With Heart-Links’ annual general meeting just around the corner, we wanted to shine a light on Cecilia Inguanse, who has served on our board of directors for longer than any other current member.

Cecilia Inguanse knows what it means to grow and nurture a grassroots vision—the kind of vision Heart-Links has embraced for over 25 years.

headshot of cecilia inguanse

Passionate about supporting people who face multiple and complex needs, Cecilia has spent her professional life helping women and other individuals challenged by issues such as physical or mental health problems, abuse, trauma, addiction and poverty to improve their quality of life. It is paramount to Cecilia that all people feel seen and heard and know that they matter.

As a transitional case manager at CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Heath Services – My Sisters’ Place, Cecilia offers support, advocacy and connections to women and other vulnerable populations. She believes in the power of connection and inclusion to create a strong community that can meet people’s needs. At My Sister’s Place’s inception 17 years ago, she was the very first transitional case worker of this incredibly vital supportive community.

Peru is Cecilia’s home country. Graduating from San Martin de Porres University with a Bachelor of Social Work, she practised in Peru for over eight years before coming to Canada in 1994. She was awarded degree equivalency by the University of Toronto and then completed her Social Service Work Diploma at Fanshawe College.

Cecilia at the Miraflores Community Library in Zaña, Peru

Cecilia carries out her work with strong values of solidarity and friendship. That’s what captured her attention about Heart-Links. She joined our team close to eight years ago, initially as a member of the Peru Projects Committee. This committee reviews the projects presented to Heart-Links by our partners in Peru and then makes recommendations to the board. They also check-in regularly with our partners throughout the year.

These strong connections with the Peruvian community, Cecilia notes, have been particularly important during the pandemic. She admires the creativity our community partners in Peru have shown with the limited resources at their disposal during this extremely challenging experience.

Cecilia has sat on Heart-Links’ board of directors for the past five years—longer than any other current director. She appreciates Heart-Links’ approach to empowering our partner communities in Peru to engage in meaningful change and transformational growth. Important, too, is recognizing that change takes time and needs to be driven by the insider wisdom of our Peruvian partners.  

6 hikers stand with hiking poles in from of a cave
Cecilia in Cajamarca, Peru, on a Heart-Links Solidarity Trip

Cecilia generously shares her time and talents not only in her work at My Sister’s Place and as a Heart-Links volunteer, but also as a member of the London-Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership through London City Hall.  This committee is responsible for supporting the successful integration of new immigrants and refugees. Cecilia applies psychosocial education to facilitate the inclusion and integration of these multicultural communities to their new home. In 2021, she was recognized with an Ontario Volunteer Service Award.

When asked about her work and volunteering, Cecilia said that she does it “with all my heart.”

Thank you for your heartfelt commitment, Cecilia, and for the values and experience you bring to our work.

Want to learn more about the Heart-Links board and the work we support in northern Peru? Join us Sunday, May 29 at 1:30 p.m. for our virtual AGM. Register here.