what we do


We are a registered charitable organization in Canada and the United States. Our purpose is to empower young women, primarily in the Global South, by providing scholarships for post-secondary education.

The biggest gender inequality issues that we face today, such as legal discrimination, unfair social norms and attitudes, decision-making on sexual and reproductive issues and low levels of political participation, are better resolved in societies where women and men are equally educated.

We strongly believe that better education not only gets women out of the cycle of poverty and develops the next generation of women leaders, but also makes them more resilient in vulnerable situations such as economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters. 

By working closely with our on-ground partner in the student’s country of origin and our university partners, we help these young women secure all the funding they require to pursue university programs at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional and PhD levels.


Our philosophy

We aim to lift 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.


key numbers

Scholarships provided
Institutions attended
Countries of origin
In S.T.E.M. fields
PhD students
In medical studies
Master's level students
our amazing TEAM

board of directors

Our Board of Directors provides governance, oversight and long-term strategic guidance. They bring different external experiences, from a wide variety of fields and with broad business and not-for-profit experience.

Rubina Havlin

Interim Chair
Rubina - 400 - new

Vina Nadjibulla

Board Director
Vina Nadjibulla - 400

Tanneke Heersche

Board Director
Tanneke - 400

Dr. Shaheen Shariff

Board Director
Shaheen Shariff - 400

Doug Lawson

Board Director
Doug Lawson - 400

Naaz Mulji

Board Secretary
Naaz - 400 - new2

founder and ceo

Narmin Ismail

Founder and CEO
Narmin Ismail

Narmin Ismail has always been passionate about empowering youth with the skills, experience and aptitudes to become leaders. Her entrepreneurial career includes being Co-Founder of an international youth-oriented leadership challenge, the Climb for Leaders and the CEO of the Daughters for Life Foundation.

In 2014, she had grown increasingly uncomfortable at the huge funding and accessibility gap at the university level for young females, especially in the Global South in areas of conflict and remote and under-served areas. So she established The Spark of Hope Foundation to provide university level scholarships to young women with a view to helping develop the next generation of women leaders.

Narmin has a B.A. in Psychology from York University and an MBA from Athabasca University.