Trish Gergich, Chair
I joined the Board in May of 2019. I have 15 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, Treasurer
Nathalie Kroeker, Secretary
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 am a PhD student in Media Studies at Western University, with a BA in Economic Development and International Cooperation from the University of Florence, Italy, and an MA in International Relations from Aarhus University in Denmark. My doctoral research focuses on social movements and environmental activism and how they translate in policy. My research interests include environmental communication, media activism and social movements, and access to information on environmental justice matters with a particular focus on the Latin American region. Currently, I am working as a research assistant for the project Surviving Memory in Postwar El Salvador, a collaborative research initiative to document the Salvadoran Civil War. I joined the Heart-Links board in 2021.
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.
Sara Alva Lizarraga
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.