Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

In addition to saying goodbye to Fransje van der Waals as Executive director (see A Big Thank You to Fransje), 2021 started off with more changes in the Health[e]Foundation team. We sadly waved goodbye to Julia Balinova, our e-learning specialist, and Maya Homsy King, our junior project manager. But, we also welcome a new team member, Valeria Benavides Antillo, who has been added to the team as junior project manager.

Julia Balinova has been part of our team for almost two years. As Health[e]Foundation intended to expand its expertise towards open source e-learning platforms to offer sustainable digital solutions, Julia started off by exploring the different options for open source Learning Management Systems and authoring tools. Mid 2020, Julia has been very instrumental in initiating the Moodle LMS for Health[e]Foundation, which today is being piloted for trainees in Ethiopia and South Africa.

Maya joined our team in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic as junior project manager. She collaborated with the development of new e-modules in the Moodle learning environment and updating existing courses such as the Corona[e]Education. Moreover, she introduced One Health as a new topic for Health[e]Foundation which we expect to add to our course curriculum in 2021. One Health is a holistic approach aiming to achieve optimal health outcomes by recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. Maya will continue to work on this idea while being back in her home country, Uganda.

We will miss both Julia’s and Maya’s enthusiasm and endless motivation and thank them for their contribution to the team. We wish them lots of luck with their new adventures.

Besides these goodbyes, we are very pleased to welcome Valeria Benavides Antillo as our new team member. Vale is a medical science graduate expecting to start her Masters in public health. After 18 years of living in Chile, her native country, she moved to the Netherlands to start her career in medicine and healthcare. In order to get experience working for an NGO and expand her knowledge in global health and health education, she joined our team as the new junior project manager. We are happy to introduce Vale to our activities and look forward to seeing her developing her own ideas for future projects.