University of Calgary

(One of the university partners, University of Calgary, Alberta)

Early in August 2016, I was honoured to be contacted by Paul Waldie, who I later found out has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism.

Paul had heard about the Spark of Hope Foundation, had visited our website, and wanted to learn more! He was intrigued about why I had set up the Foundation, why we did what we did, what we hoped to achieve and especially, how  we’ve been fortunate to make rapid progress over the last two years in attracting the cooperation of 18 universities around the world, and obtaining co-funding of over $4 million to date.

I suggested that one has a powerful cause like educating bright young women from remote areas or areas of conflict, and who will make a huge impact in the world with university education, it’s not hard. “You just ask for help, and universities, partners and donors rally to the cause,” I said.

After a very pleasant chat, he promised to feature our work in a future issue of the Globe and Mail.

I was delighted to this article published online on Friday August 19, 2016 ( and a similar article in the print version the next day in the Giving Back section of the Globe and Mail.

Narmin K. Ismail
Founder and CEO,
The Spark of Hope Foundation