Veneta, STIMMA’s director, graduated from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Pharmacy and also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology in 2001. She is currently the owner of a 24 hour Shoppers Drug Mart location at Bridgeport and Weber in Waterloo, ON. She is a Clinical Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo. Her responsibilities include adding an international component to the curriculum as well as teach a 4th year elective course - Global Medical Aid. Veneta is the recipient of many awards which include: JC Gould Memorial (from the Ontario Pharmacists Association) Nominated for Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, CKCO Community Hero amd a feature in The Kitchener Record - Helping Hands.
STIMMA was founded in 2006 following Veneta’s first trip abroad after which she had a vision to create a charitable group which can help people regardless of their faith or religious or political beliefs. Since then, she has been travelling to various underserviced destinations to help with the clinic set up and the distribution of medication to these rural communities. She has also acted as a consultant with other non profit organizations to provide support and guidance to maximize community care.
Veneta’s goal and vision for STIMMA is to help as many people as possible in the various communities by providing them with immediate as well as long term relief and education regarding their health and well being. Throughout the 3-5 year commitment given by STIMMA to each of the communities served, Veneta hopes to continue providing these communities with medical, social as well as environmental development.
Linsay Buss, STIMMA’s director, has an education in social sciences and a background in healthcare. She worked for 16 years in an institution for the mentally challenged, providing patient care, before she changed jobs in 1994, to represent workers. Linsay Buss lives in Maple Ridge, BC, where she worked as a staff representative for the BCGEU, specializing in employee benefits, rehabilitation and return to work planning. Currently, she works as a Union Negotiator for the BCGEU.
For many years, Linsay volunteered with various organizations and local community outreach programs to provide services and resources to people living on the street and in poverty. She also dedicated many hours to a 24-hour crisis line, working in addiction services and programs for people living with handicaps. In 2006, she first realized a dream of humanitarian work in another country, joining the first mission trip to Perum, where she met Veneta Anand. On missionary trips, Linsay is usually assigned to teaching life skills and proper hygiene. She also usually coordinates the Construction Team on missionary trips, working with other volunteers and hired locals from the communities. After identifying the area they are going to, they conduct a needs assessment and then design a local project to meet their needs.
Linsay’s goal for STIMMA: “My goal is to continue to offer some love and attention to people living in extreme poverty in remote areas of the world. By providing supplies, resources, medical care and education, people receive immediate relief and tools to assist them in the future. I'm very proud of the work we do and excited about our plans for the future. There are so many places where people are suffering and need some help. I feel like we've only just begun.”