I’m Kristyn, and I’m here to work as the Program and Development Coordinator for Casita Copan. Throughout my professional life, I have been dedicated to working to alleviate some of the challenges faced by women and children worldwide.
I had my first experience living abroad when I moved to Sierra Leone, West Africa to serve with the United States Peace Corps. In Sierra Leone, I saw the ways in which poverty, poor health care, and a lack of education were interconnected and I witnessed firsthand how women and children were uniquely vulnerable. During my two years there, I worked to engage Sierra Leoneans through a number of projects, including initiatives on improving access to clean water, family planning methods, and educational services. Unfortunately, at the close of my service, the country was struck by the devastating Ebola epidemic, which highlighted the additional dangers women and children faced in their daily lives.
After completing my work in Sierra Leone, I moved to China to work in early childhood education. In China, I spent 18 months working with children aged 1-6 to promote leadership, independence, and creativity amongst my students. In China, I learned about the importance of supporting children through their earliest years, and how such support could benefit the children emotionally and intellectually for years to come.
In 2016, I was selected to study as a Rotary Peace Fellow in northern England. While I pursued my Master of Arts in Peace, Conflict, and Development, I studied theories of international development and the connection between social issues, such as poverty and violence, and peace within a society. I had the chance to work for a social enterprise in Guatemala and conducted research on women’s autonomy and empowerment in indigenous communities.
These experiences have led me to my current work with Casita Copan. Casita Copan’s mission is to end child abandonment, and the organization works on this important goal in several ways. First, Casita Copan provides care for orphaned children in the area, while also providing nutritious meals, clean water, and educational services for other children in need in the area. Even more important is the work that Casita Copan does to address the causes of child abandonment by supporting single mothers. Casita Copan supports single mothers by providing childcare, educational services, emotional support, and assistance with medical care. Here in Copan, I’ll be working to evaluate the social impact of Casita Copan’s programs, as well as to assist in program development and growth. I can’t wait to start work strengthening our programs and watching the children of Casita Copan continue to thrive!
I can always be contacted by email at [email protected] and would welcome your thoughts or questions.