A warm welcome to our first quarterly newsletter of 2017: you are about to find out what made Daughters for Life Foundation's team and supporters so enthusiastic lately. Enjoy the read!
THEY ARE HERE!
It is with a lot of emotion that we welcomed the first scholars joining our program dedicated to female students from Syria. They will follow a 9-month intensive English training at ILAC, the International Language Academy of Canada.
On February, 9th, Aya, Alaa, Asmaa, Ayaat and Raneem landed safely at Toronto Pearson Airport. The young women were overwhelmed to see so many people cheering for them: The foundation's team and volunteers, ILAC's team, DFL friends, and supporters greeted them with warm hugs, gifts, warm clothes, flowers and even donuts!
On Friday the 10th, a reception has been held in ILAC' s head office premises, in the presence of MPP Shafiq Qaadri, Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, MPJulie Dzerowicz, Jonathan Kolber and Ilan Cohen, ILAC's founders,Dr. Jack N. Lightstone, DFL Board Director and the former President and Vice-Chancellor of Brock University, Bogumila Anaya, DFL Board Director, homestay families, DFL team and of course Dr. Abuelaish, DFL founder.
His speech was definitely the most moving moment of the event: in his words, "Today is the second happiest moment of my life in the last 8 years, the first moment was my own children's graduation day."
As for the girls, they have already started classes and are enjoying their new life in Toronto. They made new friends from all over the world and are delighted to see their English skills surely improving. to learn more about the girls, see their profiles HERE.
These Girls Are Getting Famous!
Media were numerous to attend this unique moment in our foundation's history.
A number of stories were published afterwards, sharing the girls' message of hope with the rest of the world.
On February, 23rd, we welcomed our very first Moroccan scholar, Yousra Benradi. Her first words to Dr. Abuelaish and two of the DFL volunteers who came to greet her at the airport were "thank you so much, I am so happy!" We are equally thrilled to have Yousra as one of our scholars, as we finally expand our work outside of the Middle East, a will we have had in mind for quite some time already.
Since February, 27th, she is studying English at Brock University, St. Catharines (Ontario). Once she will have successfully completed the program, she will be able to apply for undergraduate studies there. Her dream of working in the nursing field is about to come true!
On March, 10th, Safaa Zaoui (left picture) and Sahar Al Ahmad (right picture) joined the selective DFL scholars' community. They have both already started to follow the English Program at ILAC. The young women feel extremely lucky to have been chosen for the scholarship.
Remember, what we do today for the youth of Syria will change the face of the country forever.
2017-2018 SCHOLARSHIP Interviews are on-going
The beginning of the year was very busy, we screened around 94 applications from bright and deserving students! We have now a shortlist of 49 talented young women whom we are currently interviewing.
Behind the scenes: learn everything about our interview process
As the applicants are based outside Canada, interviews are conducted by Skype, from our office in Toronto. Each applicant is being asked questions about her passion, her educational background, her community contribution, and her ambitions. We also enquire about the challenges they faced and how they overcome them. Interviews last about 30-45 minutes.
We value the applicants' academic results as well as their volunteer and professional experiences. What we are also looking for is female students with a striking personality, determined to successfully take on post-secondary studies and willing to give back to their communities, back home as well as on a larger scale in the global world.
A number of our previous scholars play roles in international organizations: Our very first graduating scholar, Yosra Albakkar, works for the embassy of Sweden in Amman, Jordan. Loureen Sayej, who graduated in 2016 from New College of Florida, is now Program Coordinator for the Palestinian Foreign Mission to the United States, in Washington.
The University of Guelph rocks: they kindly donated $20,000 CAD
The Ontario-based University of Guelph generously donated $20,000 CAD to our foundation.
This gift is immense. It is helping to finance housing & meal plans for one of our scholars currently studying at a US-based university.
We thank the University of Guelph from the bottom of our heart.
WELCOME TO OUR NEW BOARD MEMBERS
We are delighted to welcome four new board members to our board of directors. They attended their first meeting on February 17th.Continue reading to know more about them:
Tina Bax is a long time partner of the Daughters for Life Foundation and the Founder of CultureWorks, which teaches English to international students at Canadian university campuses. Culture Works teaches more than 500 students annually. Tina's corporate vision is to positively impact people through teaching. She recently received the ‘Women of Excellence Award’, alongside with 7 other women, awarded for their drive to improve life in their community, and around the world.
Dr. Jack N. Lightstone is the former President and Vice-Chancellor of Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. He has written and lectured extensively in his academic field. Dr. Lightstone remains an active scholar and has consistently been funded by external peer-reviewed grants.
He is the author of six books and is widely published in scholarly and professional journals.
Bogumila ‘Bogie’ Lapinski Anaya has been working in international education for the past 20 years, teaching, recruiting and promoting Canada to students from around the globe. After several years of working as a marketing and public relations consultant, she now works behind the scenes for Canada’s largest insurance provider in international education on supporting the health and wellness of students around the world. Bogie has an MA in Sustainable Peace in the Contemporary World and regularly writes about the role of hope in transforming conflict.
Wendy Mohammed has 20 years of experience in community nursing, international student business, and medical claims management. She is currently a Senior Consultant at guard.me, an international insurance company. Over the years, she has been engaged in a number of causes, including that of Mental Health: Wendy recently participated in the annual CAMH One Brave Night campaign for Mental Health and continues to support the initiative.
A new volunteer has joined our team
As our mission and hopes get heard by communities around the world, more enthusiastic and generous volunteers have offered to place their time, skills and capabilities at the service of Daughters for Life Foundation.
We are delighted to have welcomed Kristyna Drabinova to our team, as a Scholarship Coordinator:
"My story started in Cuba, where I read I shall not hate by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. I spent all day in my room reading it: I couldn’t stop. I was deeply moved by his story and promised myself to help women to get an education and become leaders, even though I wasn’t sure yet how.
Later on, I was honored to meet Dr. Izzeldin in person: Today, I am a proud part of DFL family, it means a lot to me. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish and his foundation inspired me to do things that are coming from my heart."
Check out the Daughters for Life Foundation
2016 Annual Report
May you have just joined our community or be a long-time DFL supporter, you will definitely find out how 2016 was like for Daughters for Life Foundation in our Annual Report.
Wrapping-up on last year's highlights and accomplishments, introducing our 2016 scholars and following-up on Dr. Abuelaish's participation to major international events, this report has it all!
You can find a quick download it from our website's homepage or from HERE.
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