We are a federally registered charitable organization in Canada. Our purpose is to empower young women, primarily in the Global South, by providing scholarships for post-secondary education.
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We aim to lift such young women, their families and their communities out of the cycle of poverty by igniting a spark of hope. We also believe that empowering young women, especially those from countries in turmoil, strengthens local communities and is key to creating long-term transformational change.
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Our focus is on bright young women who demonstrate leadership potential, but lack the financial means to afford a quality university-level education.
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By working closely with our on-ground partner in the student’s country of origin and our university partners, we help such young women secure the funding they require to pursue university programs at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional and PhD levels.
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Our emphasis on developing women leaders;
our focus on the Global South, especially areas of conflict or those that are under-served;
the financial support we leverage from our on-ground partners and university affiliations, generally on a 1 : 8 ratio;
our strong on-ground assistance for selection, screening and supporting students;
involvement that begins before university, and continues during and after university;
our access to full scholarships at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional and Doctorate levels.
Over the next 10 years, our goal is to support 1,000 young women leaders to achieve university education, at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional and PhD levels. We’d love your support in making their dreams come true!
students at all levels
current costs, CAD
10-year fundraising target
Our Board of Directors provides governance, oversight and long term strategic guidance
Board of Directors:
Doug has 35 years of senior business and financial management experience across a diverse range of industries and size of businesses including Molson Breweries (consumer products), Nexient Learning Inc. (TSE listed corporate education and training company), Bowne Internet Solutions (Internet solutions provider) as well as various manufacturing and distribution enterprises. During his career, Doug has also worked as a consultant to a number of start-up companies. Currently, Doug is Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of North American Fur Auctions, a private company with operations in Europe, North America and Asia.
Doug received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a Chartered Accountant with a further Corporate Finance designation from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Doug has also earned the ICD.D certification granted by The Institute of Corporate Directors.
Sadia is Managing Director, Royal Ontario Museum. She has an extensive career history in media, cultural industries and not-for-profits. Most recently, Sadia was Director, Original Program Development, CBC News and Centres. Prior to joining the CBC, Sadia was the Executive Director of Women in Film and Television-Toronto.
Sadia’s work has been nominated for five Gemini Awards, and she has won two as part of a team. She has also received dozens of other awards for her media work. In 2007 she was a finalist for the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy and in 1998 was one of four Canadian journalists awarded a prestigious Southam Fellowship for Journalists at Massey College, University of Toronto.
Sadia also holds two certificates from the Rotman School of Management: The Media Management Executive Education Program (2011), and Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Board Effectiveness Program (2008). She has a BA in Journalism and Communications.
Sadia is often asked to speak at conferences and other events on a range of media, diversity, gender and leadership issues. She is also the editor of At My Mother’s Feet, Stories of Muslim Women. The book sold out of its second printing.
Vina is an international security and peace-building specialist who has spent the last fifteen years working at the United Nations (U.N.) headquarters, in U.N. missions in West and Central Africa, and with non-governmental organizations in China, Central Asia, US and Canada.
She works with organizations and individuals who seek to address global and local injustice across many issues: women’s rights, conflict prevention, social inclusion, corporate accountability, and education. She specializes in strategic advice and services for cross-sector partnerships, resource mobilization, strategic planning, talent management, and organizational restructuring.
A seasoned speaker and advocate, Vina also serves on several boards. Her interests and expertise include policy development and organizational change management; human rights, and gender mainstreaming in fragile and conflict-affected states. She is fluent in Tajik, Russian and English, and holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.
Narmin Ismail is a recognized leader in team development with a particular focus on communications and change management. Her focus has been on helping to implement large scale employee engagement and volunteer productivity in both for-profit and not-for profit sectors.
Narmin was the Founder and Vice President of the Eighty20 Group, Co-Founder of the Climb for Leaders and was previously the CEO of the Daughters for Life Foundation. Her passion lies in empowering young women from the developing world through education, which is what led her to establish The Spark of Hope Foundation.
Narmin has a B.A. in Psychology from York University and an MBA from Athabasca University.