The Aga Khan De­ve­lop­ment Net­work has a deep com­mit­ment to so­cial, eco­no­mic and edu­ca­tio­nal pro­jects in de­ve­lo­ping na­tions.

La Jornada (Canada) - - ENGLISH SECTION -

Ed­mon­ton are tes­ta­ments of the con­tri­bu­tions of His High­ness th­roug­hout the world.

The Aga Khan re­cei­ved the first Adrien­ne Clark­son Pri­ze for Glo­bal Ci­ti­zens­hip in 2016 in re­cog­ni­tion of his li­fe­ti­me of work in im­pro­ving the le­vels of edu­ca­tion and health around the world. The Ins­ti­tu­te for Ca­na­dian Ci­ti­zens­hip, co-foun­ded by Ma­da­me Clark­son and John Rauls­ton Saul, of which I am a board mem­ber, works on the prin­ci­ples of in­clu­sion to en­han­ce ac­ti­ve ci­ti­zens­hip among our new Ca­na­dian ci­ti­zens.

In Cal­gary, I ha­ve ex­pe­rien­ced how com­mu­nity ser­vi­ce and gi­ving back to one’s com­mu­nity are part of the Is­mai­li DNA. Is­mai­li youth are rai­sed with the ex­pec­ta­tion of doing vo­lun­teer ser­vi­ce and they are in­vol­ved in a my­riad of pro­jects. When 2,400 Afg­han re­fu­gees ca­me to Cal­gary, not only did the Is­mai­li com­mu­nity pled­ge to sup­port them but they pro­mi­sed to stick with arri­ving fa­mi­lies un­til they we­re fun­ctio­ning suc­cess­fully in Cal­gary. This in­clu­ded hel­ping with their ac­com­mo­da­tions, ac­com­pan­ying them to school pa­rent-tea­cher in­ter­views, hel­ping to trans­la­te our wes­tern cul­tu­re to them, ins­ti­lling pri­de in Ca­na­dian ins­ti­tu­tions among the new im­mi­grants and hel­ping them learn or im­pro­ve their English.

When I want to be ins­pi­red, I think about Mo­lo­dad in Gil­git. He is the head of the Pro­fes­sio­nal Trai­ning De­ve­lop­ment Cen­tre the­re and is from a farm fa­mily of ni­ne chil­dren. He was the only one of his fa­mily to at­tend school un­til Gra­de 8. He even­tually at­tai­ned a PhD from the Uni­ver­sity of To­ron­to and re­tur­ned to work in Gil­git. When he goes to bed at night, he asks what el­se he can do to gi­ve back. He told me, “I gi­ve with my heart, my soul, my mind and everyt­hing I ha­ve so we can all be suc­cess­ful.”

In the con­text of our cu­rrent po­li­ti­cal cli­ma­te, I look to the Is­mai­li com­mu­nity, in­tent on hel­ping peo­ple reach their per­so­nal po­ten­tial th­rough edu­ca­tion, as a shi­ning exam­ple of ho­pe and op­ti­mism for the fu­tu­re of our world. This dia­mond ju­bi­lee is cer­tainly oc­ca­sion for us all to ce­le­bra­te. -TROYMEDIA

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