In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian World Literacy Ambassador Yasmin Farah Peer from Quebec along with Arman Lakhu from Alberta & Kelly Leung from British Columbia united in their mutual goals of effecting change, eradicating illiteracy and of empowering human beings within Canada & Abroad.
The story of Lives For Literacy starts from the human being that Peer is. Ever since she was a child, she had the desire to serve the less fortunate. Coming from South Africa, but a proud Canadian she knew her experiences taught her how privileged she was; having been witness to the many injustices people in the slums of Soweto faced: extreme poverty, hunger, and malnutrition, she understood what hardship meant.
Currently a political science & human rights student at Concordia University, Yasmin Farah Peer was inspired to expand her reach to every corner of the world upon being appointed as the World Literacy Foundation (WLF) Ambassador representing Canada in June 2020.
“Digitalization has made it possible for us to reach communities halfway across the world” she says “and thanks to the internet, when applications for volunteers were opened, we received almost 75 applicants within one day.” To Peer, this speaks to the power of movements at a particularly defining moment in history, of a global health emergency.
She believes that youth have a crucial role to play in driving change in their communities. With a core Canadian executive team, Lives For Literacy, a movement founded by Peer, hopes to register as a Canadian Non-Profit organisation by March, 2021. It is for this very reason that the team is requesting financial assistance from donors, family, & friends so that they can continue impacting and touching lives across the globe.
For Peer, literacy and self empowerment go hand in hand and as a human rights advocate, she believes that the right to read and write ought to be universal throughout the world, so that mankind everywhere can compete on the same platform. She adds that a lot of the problems faced by the global south stem from the lack of education and illiteracy in marginalized communities throughout the world.
Literacy stands as the door to opportunity, freedom and creativity as it inspires individuals to break the barriers of gender-based discrimination, cultural differences, and urges them to stand up to human right’s violations.
The L4L movement has given students meaning during the pandemic. “I’ve had volunteers from Nepal commend and tell me that L4L (Lives For Literacy) was the best thing that happened to them in 2020 and students in Yemen have cried with tears saying that L4L is a place away from home” says Peer.
Moving forward into 2021, Yasmin Farah Peer hopes to continue pursuing her endeavours in inspiring and mass mobilizing local and International youth audiences. “It starts with a dream and a few committed individuals supporting you” she says, “I am thankful to my family, friends, and core team members who have supported me every step of the way”.
Lives For Literacy (L4L) has been founded on her strong ambition to educate and advocate for literacy around the world. She adds that “there have been days where I have been overwhelmed, where I’ve broken down and cried but then looking ahead about the legacy and impact, Lives For Literacy (L4L) will have 20, 30 years down the lane…I smile. It is a privilege to represent Quebec, Canada and I thank the World Literacy Foundation for this opportunity”.
Such a statement by Peer expresses her dedication towards creating a better world! In order for Yasmin and her team to deliver and achieve the L4L objectives, funding is needed. She cannot wait to expand the impact of L4L (Lives For Literacy) and assist her volunteers. Peer is incredibly grateful to everyone that has been part of her journey, and of the 200+ volunteers from over 50 countries.
Additionally, our Vice-President Arman Lakhu is raising funds in collaboration with Bollywood Signature to donate funds to our volunteer Clara Omal who is the founder of Mwana Arts Space. It is a community space in Kenya that advocates for Literacy and the role of art in supporting children’s mental health. To learn more about Mwana Arts Space:https://instagram.com/mwanaartsspace?igshid=101q2od6kf7h7
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