MEET THE TEAM

Executive Team

  • Rachel Kiddell-Monroe

    Founder and 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.

  • Violeta Chapela

    Medical Advisor and Program Lead

    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.

  • Sumeet Sodhi

    Medical Director and 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.

  • Bayan Alabda

    Executive Assistant

    Bayan holds a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering and is now pursuing her second degree in psychology at Concordia University. She is the Executive Assistant at SeeChange, where she provides administrative, financial, and operational support to the team. Bayan is interested in researching war trauma, family violence, and its effects on memory and daily life. Her goal is to complete her education and earn a PHD in the field so that she can support marginalized communities.

  • Jasmine Cumetti

    D-DEI Lead

    Jasmine Cumetti holds a B. Comm. in organizational behaviour and psychology from McGill University and is currently completing a M. Sc. in International Business at HEC. Jasmine coordinates efforts to foster decoloniality within the organization. She believes that an inquisitive and introspective process of decolonizing our minds is an important first step in becoming an agent of change and cultivating a society which is truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive at its core.

Canadian Initiatives Team

  • Naomi Tatty

    Intercultural Health Lead

    Naomi Tatty, from Iqaluit, Nunavut, was nominated “Inuit Woman of the Year” because of her tireless volunteer work assisting Inuit families in need across Canada and advocacy for Inuit culture and wellbeing. Fluent in Inuktitut and English, Naomi, is a strong advocate on the issue of tuberculosis in Inuit communities. Naomi is also well known by community members for organizing fundraisers to assist with the cost of travel and funeral expenses for those who have lost a loved one. Naomi proudly helps to keep Inuit culture strong by sharing her skills in sewing and the Inuktitut language. When asked what advice Naomi had for other Inuit women, she said, “Always give a helping hand and treat people with respect.”

  • Dawit Yimam

    Canada Program Lead

    Dawit was born and raised in Ethiopia, Eastern Africa, and is a public health and emergency management professional with a double master’s degree in public health (MPH) and Disaster and Emergency Management and more than 15 Years of working experience in Public Health and Emergency Management Programs in different organizations including World Health Organization (WHO), Bill and Melinda gates Foundation, Save The Children and Canadian Red Cross in different parts of the world mainly in Africa and Southeast Asia. Dawit used to work for First Nation Health Authority in Northern Ontario as an Emergency Preparedness Coordinator which gives me a perspective and deep understanding of the history and culture of indigenous communities in Canada.

  • Samantha Poncabare

    TB Project Lead

    Samantha holds a Bachelor in International Development from the University of McGill, Montreal, Canada. She has been working at SeeChange since 2020, bringing executive, admin, finance, fundraising and operational support as the Executive Assistant. Building on this experience, she recently stepped into the role of Project Coordinator, co-leading the Tuberculosis initiative in Nunavut, Canada.

  • 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.

Global Initiatives Team

  • Jessica Farber

    Project Lead and Community Readiness Coordinator

    Jessica Farber is leading SeeChange project with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), piloting the CommunityFirst approach in vulnerabilised communities globally. She works with community leaders and institutional partners to organise, prepare and respond to health crises. She also 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

    CommunityFirst Fellow and Project Coordinator

    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. She holds a fellowship from York University’s Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research (DIGHR).

Board of Directors

  • Huguette Ekambi Mbella

    President

    Huguette Ekambi Mbella is a global citizen – Cameroon-born, Paris-educated, Washington DC-based – with deep expertise in governance, risk management, and control functions. She is pursuing a distinguished career at the International Finance Corporation (IFC, member of the World Bank Group) and has served profit and not-for-profit international finance institutions across Europe and North America. Ms. Mbella is passionate about unlocking human potential, expanding financial inclusion, and all things Art related.

  • Denis Blanchette

    Director

    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.

  • Carol Devine

    Director

    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.

  • Yves Abanda

    Director

    Yves is a French-Cameroonian McGill graduate from a Liberal Sciences Bachelors in Physics and Environment. Among his current interests are sustainable self-determination, colonization of the mind, deep adaptation, food sovereignty, energy transition, alternative and popular education, low tech, and modes of governance compatible with collective intelligence. He co-founded SymBioSyn in 2017 with some fellow students that shared his passion to find ways to live well together. Currently, he works at the University du Nous to learn more about Shared Governance methods.

  • Michelle Osry

    Director

    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.

  • Jasper Monroe-Blanchette

    Director

    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.

Board of Advisors

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Partners & Collaborators

  • Ilisaqsivik Society

    Community Partner

    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

  • Pathy Family Foundation

    Funding Partner

    The Pathy Family Foundation (PFF) is Canadian foundation that works to build vibrant communities and promote equal opportunities for all. PFF invests in people, organizations and ideas that empower marginalized groups in Canada and globally. PFF is partnering with SeeChange and Ilisaqsivik Society to run a program based on trauma-informed TB empowerment activities in Inuit communities across Nunavut.

    Learn more

  • Government of Nunavut Department of Health

    Government Partner

    In partnership with SeeChange, the GN Department of Health is developing strategies to enable communities to develop autonomy and ownership of their health outcomes as part of their goal is to improve health outcomes and decrease health inequity by increasing Inuit involvement in and ownership of public health strategies in Nunavut.

    Learn more

  • MSF Transformational Investment Capacity (TIC)

    Institutional Partner

    Building on and complementing already existing Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors without Borders (MSF) community engagement initiatives, SeeChange is adapting the CommunityFirst framework to create a model for MSF that meaningfully involves communities at every phase of the project cycle, including handover and emergency preparedness. Currently piloting in indigenous communities in Peru and Sierra Leone.

    Learn more

  • Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)

    Government Partner

    SeeChange has partnered with CFLI, ECO-RE and the Lenca Women of Reitoca to strengthen and empower women’s leadership to improve the COVID-19 response and recovery in Reitoca, Honduras through skills development workshops, feminist leadership training, knowledge sharing, and mental health support.

    Learn more

  • University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine

    Academic Partner

    SeeChange is a proud recipient of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Impact Grant Program (Co-RIG) with the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine, a research grant to investigate the outcomes of the CommunityFirst COVID-19 Roadmap to create a CommunityFirst Toolkit for Indigenous communities in Canada to adopt and adapt.

  • Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research (DIGHR), York University

    Academic Partner

    The DIGHR has partnered with SeeChange to advance research on CommunityFirst responses and how they are contributing to the global health and humanitarianism research agenda.

    Learn more

  • Mitacs

    Academic Partner

    SeeChange is partnering with Mitacs to develop a Decolonisation, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Framework.

    Learn more

  • McGill Summer Institute in Infectious Diseases and Global Health

    Academic Partner

    SeeChange is hosting a seminar course on Decolonising Humanitarian Action at the McGill Summer Institute in Infectious Diseases and Global Health.

    Learn more

  • University Los Andes

    Academic Partner

    SeeChange is hosting seminars on Global Health and CommunityFirst responses at University Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia.

    Learn more

  • lululemon Here to Be

    Funding Partner

    SeeChange is a proud recipient of the Here to Be grant, lululemon’s social impact program that disrupts inequity in wellbeing through movement, mindfulness, and advocacy.

    Learn more

  • Power Corporation of Canada

    Funding Partner

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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”.