A message from MAP’s new CEO, Tina Bajec

On 3 July, Tina Bajec was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer at Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), taking over from Dr Aimee Shalan who served in the role since 2017. Before taking up the position, Tina was MAP’s Director of Fundraising since 2018, and previously held senior fundraising roles at a number of organisations including UNICEF and the British Heart Foundation.

It is an honour for me to take up this new role as MAP’s Chief Executive after more than three years leading the organisation’s fundraising team. On behalf of all the staff I would like to thank our former CEO, Dr Aimee Shalan, for her years of dedication to MAP’s work and unwavering commitment to the health and rights of Palestinians.

I know that I come into this new role at a time of immense challenge for the communities we serve. Gaza is still reeling from another devastating Israeli military offensive, with thousands still displaced, and a long journey ahead to mend both physical injuries and psychological scars. In the West Bank, the arrival of the Delta variant of COVID-19 threatens another wave of infections, compounding the pressures on a depleted healthcare system and its exhausted workforce. And Lebanon’s rapid economic collapse is affecting marginalised communities – including Palestinian refugees – worst of all, sending poverty and malnutrition skyrocketing.

I am so proud of our teams and partners for the work they are doing on the ground – day in, day out – to respond to these emergencies and provide a vital helping hand to communities in need. I am also proud to serve an organisation which has its eyes set firmly on the future, working to ensure the sustainable development of essential services – from breast cancer treatment, to limb  reconstruction, to family medicine – that Palestinians will be able to rely on for years to come.

Through my visits to the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon over the past few years I have seen the real impact our programmes have on people’s lives, and hope in the coming years we will be able to reach more people than ever before. I have also witnessed the suffering and indignities caused by occupation, displacement, blockade and discrimination. I am determined that MAP will continue to speak out – loudly – against these injustices, and ensure that the voices of those affected are heard at the highest levels.

Ultimately MAP’s vision is a hopeful one: a future where all Palestinians can access an effective, sustainable and locally-led system of healthcare and the full realisation of their rights to health and dignity. It is my privilege to play a role in making this vision a reality, and I am immensely grateful to all of you who support us so generously in our mission. I look forward to updating you on our activities and plans in the future – in what is hopefully a much brighter future for Palestinians.

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