Since 2015, we celebrated six staff who have been with IPPF/WHR for more than 25 years, 15 who have been with us for 10+ years, and welcomed 16 new staff to the team.
Our team is truly diverse, representing the region we serve, and also the global community we’re a part of. As a whole, we speak 12 languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Greek, Arabic, and German. We have roots in 12 countries, including Argentina, Angola, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Bulgaria. And, we have degrees in public health, international development, Latin American studies, law, and even engineering management and illustration.
We love what we do and we know firsthand how important this work is. More than a quarter of our staff have visited one of our clinics for care in their lifetime.
Thanks to our supporters, we have a lot to be proud of this year:
Marissa Billowitz, Associate Director, Youth, Gender, and Rights: I feel proudest of our investment in the success of the IPPF/WHR Youth Network. As a result of their strong organization and empowerment, they introduced a resolution at the Regional Council to allow language equity at the Governing Council. With the support they earned from their adult colleagues, the resolution passed.
Juan Jaramillo, Supply Chain Technical Officer: I am most proud of the tenacity of the Venezuela team (PLAFAM). Despite a very difficult political climate, they are extremely strong and serving an ever-growing population.
Carolina Posada, Senior Officer, Institutional Development: We expanded the scope of our South-South program by including regional and local experts to provide technical assistance in areas in which our local partners have opportunities of growth. As a result, the program funded five partner-to-partner exchanges in areas such as information and technology, resource mobilization and cost analysis, and 12 projects with external experts focused on diversifying local income generation, as well as institutional strengthening.
Leslie Varkonyi, Chief Information Officer: My favorite thing about working at IPPF/WHR is collaborating with our local partners to introduce new technology that is transformative, and builds more sustainable, more efficient and effective organizations, where providers can focus on provision of health care, rather than paperwork.
Lindsey McCormack, Senior Grants Officer: I have a few favorite things about IPPF/WHR: my whip-smart, down-to-earth colleagues in the Regional Office, the camaraderie and shared mission we have with our partners in the region, and the family-friendly policies that help me balance full-time work and being a mom.
Estelle Wagner, International Advocacy Coordinator: We worked really hard last year and made some great advancements, but the most amazing one was our work on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It's really inspiring to look around at how the whole world is mobilizing to implement this agenda over the next 15 years and know how our work contributed to shaping it to respond to the sexual reproductive health and rights needs of women and girls.
Jimena Valades, Program Officer, Gender Based Violence: I am most proud of making primary prevention—stopping violence before it starts—of gender based violence one of our priorities. We are now emphasizing the importance of evaluating the impact of primary prevention intervention and scaling-up those that prove promising. I think this is a very important contribution in area region of the world where violence against women and girls is normalized.