MEET THE TEAM

Executive Team

  • Rachel Kiddell-Monroe

    Founder & Executive Director

    Rachel Kiddell-Monroe is a lawyer, a humanitarian practitioner and an advocate. She is a Board Director at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a founding President of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines and a Professor of Practice at McGill University. Rachel believes putting people and their community first is key to creating a more humane, just, and fair society.

  • Samantha Poncabare

    Executive Assistant

    Samantha Poncabare holds a BA in International Development with a minor in International Relations and Environmental Sciences from McGill University. Previously, Samantha worked in the sales department of a startup, organized a course on Humanitarian Action at the McGill Summer Institute in Global Health and volunteered with SeeChange on fundraising and event planning.

  • Peter Saranchuk

    Medical Director

    Peter Saranchuk is a medical doctor with more than a dozen years of international experience with the humanitarian medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). In addition to performing HIV-TB clinical work in resource-limited settings, he has worked as a TB-HIV Advisor in MSF’s Southern African Medical Unit. He currently works in a Community Health Centre in southern Ontario.

  • Sumeet Sodhi

    Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator

    Sumeet is a family physician in the Toronto Western Hospital Family Health Team, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and the Academic Lead for the Indigenous Health Partners Program at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Sumeet has led many global health initiatives, including indigenous health, diabetes, HIV, TB, primary care integration, community-based programming and chronic illness care.

  • Tanya Ayala

    Communications Director

    Tanya Ayala is a Communications Consultant and holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Professional Writing from Concordia University. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Paralegal Studies from Conestoga College and is currently pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations & Communications Management from McGill University. She previously worked in the private sector as a Sales Manager, Recruiter, and Internal Communications Specialist.

TB Initiative Team

  • Malcolm Ranta

    Local Director

    Malcolm Ranta is the Executive Director of Ilisaqsivik Society. He is also Director of Operations for the social enterprise Tukumaaq Incorporated. Malcolm has years of experience working in Nunavut in government and non-profit sectors. He has worked in public health and community development with remote and urban Indigenous communities. Malcolm is also a wannabe weekend hunter.

  • Sheila Enook

    TB Project Coordinator

    Sheila Enook has a business degree from Queen’s School of Business. She worked for the Government of Nunavut as Manager of Finance with Arctic College and Director of Finance for the Department of Health. She is a member of the Regional TB Committee. In her free time, Sheila makes traditional hunting equipment and goes out to her cabin or hunting.

  • Madlen Nash

    Project Lead

    Madlen Nash holds an Honours BSc in Microbiology and Immunology and an MSc in Epidemiology, both from McGill University. She has led several global health research studies in India and authored academic articles in leading scientific journals. Madlen was a founding member of SeeChange and previously worked as a Research and Advocacy Associate at AIDS-Free World.

COVID-19 Initiative Team

  • Jessica Farber

    Community Readiness Coordinator

    Jessica Farber works with community leaders to organize, prepare and respond to COVID-19 using the CommunityFirst COVID-19 Roadmap. She has experience in outreach, advocacy and project coordination with forced migrants and asylum seekers in Montreal and Mexico. Jessica holds a B.A. in International Development from McGill University.

  • Megan Corbett-Thompson

    Community Readiness Assistant

    Megan Corbett-Thompson holds a BSc in Ecological Determinants of Health from McGill University. She has gained diverse experience in protection work, community mobilization and environmental health promotion alongside NGOs in Latin America. Megan is committed to community empowerment and upholding the dignity of all persons.

  • Violeta Chapela

    Medical Advisor for Community Health

    Violeta Chapela is a doctor with humanitarian experience in the areas of sexual violence, migration, sexual and reproductive health, mental health for victims of violence and primary healthcare in exclusion and war zones. Violeta also has an interest in strengthening community networks from a gender perspective.

Board of Directors

  • Denis Blanchette

    President and Treasurer

    Denis Blanchette has spent 30 years bringing community first. He worked with communities in Africa and Latin America. After working at the Supreme Court of Canada, he is now a partner at one of Canada’s leading law firms supporting Indigenous communities. Denis is recognized as a leading practitioner in Indigenous law in Best Lawyers in Canada 2020.

  • Jasper Monroe-Blanchette

    Member

    Jasper Monroe-Blanchette studies Forestry at Cégep de Chicoutimi. Through his studies, he is working towards getting involved with Indigenous communities in relation to forest management. Jasper loves wild places and finds his calling in mountains and forests. He is a yoga teacher and finds his peace in practicing traditional forms, which include qigong and kung fu as well as yoga.

  • Michelle Osry

    Member

    Over the past 25 years, Michelle Osry has worked across North America, Europe and Africa as an academic and investment banker She is now a partner at Deloitte Canada, where she leads the firm’s Family Enterprise Consulting practice. Michelle is Vice Chair of the Family Enterprise Xchange, a Canadian organization dedicated to empowering enterprising families and their advisors.

  • Carol Devine

    Member

    Carol Devine was a founding member of SeeChange and is a Humanitarian Affairs Advisor with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada. Carol was a 2016 fellow of the Ecologic Institute’s Arctic Summer College. She is a member of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Humanities Expert Group and a Community Fellow at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research.

Board of Advisors

  • Jennifer Furin

    Dr. Jennifer Furin is an infectious diseases clinician and medical anthropologist who has spent 25 years working to address TB and HIV in vulnerable populations. She is a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and serves as a consultant for a variety of organizations to support person-centered care. She specializes in the care of children with drug-resistant forms of TB.

  • Daniel Solomon

    Daniel Soloman is a businessman and trustee of the Heathside Charitable Trust which is a family charity based in London, United Kingdom. The charity funds projects both in the UK and overseas.

  • Grace Yang

    Grace Yang is the Chief Trouble Maker at TEDxMontrealWomen, curating and encouraging speakers to step outside of their comfort zones to deliver their most compelling talks. She leads a dynamic team of volunteers and fosters a creative culture where everyone can grow together. Previously, Grace worked in the investment industry on both the buy and sell sides of the Street.

  • Stephen Lewis

    Stephen Lewis is co-director of the international advocacy organization AIDS-Free World and co-chair of the board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. He has previously served as the UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, as Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, and as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

  • Courtney Howard

    Dr. Courtney Howard is an Emergency Physician in Canada’s subarctic, and board President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). She was the first author on the 2017 and 2018 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Briefings for Canadian Policymakers, as well as being the 2018 International Policy Director for the Lancet Countdown.

  • Jerry Natanine

    Jerry Natanine was born and raised in Clyde River, Nunavut. He has been working with Ilisaqsivik for several years. He completed Ilisaqsivik’s Our Life’s Journey: Inuit Counsellor Training Program. Jerry has held many leadership roles in Clyde River, including Chair of the Hunters and Trappers Organization. Jerry is currently Mayor of Clyde River for a second time.

  • Igah Sanguya

    Igah Sanguya currently sits on the Board of the Ilisaqsivik Society and serves as the Community Health Representative of Clyde River, Nunavut. In the past, Igah has also served on the Board of Directors of Pauktuutit and the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network.

  • James Orbinski

    James Orbinski is professor and Director of York University’s Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research. As a medical doctor, a humanitarian practitioner, a best-selling author, and a global health scholar, Dr. Orbinski believes in actively engaging and shaping our world so that it is more just, fair, and humane.

  • Georgia White

    Georgia White is a Strategy and Policy Associate at the international advocacy organization AIDS-Free World. Over the past decade, Georgia has worked in the United States, Cambodia and her home country of Australia as an advocate and policy expert on health and social justice issues.

Interns & Volunteers

  • Béatrice Petitclerc

    Volunteer

    Beatrice is a student in the Law-MBA co-op program at the Université de Sherbrooke, with an interest in humanitarian and environmental issues, as well as Indigenous law. Previously, Beatrice has travelled globally for humanitarian and scientific projects. She completed an internship in Iqaluit through College Sainte-Anne de Lachine, as well as a contract with the Government of Nunavut, focused on long-term health in the region.

Partners

  • Ilisaqsivik Society

    Community initiated and community-based Inuit organization located in Clyde River, Nunavut. Ilisaqsivik Society is dedicated to promoting community wellness by providing space, resources, and programming that helps families and individuals find healing and develop their strengths. Ilisaqsivik Society is a Canadian registered charity and brings two decades of Inuit-based experience in training and community empowerment.

    Learn more about the Ilisaqsivik Society

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May 28, 2021

Las Lideresas de ComunidadPrimero: María Micaela Jiménez Montejo

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Escrito porMaría Micaela Jiménez Montejo; Megan Corbett-Thompson

(Read in English) Hoy celebramos el Día Internacional de Acción por la Salud de las Mujeres. Por ello, nos gustaría destacar a María Micaela Jiménez Montejo, estudiante de enfermería de la comunidad de Esperanza del Porvenir, en el municipio de Tumbalá, Chiapas, México, y una de las activadoras de SeeChange de la Hoja de Ruta ComunidadPrimero.

La pandemia del COVID-19 ha exacerbado las desigualdades sociales y de género que vulneran los derechos de las mujeres a la salud, la igualdad, la dignidad, la autonomía, la información y la integridad corporal. Micaela se ha mantenido como defensora y aliada para proporcionar información sanitaria a su comunidad durante la pandemia. Como mujer joven en su campo de trabajo, nos cuenta,

“Gracias a mi carrera de enfermería, he podido hacer grandes cosas. Me doy cuenta de que estudiando enfermería, puedo hacer cosas desde el ámbito de salud y para mi, esto ha sido un parteaguas para darme cuenta realmente de lo que quiero ser y lo que quiero hacer. Las labores humanitarias para mi han sido la base fundamental de mi profesión.”

Como una de las pocas personas que hablan español en su comunidad mayoritariamente Ch’ol en Chiapas, y la única persona con formación sanitaria, Micaela ha liderado la respuesta ante el COVID-19. Nos explica por qué asumió este papel,

“¿Porque? Porque nadie mas va a cuidar de mi salud ni de las personas que yo quiero si no lo hago yo. Y mi labor como estudiante de enfermería siempre va a ser velar por la salud y el cuidado de todos los pacientes, en este caso mi comunidad entera. Y no solamente de mi comunidad pero cualquier comunidad que necesitara ayuda sanitaria, y si yo tuviera recursos económicos para poder apoyarlos y brindarles toda la atención yo no lo dudaría dos veces.

Eso sería el por que yo lo hice, pero en general el por que se hace por que realmente si no lo hacemos nosotras nadie lo va hacer.”

Como mujer activista, describe su experiencia.

“Me he topado con personas que me han puesto más barreras de las que ya hay. Me he topado con personas que se han sumado de manera gradente a todos los proyectos que he elaborado y las cuales he puesto en práctica.
Hasta ahorita, mi experiencia ha sido muy buena y gratificante, llena de conocimientos y experiencias nuevas.

En mi propia comunidad, me ha pasado hacer un trabajo amargo, con mi propia gente. Pero gracias a la CEMEX, también tuve la oportunidad de poder quitar ese sabor amargo de la boca, trabajando con una comunidad que realmente está interesada por el bienestar de su comunidad y de su pueblo y de su gente. Me encantó estar en la comunidad de Villahermosa. Trabajé con jóvenes, con señoras, con señores. Fue una experiencia maravillosa. Siendo lideresa/activista y trabajadora siendo mujer ha sido increíble.

En la comunidad de Villahermosa, me dijeron que esperaban una persona ya mayor, y le sorprendieron al verme y saber la edad que tengo. Entonces, le dije, es que para cumplir tus sueños y tus metas, es lo realmente lo que te gusta hacer, no necesitas tener 30, 40 años– puedes tener la edad que seas, y poder ser lo que quieras ser en tanto tú lo que propongas. Los chicos me dijeron, wow, quiero ser cómo tú, y yo en este momento les dije, “ustedes pueden ser lo que quieran ser. Siempre persigan sus sueños y metas. Y eso es increíble que te pongan como un ejemplo a seguir. Es una sensación increíble.”

A la pregunta de si su trabajo ha tenido un impacto en otras mujeres de su vida, responde sin dudarlo,

“En mi comunidad soy la única estudiante de enfermería, o algo relacionado on la salud. Hay otros estudiantes que estudian administración empresas, contaduría pública etc. pero no hay estudiantes en el ámbito de salud o social. En mi comunidad no creo que ha habido ese impacto pero en Villahermosa sí. Hubo un fuerte impacto hacia las mujeres, porque había más mujeres que hombres en los talleres. Ser quien soy en estos momentos ha sido como un pilar para las mujeres indígenas. En mi región puedo decir con orgullo que soy la primera en hacer este tipo de cosas, pero solamente en mi región. Por que en Chiapas hay muchísimas mujeres activistas y realmente me fascina todo lo que hacen, hacen todo lo que el gobierno les da igual.”

Cuando le preguntamos qué significa ser mujer para ella, respondió

“Para mi, ser mujer ha sido y será siempre una de las mejores bendiciones que me puede haber pasado. Es maravilloso ser mujer para mi por el simple hecho de puedo romper las barreras que son impuestas en la sociedad. Puedo acabar con los estereotipos que le han puesto en las mujeres. Para mi, ser mujer es un orgullo gradentemente gigante por el simple hecho de ser Chiapaneca. Y no solamente eso. Sino ser mujer indígena para mi es un gran orgullo porque amo mis raíces, mi cultura, mi gente.”

El deseo de Micaela para las mujeres de su comunidad es “que las mujeres estudien, tengan una carrera, tengan al menos una profesión el cual ellas también puedan defender a más mujeres que necesite y que sea un ejemplo a seguir haciendo las cosas, que queriendo se puede y como el dicho: querer es poder. Entonces, a mi sí me gustaría que todas las mujeres en mi pueblo, y no solamente en mi pueblo sino toda la región chiapaneca pueda estudiar, pueda ser alguien en la vida y pueda defender sus derechos. Esa sería mi mayor sueño, que hubiera igualdad pero igualdad de verdad, igualdad entre hombres y mujeres. Eso sería lo que más deseo en todo el mundo”.