Profile - Kylene Fremling - Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Kylene Fremling


Year Joined MKLM: 2017

Country: Cambodia

City: Takhmao

Ministry: LaValla School – Physiotherapy Team

Ministry Area: Health and Health Promotion – Disability Ministry

Goals of Ministry: Providing education and care for children and young people with physical disabilities.​

Nonviolence Focus:

This ministry incorporates principles and values of nonviolence into education and care programs for children and young people with disabilities, creating a safe and inclusive environment, promoting staff modeling of nonviolence, using inclusive language and practices, and empowering children and young people with disabilities to participate and lead in activities. Collaboration with other organizations and NGOs and providing self-care and mental health resources for children and young people with disabilities further support promoting nonviolence and reducing the risk of violence and abuse.


Ministry Context:

In Cambodia, only 40% of children with disabilities attend school, compared to 80% without disabilities. These children are also at higher risk of physical and sexual violence. A study by UNICEF found that children with disabilities are twice as likely to experience physical violence and four times as likely to experience sexual violence, compared to children without disabilities.
Accessing healthcare can also be difficult, with only 36% of facilities equipped for disabled children. Disability care is essential in Cambodia due to limited resources, high prevalence of disability, and lack of awareness and understanding. This can lead to discrimination, exclusion, and difficulty accessing education, healthcare, and support services.


Current Ministry:

Kylene is part of the physiotherapy team at the LaValla School. LaValla is the only school in Cambodia offering a full primary education to children and young people with a physical disability. The majority of students attending LaValla are years behind in their education due to neglect in their villages and denied access to education.

LaValla’s physiotherapy team works together to provide students with thorough medical care, including personalized physiotherapy specific to their disability, hydrotherapy, referrals and maintenance of assistive devices (wheelchairs, prosthetics and orthotics, etc).

Kylene assists in providing assessments and implementing students’ treatment plans. Additionally, she is one of the team members that accompanies the students to outside activities, medical appointments and special events.


Personal Data:

Kylene has a bachelor of science in exercise physiology from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She served with Americorps in Sitka, Alaska, which led to an Americorps position working in wellness programs at Women’s Hearth, a women’s homeless drop-in center in Spokane, Washington. She also volunteered with a hospital neonatal intensive care unit and a men’s transitional living center. Kylene hails from the small town of Brookston, Minnesota, but considers her home parish to be St. Ann’s in Spokane, where she helped with youth ministry.

Kylene jokes that she has always wanted to become, in her words, a professional volunteer. While at Women’s Hearth, she worked to deliver non-profit wellness programming and volunteer management. She came to Maryknoll Lay Missioners through a co-worker who was a Maryknoll Affiliate. Kylene felt her values fit very well with those of MKLM and decided to look into becoming a lay missioner. She sees mission as an opportunity to work alongside people of different religions and cultural traditions in an effort to build a world of justice, peace and understanding.