Meet our Team – Carmen Lam
In this edition of our new “Meet our Team” Q&A meet Co-Director of Services Carmen Lam. Carmen has been at PathFinders for 7 years and leads our Community Education and Outreach team. Her motto in life is “making the world a better place” and her favourite quote is from Mahatma Gandhi : “My Life is My Message”.
1. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT PATHFINDERS?
My role is overseeing the development, strategic planning and execution of our Community Engagement, Home Country Integration, Education and Supplies programmes.
2. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY AT PATHFINDERS LOOK LIKE IN YOUR ROLE?
Each day is so varied but typically I am monitoring the execution of each programme to align with our organisation’s development. I often engage with external partners for service development, monitoring grants and funding reports and I also provide guidance to the team to ensure our programmes are meeting the needs of the clients and community.
3. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I love seeing positive social change and solving social issues – that’s why I like that the organisation is called “path” finders. We are here to help our beneficiaries find a sustainable path and get back on their feet. As the saying goes, “Don’t give a man a fish. Teach him how to fish instead’. This goes a long way and is what I enjoy doing through my job. My motto is “making the world a better place”. It is my privilege to be part of the catalyst and part of the change empowering everyone in the community, especially foreign domestic workers. I believe all human beings have the potential to grow when they’re guided in the right direction.
4. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ANYONE LOOKING TO WORK AT AN NGO?
Find your passion and do it with compassion. At an NGO it is not about financial gains. It is about how much you would like to contribute to making change in this world, positively impacting the lives of others. You need to lead by example by treating others with respect, kindness and empathy, empowering and enabling other people to grow and shine.
5. CAN YOU SHARE A STORY ABOUT HOW YOUR WORK DIRECTLY IMPACTS PATHFINDERS’ CLIENTS?
Seeing a former client breaking through a vicious cycle from an abusive relationship for 5 years when she decided to move on and return home with her children to Indonesia. The was not an easy decision but she was brave enough to do that for herself and her children. It also inspired me as no matter what kind of circumstance or predicament you are in right now, you can always take control of your life and have a bright future. Don’t be afraid!
6. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
I love watching movies, playing guitar, listening to music and dancing, and hanging out with my dearest friends and family. I have a minor degree in music and psychology, and used to play in a jazz band when I was in college. I also looooooooooove watching comedies. Life is just too serious sometimes. We all need a little bit of laughter, joy and happiness in life.
*Carmen is standing at the back of the photo.