Trish Gergich, Chair
I joined the Board in May of 2019. I have 17 years of experience as a professional fundraiser, raising funds for education, mental health, community healthcare and hospice. I have a degree in International Development and a passion to help those living in developing countries, especially in South and Central America. I volunteered in Peru many years ago, helping children who were orphaned, neglected or abused. The experience left an imprint on my heart. I feel fortunate that my volunteer role with Heart-Links gives me the chance to connect again with the people of Peru right here in London, Ontario.
Tayane Santos Bomfim Andrade, Treasurer
Nathalie Kroeker, Secretary
I joined the Heart-Links board in 2020 after completing my MA in Peace and Conflict Studies. I was drawn to Heart-Links’ mission of building cross-cultural relationships, which is why I chose to sit on Heart-Links’ Solidarity Trip Committee. I bring to this role on-the-ground experience with peace-work organizations in Bosnia and Guatemala. I currently reside in Kelowna, BC, where I am completing a PhD.
Jaime Brenes Reyes
I was born in Nicaragua and have been living in Canada for half my life. I am committed to raising awareness about social justice issues in the Global North and South, bridging partnerships, connecting people, and exercising the power of listening to others. I have been active in the London community as former president of the Teaching Assistant and Postdoctoral Fellows at Western University, co-founder of the London chapter of Rhythms of Resistance, member of No One is Illegal, and have been invited to public speaking for events and campaigns such as Refugees are Welcome. Always eager to learn, I get excited by the lure of a cup of coffee to talk with people!
I joined the Heart-Links’ board in 2019 and I am on the Peru Projects Committee. In my professional life as a community developer, I have worked on numerous global and local projects concerned with food security and social justice. For more than 10 years I was field director for a grassroots Canadian NGO, working throughout the Caribbean region with agricultural co-operatives and sustainability projects. My involvement with Heart-Links means that as a retired person I can support projects that promote and build community internationally through Canada-Peru solidarity.
I have three decades of experience working with vulnerable communities in urban and rural areas in both Peru and Canada. As a case worker at My Sister’s Place, I have dedicated 17 years to community mental health, in particular among women facing abuse and trauma. One of the passions I share with Heart-Links is the desire to help Peruvian communities along the road to an improved quality of life by supporting their empowerment through education and training, starting with the recognition of their own strengths and potential. I have served on the Heart-Links board since 2016.
I draw on 15 years of work in the international development, humanitarian, and non-profit sectors and have held senior leadership positions in Central America, the Caribbean, Central Asia, Africa and most recently Canada. Besides my most recent position as program manager with Plan International Canada, I have held positions with Save the Children, CARE International, and Christian Aid. I hold an MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies from the University of London, UK, and a BA in Political Science (International Relations) from the University of British Columbia. I am a fluent English and Spanish speaker. I joined the Heart-Links board in 2022.
Ruth Taylor (staff)
I work part-time as Heart-Links’ sole staff person. Supported by a great board and many dedicated volunteers, I get to apply my skills to helping make our world a little more like the compassionate, fair, inclusive place I’d love it to be. I draw on close to a decade of experience working as a journalist and communicator in Guatemala and on a long history of participation in global solidarity efforts. I was thrilled to discover that an organization like Heart-Links existed in London, Ontario, and even more thrilled that they hired me.