Sadia Jama

Sadia Jama

“Making a difference is not about grand gestures but small consistent informed actions in solidarity.”

Coming to Canada as a refugee from Somalia at a young age, Sadia Jama always felt a sense of responsibility to help those less fortunate. Her mother often reminded her how lucky she was to not have to struggle for basic necessities like many people in her homeland.

Sadia used this motivation in her own community, where she began volunteering at the Ottawa Food Bank and became a Community Advocate for social housing and community centre boards. The exposure to social issues affecting her local community, and the experience she gained from her volunteer efforts, laid the foundation for Sadia’s passion to advocate for the eradication of poverty.

After years of volunteering in ways that dealt with the effects of poverty, Sadia wanted to work toward addressing the roots causes of poverty. Her interests led her to work with RESULTS Canada. “I knew that I needed to be part of the work RESULTS was doing here in Canada and around the world to empower citizens and create the political will to end poverty,” says Sadia.

She started a RESULTS Canada campus group at the University of Ottawa and spent countless hours organizing meetings and finding ways to reach out to the student body about the needs of the developing world and the promise of advocacy making a difference. “Some of the biggest challenges I have faced have been overcoming apathy and retaining the interest of young Canadians on global health and poverty issues,” says Sadia. “We live in a challenging world and it’s easy to become paralyzed by the gravity of the challenges that exist.” She focuses her advocacy on successful cost-effective everyday solutions that make a difference rather than the heaps of challenges that can seem overwhelming.

Sadia is also the co-founder of the RESULTS E-Group, which she created to engage young advocates and be an alternative for volunteers who do not have a local group. The E-Group is a webinar based education and action meeting where volunteers learn about an issue and how to effectively engage policy makers and the public to raise awareness.

The training and support she has received as a volunteer with RESULTS has helped Sadia become a powerful advocate.

“Her confident, well-spoken discussions with policymakers – from MPs to senior staff at the World Bank and IMF – have served as proof-positive to these leaders that young Canadians are informed and engaged on international development issues and expect their forward-thinking leadership,” says Elizabeth Dove, Public Engagement Director of RESULTS Canada.

RESULTS Canada is a national network of volunteers committed to creating the political will to end global poverty and needless suffering, and to demonstrating that individuals make a difference when they exercise their political influence.

Read more about the other 2013 Global Changemakers here.

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