Year Joined MKLM: 2011
Focus: Civil and Human Rights, Economic Development, Education, Public Health
Project(s): Lulu Mabatini Group Project and
Archdiocesan Health Department
Goal: Lulu Mabatini is a group for at-risk girls in the Mabatini area of Mwanza to build cooperation, self-esteem, and creativity
Katie comes to MKLM, along with her husband, Chris, from St. Martin DePorres Church in Columbia, SC. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Katie graduated from New York University in 2000, with a BS in Social Work and in 2004 from the University of South Carolina with a Masters in Social Work. Before joining MKLM, Katie had 10 years of non-profit experience working in the prevention field and most recently she worked for 4 years as Director of Education in a rape crisis center serving 4 counties in South Carolina.
After working at the Catholic Archdiocese in Mwanza and a Tanzanian NGO that supports the rights of women and girls, Katie ventured out on her own to start Lulu Mabatini. Lulu is a program under the larger Lulu Project, which has 3 other groups in the city. Lulu Mabatini works with at-risk girls in the Mabatini area of Mwanza to build cooperation, self-esteem, and creativity. The program teaches girls in four subject areas: life skills, saving and caring for money, entrepreneurship, and health. The Mabatini area of Mwanza is one of the most congested areas of the city. The crime rate is high; prostitution, drinking and drugs are major issues; and the community is very insular because the houses are built upon high rock outcroppings. Lack of money and poor educational systems cause many young girls to drop out of school in search of work. However, the girls have very little skills and are unable to support themselves or contribute to the family income. Without an income, these girls have little power in their family and are often married at an early age, usually into abusive relationships. With education and income generating activities, these girls are able to gain more of a voice in their homes and in society. Katie’s work includes supporting three program facilitators from the local community, who teach the classes each week. The hope is that over time the girls themselves will move from being participants to being peer leaders and that they will eventually take over the facilitation in coming years.
A secondary ministry which Katie is involved in is working for the Mwanza Archdiocesan Health department. Her responsibilities are to provide training to the staff on various office administrative skills and technologies. She is also responsible for developing funding opportunities from outside sources, assist in implementing the strategic plan as formulated for the office and assist with the implementation and monitoring of the departmental projects as required by grantor organizations.