program is to give Cambodian youth and couples opportunities to develop their critical thinking with regard to relationships and sexuality, in order to avoid risky behaviors, enjoy positive gender relationships, adapt attitudes in real life situations and prepare themselves for fulfilling lives in partnership.This will contribute to the reduction of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other social problems linked to gender relationships and sexuality (prostitution, domestic violence, rape, gender discrimination, etc.)
Lindsay joined MKLM in 2009 from Indianapolis, Indiana and the Lafayette Diocese. Her hometown parish is Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Carmel, Indiana. She earned her B.A. in International Studies and Spanish at Butler University and a Master of Public Affairs: Non-profit Management degree from Indiana University. Prior to joining MKLM, Lindsay completed a semester abroad in Lima, Peru, provided a year of national service as an AmeriCorps VISTA and worked for three years as the Program Director for Indiana Campus Compact, promoting civic engagement in higher education.
Lindsay serves as Project Manager of Cambodia-based NGO, “Karol & Setha” (formerly a Maryknoll program.) Initiated in 2004, Karol & Setha (K&S) is an educational program focused on relationships and sexuality. Initially it was aimed at fighting the HIV/ AIDS epidemic, but from the beginning K&S recognized a wider vision of enabling positive gender relationships in a holistic way. Through this approach, K&S seeks to tackle key gender based problems with adolescents, young adults and couples. Training is delivered to individuals as well as to and through NGOs, using experiential action methods which seek to engage the whole person; body, heart and mind. Emerging from the Cambodian reality and building on the belief that relationships, between couples, parents, children, friends, neighbors etc. are key to solving the most deeply rooted societal problems, K&S has, over the years, witnessed deep and meaningful transformation, healing and behavioral change among its thousands of program participants.
Cambodia faces a difficult situation, recovering from decades of war and widespread genocide that has left a legacy of high levels of post-traumatic stress, poverty and underlying violence coupled with difficulties in trust, poor parenting skills and a weak educational system. It has a population of around 14 million, over half of whom are under the age of 20. In this context training on relationships is highly relevant. It also addresses high-risk sexual behaviors among youth and a strong gender imbalance in Cambodian society where one popularly held belief is that ‘men are gold, and women are cloth’.
K&S’s work in training, counseling and production of mass media communications (TV spots, Kareoke videos, documentaries and picture novels) has been widely recognized for its effectiveness and high-quality programming. Currently K&S is in the process of both sharing its approach to respond to similar needs in other countries and working toward the goal of localizing the program with Cambodian leadership.
As Project Manager, Lindsay is responsible for managing, developing and evaluating project services; overseeing funder and customer relations; managing and developing the capacity of 17 staff members; and contributing to resource mobilization and organizational development.
Lindsay joined MKLM out of a desire for something more and since then Lindsay has been inspired by the Cambodian people, learned of the incredible richness of communal Catholic life and learned of the beautiful and heartbreaking interdependence of the human family. As Saint Augustine said, “We are restless until we rest in you.” And yet, within the Maryknoll family, Lindsay has been comforted to find men and women sharing a similar vocation and a similar imagination for the way in which the world might be made just a little bit better through sharing and embracing gifts of sincerity, hope and love.