Tawny Thanh

Year Joined MKLM: 2000, 2015
Country: Bolivia
City: Cochabamba
Focus: Education, Pastoral Care
Project(s): Comedor Infantil (Children’s Dining Room)
People Served: Underprivileged children

Project Goal(s): Help and serve children to develop critical thinking skills and self-esteem

Current Ministry:

Tawny feels that each poor child deserves a good education and a decent meal daily, so she works at Comedor Infantil. It provides lunch to 180 disadvantaged students aged 6-13 years who have only one parent or are orphans who live with their relatives.

Tawny is considering serving at a daycare center in which children learn critical thinking skills and develop self-esteem and self-respect. Using actual case scenarios, they are taught practical ways to navigate domestic problems within their own families.

Personal Data:

Tawny is originally from Saigon, Vietnam, and recently lived in Midway, CA. She a BS in Education from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Tawny is certified in teaching English as a Second Language. She worked as an accounting bookkeeper, electronic technician, independent insurance agent, and owned and managed a furniture store and clothing manufacturing company. She helped support homeless and single parent children attend school in Vietnam and was a member of the Maryknoll Affiliate Los Angeles Chapter. Tawny belonged to Our Lady of Peace Parish in North Hills, CA, and served on the parish council, in the choir and was involved in retreats. She was a Eucharistic Youth (EY) leader in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The EY program is for Catholic children aged 6 to 18. It is similar to Boy and Girl Scouts but includes catechetical teaching.

Tawny served overseas with Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. In Thailand, Tawny managed handicraft development projects. In Vietnam, she did counseling and job training in a juvenile delinquent program. In Myanmar and Vietnam, Tawny coordinated computer training programs and taught English to religious men and women.

Tawny states, “My faith was strengthened by being in mission with Maryknoll Lay Missioners. I wanted to be part of a group of laity doing mission service in a faith-based organization.”

Tawny and her husband, Hiep, are serving with Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Bolivia.