IFMSA PresidentÂ 2018-2019
Motivation Letter Dear IFMSA, We are at a time in our lives when our decisions will affect the rest of it, when every step we take will leave a mark on our future. It is a time when we are most motivated and hardworking, inspired, and eager for change; when we can utilize and reach our maximum potential; when we are courageous enough to stand up for our beliefs; when we are the ones who see things differently and push for change. My name is Batool Alwahdani, a 6th year medical student from the beautiful, peaceful country in the Middle East: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. I’m truly honored to utilize this time of my life to serve the organization that empowers me and has made me the person I am today, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations. We have grown up in different parts of the world, we have lived different lives, and we have had families that raised us differently. We went to different schools and universities, we speak different languages, we’ve developed different thoughts and beliefs. Yet, with all these differences we have found something that unites us. We have found passion, a strong feeling towards something that we feel is bigger than all of us, a strong feeling towards change, towards a better world and a more prosperous, and healthy future. A feeling that is governed, nourished, strengthened and protected by IFMSA “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.” - JK Rowling. I was not born a natural leader. . However, I am proud to have grown to become one. Throughout my years in the IFMSA, I have experienced different roles in our federation, developed many skills, and gained a wide perspective.
My journey began in Jordan as a local officer for Public Health and a local committee president. I experienced what it is to volunteer, organize campaigns and create impact in my community. I visited refugee camps, stood behind booths spreading awareness about NCDs, and organized several IFMSA events such as SCORP Camp and the EMR Regional Meeting. Then, I had the opportunity to work as IFMSA-Jo President. I experienced working on a national level with different local committees, interacting with NMOs and engaging with IFMSA International processes. My experience in IFMSA Jordan was a valuable one. A time of constant personal growth that gave me a deep insight on what it is like to be a member, a volunteer, a local officer, and an NMO president, all of whom are the roots and backbone of our organization. I still remember the first General Assembly I attended in Malta in 2016, and how impressed I felt with the huge world of IFMSA. I felt empowered and motivated to take a step further and serve the organization on the next level. I was elected as a Liaison Officer to Student Organizations for the term 2016/2017, and got the chance to work with many international student organizations, which gave me an insight on how the different student and youth organizations work and which areas IFMSA can benefit from. It also helped me to understand the dynamics of the international team, and how members from different backgrounds and countries can work together towards a common goal. It was then and there that I decided to take another step further, and to become one of the Executive Board members of the IFMSA, as the Vice President for External Affairs.
Being an EB member this term was not an easy task, and it was filled with responsibilities, decisions and sleepless nights. It taught me how careful the Executive Board has to be when taking decisions that can affect the whole federation, and how with every single action, and its delivery, you have to remember the responsibility entrusted to you by the NMOs. It also showed me the potential of our federation, the opportunities that we still need to utilize and the areas where we can influence in the world. Working as a leader of IFMSA External Representation this term, showed me that youth are being treated as a minority and a special group that should be represented, although they are the biggest demographic on earth. Nevertheless, IFMSA proved to everyone working with us that the younger generation are not merely an opinion reflecting and representation tool, but an important stakeholder and partner in decision making. I can’t describe how many times I have witnessed international agencies being impressed with our work, potential and capacity, and I can not be happier and more proud to be one of those who contributed to build a respected status for IFMSA on global platforms. I had the honor to represent IFMSA in many international discussions and conferences. I worked on out showing our work, our passion, and our perspectives on important health matters and the impact we are leading in all of these countries we are present in. I also had the chance to witness the differences in our work and structure, and that of other organizations thus giving me a complete picture of our strengths and how we can further them, and weaknesses and how we can overcome them. How is IFMSA different from all other international organizations? Although our progress hasn’t been always linear, our goal was always clear: A world in which we . unite for global health, and are equipped with the knowledge and skills to take on health leadership roles locally and globally. Our strength comes from our members - from their dedication and commitment.
Our organization is at a turning point. Although we have already incorporated a new structure a few years ago, adopted a 3 year strategy last year, developed our capacity and built stable partnerships; then how are we at a turning point? We now have the institutional strength that allows us to invest more in our members, be a valuable actor in all international platforms, and to stand out as a well recognized organization all over the world. We are at a turning point where we can transfer from working towards only sustainability but also to building resilience and the power to change. From the volunteer in the refugee camps of Jordan, the local officer, the local committee president, the NMO president, the Liaison Officer, the Vice President for External Affairs, to, if you allow me, the next IFMSA President; I promise you I will always keep in mind the different perspectives of the role players in our federation, to embrace the spirit of each one of us, and to utilize all of our experiences while working towards leading our federation to a better and stronger future. I know, by heart and mind, that all the years, efforts and time I have invested in IFMSA have not gone in vain. In fact, IFMSA invested back in me much more. It has instilled in me leadership, confidence, critical thinking, activism, and eagerness for change. It showed me the bigger picture of this world, and my role in it. Finding a purpose is the most important thing to lead a productive life, and I was privileged, just as all IFMSA members, to have the process facilitated by our predecessors. We created, made and shaped IFMSA together. We vowed to protect it forever, and I promise to you my commitment, dedication and maximum efforts to work hand in hand to lead IFMSA for a new chapter.
Sincerely, . Batool
Plan of Action Focus Areas: IFMSA Leadership: Utilizing my role as one of the leaders of this federation in supporting and coordinating the work of the Team of Officials and the Executive Board. IFMSA Meetings: Restructuring IFMSA meetings and events and further improve their inclusiveness. IFMSA Annual Working Plan and Strategy: Supporting the Team of Officials in developing the Annual Working Plan and following up on the execution of IFMSA Strategy 2017-2020. Unlocking the benefits of engaging with IFMSA Alumni, Board of Recommendation, and Honorary Life Members. Visibility and Outreach: Strengthening the bond between internal and external work, and promoting our presence on social media and global platforms.
IFMSA Leadership Being IFMSA president imposes a big responsibility in leading the federation and the different working groups in it. IFMSA leadership is not a task restricted to the president, but rather a shared respomsibility by the Executive board members, Team of Officials, NMO presidents and IFMSA members, but each on a different level. Therefore, the most important task for IFMSA president is to coordinate this leadership process, establish the means to facilitate it in all levels and supervise it actively at all times.
Leadership Priorities: IFMSA Team of Officials: It’s important that the Team of Officials will feel they have a leader who can support their work, follow up on them and ensure good working atmosphere and positive team dynamics. Having a well functioning Team of Officials will ensure the sustainability of our federation and the progress of our work during the upcoming term. Therefore, I will pay close attention to the following: Supervise the handover process and ensure each Team of Officials’ member has access to all the resources and is introduced to his/her tasks and responsibilities. Establish a support system to avoid burnout and provide help for any member who needs it. Establish a comprehensive engagement process for the Team Officials to participate in the Executive Board decision making processes and ensuring they would never feel as a separate body from the Executive Board. Strengthening and developing the skills and knowledge of the Team of Officials through the proper utilization of IFMSA Team of Officials meetings and online platforms. Maintaining team work spirit throughout the term through continuous engagement. IFMSA Executive Board: Being an Executive Board member this term gave an insight on the amount of work the Executive Board have to do throughout their tem, the big responsibilities they experience, and how much the role of each one of them affects the rest of the Team of Officials. My main areas in coordinating the work of the Executive Board will be: Ensuring the weekly EB Meetings are productive and having each EB member actively participating in them Supporting each EB member in their work, and ensure they don’t experience burn out, and are able to overcome it if they face it. Engaging the EB with the Supervising Council through regular meetings and active communication.
Create guidelines on decision making processes within the Executive Board IFMSA NMOs IFMSA NMOs are the backbone of our federation. Working towards strengthening our NMOs, engaging them and ensuring their continuous growth should be a main priority for the Executive Boar and Team of Officials. My focus areas while working with NMOs will be: Ensuring that the big diversity we have in IFMSA is a strengthening tool in which representation of different regions, genders, skills and knowledge will be taken into account in all selection and engagement processes in our Federation. Working towards establishing a strong linkage between global and local efforts, and in collaboration with the Team of Officials and the Executive Board, providing NMOs with the platform to engage in international processes by sharing national and local perspectives and work, whether in external meetings, global campaigns and international IFMSA events. Being available and reachable to all NMOs and answering their concerns and needs at all times. Ensuring that the Team of Officials always keeps professionalism, openness, transparency and integrity as principles while dealing with NMOs.
IFMSA Meetings and Events Supervising and supporting IFMSA meetings and events donâ€™t fall under one person in the Executive Board and Team of Officials, but in fact almost each one of them will be supporting at least one event throughout their term. IFMSA meetings, including general assemblies and regionsl meetings, are one of the most important platforms we have in our federation and ensuring the success and sustainability of those is needed for the proper engagement, capacity building and strengthening of our members. Therefore, I would, along with the Team of Officials work on the following: Having IFMSA events focusing on the priorities and global areas our federation is working on, to ensure establishing the linkage between local and global efforts. Reforming the sessions structure we have in these events to ensure state of the art methods and tools are utilized.
Emphasizing the importance of decision making in IFMSA General Assemblies, and ensuring NMOs are equipped with all the knowledge they need to actively participate in the decision-making process Propose changes to our bylaws which regulate and further enhance the decision making process in General Assemblies. Solving the issues IFMSA NMOs face in participating in IFMSA events, and insure all of our events respect inclusiveness and representation.
IFMSA Annual Working Plan The Annual Working Plan is the tool which not only regulates and prioritizes the areas the officials will be working on, but also measures their performance, the progress we are having during the term. If elected as a president, I will be supporting the Team of Officials by: Provide the Team of Officials with the knowledge and skills they need to develop a comprehensive and inclusive Annual Working Plan. Monitor the execution and evaluation of the work of Team of Officials, Making sure NMOs are engaged in the process and are providing input actively.
IFMSA Strategy 2017-2020 I was involved in the process of drafting the IFMSA Strategy for 2017-2020 during my EB elect period. I have participated in the strategy meeting and Iâ€™m well acquainted with the pillars, goals and indicators of the strategy. Throughout my current term as a Vice President for External Affairs, Iâ€™m working on the execution of the goals of the first year of the Strategy along with the current Executive Board. I have the experience, knowledge and skills to monitor and continue the execution of the strategy in its second year. Therefore, I will make sure: To evaluate the progress of the strategy in its first year during my President elect period and highlight the areas that still need to be worked on in the next term. Ensure that the next Executive Board includes all the goals of the second year of the IFMSA strategy in their Annual Working Plan. Conduct regular evaluation processes of the Strategy during the upcoming term and share the results with NMOs in a timely manner
IFMSA Alumni, Honorary Life Members and Board of Recommendations IFMSA is privileged of having a group of supporters who believe in its members, inspired by their passion, and the mission and vision of this great organization. These supporters are represented by the the Alumni, the Board of Recommendation and the Honorary Life Members. One of the main tasks of IFMSA president is to communicate with the Alumni and to facilitate their engagement in the different IFMSA processes. It is important to work on developing a comprehensive process for their engagement and during the upcoming term, I will be working on: Come up with the design of the Alumni database Define a framework on how to collaborate with Alumni Develop IFMSAâ€™s relationship with the Junior Doctors Network and the World Medical Association as they are the main platforms IFMSA alumni are engaged in. Increase the Alumni, Board of Recommendation, and Honorary Life Members involvement in IFMSA general assemblies, by organizing sessions and specific events for them. Making sure the Alumni, Board of Recommendation, and Honorary Life Members receive regular updates about IFMSAâ€™s work, through reports and newsletters. Seek new opportunities of collaboration and structured support for IFMSA.
IFMSA Secretary IFMSA is at a turning point, where its secretary will witness changes that will affect our work and progress in the upcoming years. The process has started during this term, and discussions are taking place about transferring the secretariat and evaluating the administrative tasks that should be performed by an professional employer for IFMSA. During the upcoming term, IFMSA will be dealing with a new secretariat which requires a close attention and follow up by the next Executive Board. Therefore I will be:
Following actively and participating in the process of establishing a new secretariat along with the current Executive Board, being one of them, and if elected, I will be working on involving the Executive Board Elect as well. Support the work of the Vice President for Activities in following up on the secretariat and establish the basis for expanding the secretariat work to include other administrative tasks in accordance with IFMSA Strategy 2017-2020.
IFMSA Visibility and Outreach Being the current Vice President for External Affairs, I have witnessed the different interactions between IFMSA internal and external work, and along with the current Team of Officials and Executive Board, we focused on creating the linkages and out showing our internal work in international platforms. IFMSA has a strong image worldwide, and many international well recognized agencies admire the work of our members and the impact we are making. Therefore, it is important to continue strengthening this linkage between internal and external work and increase the visibility and outreach for our members, partners and stakeholder. Along with the next Executive Board and Team of Officials I will be: Supporting the Vice President for Public Relations and Communication in strengthening IFMSAâ€™s presence on Social Media Platforms. Supporting the the Vice Presidents for Activities and External Affairs in working on the next Global Areas which all of our internal and external work will be focused on, at a regional and global level. My plan of action is based on my experience in the Team of Officials for two terms and IFMSA Strategy for the term 2017-2020. These are some of the most important areas I would like to focus on if elected as IFMSA President for the term 2018-2019. Iâ€™m looking forward hear your opinions and receive your questions. Thank you for taking the time to read my candidature and see you in Hurghada!
See you in Hurghada!