Class XIV (2016-2017)

10. CATRINA ZIESMAN

Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Oakville Trafalgar, Ontario, Canada, District 7080 

Host Club: Rotary Club of Windsor, Windsor, AUS, District 9600 

Catrina was born in Toronto, Ontario. Growing up in a multiethnic household with immigrant parents, her mother being from Trinidad and Tobago and her father from Germany, Catrina was instilled with a strong appreciation for multiculturalism and an understanding of the challenges associated with cultural coalescence. This understanding has inspired her passion to work towards the empowerment of women and building healthy, resilient communities. Catrina's international work has taken her to Latin America, Africa and Central Asia for projects helping to strengthen and integrate healthcare systems. For the past three years, she has worked as a consultant on a maternal, newborn and child health project partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development and local institutions both in Canada and Kenya.

The ultimate goal of this project has been the reduction of maternal and infant mortality in rural regions of Kenya. As a Community Development Specialist, she has helped to create strategies that increase women’s access to primary healthcare as well as develop self-sustaining communities. In addition to her time in Kenya, she worked as a Program Manager with a grassroots HIV/AIDS NGO in Southwestern Ontario addressing the AIDS pandemic in Lesotho, Africa. 

Her involvement with Rotary began in 2010 with a six-month Canadian International Development Agency internship in Guayaquil Ecuador where Catrina worked as a Health Education Assistant. Her local Rotary club has been an inspirational force throughout her career in international service and development. She feels incredibly blessed with the opportunity to be a Rotary Peace Fellow.