One in every 122 humans forced to flee their homes

December 20th, 2015|

Imagine if you had to flee your home, leaving everything behind as you escaped to safety?
We are humbled to have the opportunity to assist some young women who come from such dire circumstances, and hope to be able to impact more young women and their families through providing educational scholarships.
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Lessons I continue to learn

December 6th, 2015|

In April 2014, I had a dream: to create a scholarship foundation to provide scholarships to bright young women from the developing to help them break the cycle of poverty and become tomorrow's leaders. But I had no funds, students, university collaborations, on-ground partners, board or charitable status. Just a dream.

Today, we support 40 young women (including four alumni), often from areas of turmoil. Countries include Argentina (alum.); Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon (refugee camps), Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Tajikistan and Uganda. The scholars attend programs at the Bachelor, Masters’, Professional and PhD levels.

The start of a dream comes true

November 8th, 2015|

When I started the Spark of Hope Foundation in April 2014, I wanted the Foundation to cater broadly to a wide swath of women, at universities around the world.

But, I also dreamt of one day seeing a number of Spark of Hope Scholars graduate from Ivy League or other top-ranked universities. Armed with this level of education, I am confident that they will go on to provide exceptional leadership in the world.

World of Difference 100 Award recognizes economic empowerment of women

October 24th, 2015|

Since their creation 10 years ago by The International Alliance of Women, their World of Difference 100 awards have recognized 600 women and men who have supported the economic empowerment of women in the following categories: entrepreneurship, corporate, non-profit, education, public service/government, young women leaders and champions.

Not an overnight crisis

September 14th, 2015|

The world’s media is riveted on the refugees and migrants streaming across European borders.

Four years of violence and insurmountable problems have left 12,184,000 people affected in Syria, of whom 5,600,000 are children in need. Outside Syria, there are 3,979,623 registered refugees and persons awaiting registration, of which 2,073,905 are children.

But this is not an overnight crisis.

Almost 60 million people displaced in 2014

June 19th, 2015|

Wars, conflict and persecution have forced more people than at any other time since records began to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere, according to a new report from the UN refugee agency.

UNHCR's annual Global Trends Report: World at War, released on June 18, 2015, said that worldwide displacement was at the highest level ever recorded. It said the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to a staggering 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago.

The Future of Syria

June 9th, 2015|

The statistics are mind numbing – 200,000 dead. 10,000 children killed. Upwards of 4 million refugees. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian crisis has emerged has the greatest humanitarian disaster of our time. But where is this crisis headed?

Does the West and the international community have a strategy to stabilize this traumatized nation?The Foundation supports a growing number of Syrian students, and we thought that this insightful article would help provide a context for our work.

First Spark of Hope scholars graduate!

June 4th, 2015|

Rana Begum, Meher Jabeen and Savaila, who come from the remote northern areas of Pakistan, just graduated from the Asian University for Women, Bangladesh. These three are the first Spark of Hope scholars to graduate!

Rana completed a Bachelor’s in Environmental Sciences; Meher completed her Bachelor’s in Politics, Philosophy & Economics and Savaila completed her Bachelor’s in Economics.

Narmin K. Ismail, CEO of The Spark of Hope Foundation, was on hand for the graduation ceremony on May 21, 2015 in

Delhi rapist: “She shouldn’t have fought back”

March 8th, 2015|

I read this article today having just spent two weeks in India, and a few days in Bangladesh visiting students we support at the Asian University for Women, and I was enraged.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, 2015, we should not forget that in many countries, women’s rights unfortunately have a huge way to go.

CEO honoured with Leadership Award

February 16th, 2015|

The World Women Leadership Congress recently honoured Narmin K. Ismail, founder and CEO of the Spark of Hope Foundation with an Outstanding Women Leadership Achievement Award, at their congress in Mumbai, India on Feb 14, 2015.

“The Award recognizes outstanding women professionals who have the vision, flair, acumen and professionalism to demonstrate excellent leadership and managing skills in an organization, making changes and achieving results,” said Dr Raju Bhatia, Founder of the congress.

Off to a flying start!

December 4th, 2014|

When I founded the Spark of Hope Foundation in April 2014, my goals were modest. I wanted to raise funds for university level needs-based scholarships for bright young women with strong leadership potential, so that these women can make a huge impact in their communities as tomorrow’s leaders.

I also wanted to recruit a very capable Board of Directors so that there was strong governance; establish collaboration frameworks with on-ground partners and agreements with top universities around the world; and recruit students with high leadership potential.

Why does education for girls matter?

October 4th, 2014|

The second United Nation’s International Day of Girl Child was observed on October 11, 2013, to promote girls’ human rights. Why should anyone invest in our female children? Studies continually show that education for girls and women has positive ripple effects within the family, community, and across societies.

Girls who have been educated are more likely to marry later in life, have smaller and healthier families, and have greater job prospects. Instead of instilling and promoting her self-confidence.

International Women’s Day 2014 UN Secretary-General’s Message

August 4th, 2014|

This International Women’s Day, we are highlighting the importance of achieving equality for women and girls not simply because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it.

Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support.

Education transforms societies

June 4th, 2014|

For a large number of girls, getting a good education can be a matter of life or death. For many others it affects their health and that of their families, their rights to equal employment opportunities and pay, and their chance to marry later and to choose when and how many children they have.

Education is one of the most important means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process.

How we help

April 30th, 2014|

We are a charitable foundation based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, whose purpose is to empower young women, primarily in the developing world, through education.

We believe that empowering young women, especially those from war torn countries, is the best way to help local communities become stronger. Our aim is to lift such young women, their families and their communities out of the cycle of poverty by igniting the spark of hope.