Lauren Vater

COUNTRY: Bolivia
FOCUS: Civil and Human Rights, Education

Lauren Vader is a native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin and was a parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish of the Green Bay Diocese. Lauren joined MKLM in 2008, bringing with her years of experience in service.

In Milwaukee, she had volunteered several hours a week with an adult literacy program. For almost two years, Lauren worked with at-risk and homeless youth as a volunteer with the Covenant House’s Faith Community; she worked in Community Outreach at Covenant House in Brooklyn and was a Resident Advisor at the Toronto and New York locations. As a Dominican Volunteer, Lauren worked in the Dominican Leadership Conference’s office at the United Nations (UN) as an Associate Representative.

Lauren earned her BA in International Relations and a Certificate in Business from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Lauren served in ministry as a team member of the Social Promotions Department of Centro Vicente Cañas (CVC). Lauren was in charged of an educational scholarship program, assisted the center’s social worker in making home visits and giving workshops, and she facilitated fairs around the city of Cochabamba to build awareness of the issues facing the people of the Southern Zone.

The educational scholarship program payed the tuition for more than 40 middle and high school-aged children. The comedor, or soup kitchen, fed more than 85 children each day. This same program also assisted children with homework after school. The program for persons with disabilities provided medical attention, physical therapy, and medication.

An exciting new cross-program was also developed in which scholarship recipients and members with disabilities work together to help each other. Students from the scholarship program who were studying construction were ‘hired’ to draw up plans and help build disabled-friendly rooms and accommodations in resident’s homes. Because of this program, more than 22 families were able to augment their homes to accommodate a family member with a disability.