via Vali Jamal: Mr Shivji passed away in Vancouver in December from complications from a hit-and-run accident in Kampala in December 2008. He had returned to Uganda in 1992 to repossess his 1000-acre farm, converting it to a internationally certified organic farming enterprise with hundreds of certified outgrowers.
For British Columbia Senator Mobina Jaffer, collaboration is the key starting point in sustaining peace and driving development in developing countries.
Collaboration, she told University of Prince Edward Island students, means building relationships.
“And there is nobody that can do that better than young people,’’ said Jaffer, who served as Canada’s Special Envoy for Peace in Sudan from 2002 to 2006.
“Building relationships is what it is about.’’
Jaffer was the guest speaker for the 12th annual International Development Week Fundraising Luncheon at UPEI.
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, this inquiry has been adjourned in the name of Senator Callbeck. I have requested her permission to proceed before her and then have this inquiry adjourned in her name, if I may.
Honourable senators, I rise before you today to speak to Senator Mercer’s inquiry, which calls the attention of the Senate to Canada’s current level of volunteerism, the impact it has on society and the future of volunteerism in Canada.
I would like to thank my honourable colleague Senator Mercer for drawing the Senate’s attention to the importance of volunteerism in Canada. I have always admired Senator Mercer for the service he personally renders to various charitable organizations, including the Canadian Diabetes Foundation, the YMCA of Greater Toronto and the Kidney Foundation of Canada. In Senator Mercer’s inquiry, he stresses the importance of saying “thank you” to all donors and volunteers as a symbol of respect and appreciation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all the work he does on behalf of Canadians.
Honourable senators, as Canadians, we truly understand the value of service in the name of humanity and take great pride in being recognized as a caring, generous and peaceful nation. Compassion, generosity and unity are all values that have defined Canadians for centuries. Similarly, these are also values at the cornerstone of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s philosophy.
More here: Debates – Issue 116 – November 6, 2012.
Also read: Brief meaning and history of Institution of Ismaili Volunteer Corp (IIVC), by Amin Kanji MSW
All related Ismailimaili category: http://ismailimail.wordpress.com/tag/volunteering/
On September 8, 2012, the Honourable Mobina S.B. Jaffer, Q.C. and the Honourable Yonah Martin, both senators representing British Columbia in Canada’s senate, presented a unique award to 39 individuals. They were honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal as a tangible way for Canada to honour the significant contributions and achievements made by citizens for the good of their immediate communities.
The presentation ceremony and the reception afterwards were hosted by the Aga Khan Council for British Columbia. It took place at the Burnaby Ismaili Centre located at 4010 Canada Way in Burnaby BC.
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, on Sunday, September 23, I had the privilege of walking alongside 1,500 British Columbians at the twenty-first annual Ismaili Walk. This year men, women and children from across Vancouver gathered at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park where they enjoyed live music, delicious food and a festive atmosphere while supporting an important cause that is very close to my heart.
Twenty per cent of homes in British Columbia are headed by single mothers, half of whom live in poverty. Having spent six years serving as national president of the YWCA, I have worked with many of these women and am very familiar with the exceedingly vulnerable positions in which they are routinely placed. Whether it is deciding between paying the rent or buying groceries, or choosing between staying in an abusive relationship or leaving and living life in poverty, single mothers are forced to make impossible decisions each day.
This year the Ismaili Council for British Columbia partnered with the YWCA Cause We Care House, which is an integrated housing community that is being built to support some of Vancouver’s most vulnerable families — single mothers bravely raising children in challenging economic conditions.
The YWCA Cause We Care House will provide safe and affordable housing to help women achieve economic independence by providing program space for much needed medical and employment services, Aboriginal infant development programs and literacy programs.
During this year’s walk, we heard from Ms. Janet Austin, the CEO of the YWCA of Vancouver. Ms. Austin spoke of the great work the YWCA continues to do on behalf of single mothers while also shedding light on the vision they share with the Ismaili Muslim community in British Columbia.
The president of the Ismaili Council for British Columbia, Ms. Samira Alibhai, described this vision by stating:
Islam places a great emphasis on the principle of people and institutions coming together to make positive change. This walk is part of our tradition of service, giving back and helping those in need, and helping improve the overall quality of life in the society in which we live by making a meaningful contribution to our local is community.
During the walk we also had the honour of hearing from M.P. Andrew Saxton who delivered a message on behalf of the Right Honourable Prime Minister Harper. In his message, the Prime Minister stated:
Today British Columbians will lace up their sneakers to raise awareness and funds for this great cause. I would like to commend the Ismaili Muslim community for organizing this event, which over the past 21 years has raised more than $3.8 million for community organizations in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver.
Honourable senators, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the Ismaili Muslim community, Ms. Alibhai, Ms. Austin and the many volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this year’s walk such a great success.
I also wish to congratulate all those who participated in the Ismaili Walk for Women for taking steps to help some of Canada’s most vulnerable and marginalized populations.
All related Mobina Jaffer: http://ismailimail.wordpress.com/tag/mobina-jaffer/
Mr. Sherali Bandali Jaffer
Congratulations on Receiving Uganda’s National Independence Medal
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to honour my father, Sherali Bandali Jaffer, who was recently decorated with Uganda’s National Independence Medal, one of the highest awards granted by the government of Uganda. This medal, known as the Hero’s Award, was first awarded by Queen Elizabeth II in 1962, at the time of Uganda’s independence. It is an honour awarded to those individuals who have contributed significantly to Uganda’s struggle to obtain independence, as well as to those who continue to work diligently to protect its independence.
My father has devoted his life to creating a strong, independent Uganda and is extremely proud to have represented his Ugandan brothers and sisters as a city councillor and as a member of parliament under President Obote’s government.
In 1972, under the rein of Idi Amin, my father and our entire family were exiled and forced to leave Uganda, our country of birth, with nothing but the clothes on our backs. After seeking refuge in Vancouver and establishing successful businesses in Canada, my father chooses to continue to return to Uganda from time to time, as it is his place of birth.
I am very pleased to forward this press article on the honour bestowed upon Hon Sherali Bandali Jaffer, MP, by the government of Uganda. It’s in the first place an honour to him for his long service in all walks of life in Uganda, but it is also an honour to the whole Uganda Asian community, here and there. I am beginning to sense that the present Uganda government is reaching out to us Asians in many ways. Just a month ago H.E. the President endorsed the book below as a “national asset”, which again I see as a recognition of our past, present and future role in Uganda.
Needless to say the Jaffer family are covered in my book in three glorious generations: Patriarch Bandali Jaffer, who was one of the early itinerant traders collecting cotton from farmers on his bike and cart; Honourable SBJ himself as an MP and benefactor of several Muslim schools; and daughter Mobina as the youngest (until then) senator in the Canadian government as the senator for British Columbia.
Click here to read the article: https://docs.google.com/open?id=1lD_A9m_WUnKu0Qv_gIbmKjZlMzS9M19G2yGLl4RscLpC_Dgert3Bq0ehyCvL
Vali Jamal, BA Cambridge, PhD Stanford, ILO economist 1976-2001. Kampala, Uganda. Author: Uganda Asians: Then and Now, Here and There, We Contributed, We Contribute (1250 pp+-, 5.2 kg, $72.50), forthcoming Sep 2012 in three parts. “The book is a national asset in Uganda’s Golden Jubilee year” – HE President Museveni. All related Vali Jamal: http://ismailimail.wordpress.com/tag/vali-jamal/
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, on Friday, January 13, His Royal Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa for his service to humanity.
For over 50 years, His Royal Highness the Aga Khan has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life of people living in the poorest and most disadvantaged areas of the world, particularly Africa, Central and South Asia and the Middle East. Allan Rock, President of the University of Ottawa, said the following about the Aga Khan’s accomplishments:
His Highness speaks directly to the goodness in all people. By his words and actions, he has demonstrated that there are no divisions among us if our desire truly is to create a better world.
Honourable senators, when speaking to the people assembled at the graduation ceremony, His Highness shared several important messages, some of which pertain directly to the work that we do in this institution.
Not the most common of classifications, she admits, as those forced to flee their native countries are not always considered as such.
But as she approaches the 40th anniversary of her family’s exodus from their native Uganda, Jaffer smiles when she thinks about what she’s enjoyed in her years in Canada — not what she’s missed because she had to leave home.
“I’ve been very lucky and while I believe you create your own luck, one of the things I reflect on at this time of year is how people here accept you for who you are,” says Jaffer.
“Canadians are very special.”
Jaffer was born in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, to Ugandan-born parents of South-Asian descent. Her father was a Member of Parliament, her mother a probation officer.
After Idi Amin took control of the country in 1971 and began an eight-year reign of terror where hundreds of thousands of Ugandans were killed, Jaffer’s family left.
More at: North Shore Outlook – A study in firsts.
His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan – Congratulations on Seventy-Fifth Birthday
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, yesterday Ismaili Muslims around the world celebrated the seventy-fifth birthday of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan. The Aga Khan is the devoted spiritual leader and forty-ninth imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.
As a proud Ismaili Muslim, every morning I wake up knowing that I am a beneficiary of the Aga Khan’s infinite knowledge, wisdom and guidance.
When my family and my community were exiled from Uganda, when we lost everything and feared for our lives, the Aga Khan protected us. He helped us rebuild our entire lives and seek refuge in this great country, Canada.
When I was a young woman and I faced societal pressures that told me that women could only be nurses and teachers and not lawyers or doctors, the Aga Khan taught me that your gender did not define who you are or which profession to pursue. He emphasized the importance of educating girls, and he continues to ensure that young girls around the world are afforded the same opportunities as young boys.
Honourable senators, the truth is that we are all beneficiaries of the Aga Khan’s philanthropy. In 1967, the Aga Khan founded the Aga Khan Foundation, which is one of the largest private development agencies in the world. Continue reading
The Late Mrs. Gulbanu Sherali Bandali Jaffer
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to my parents, especially my mother, and to all your mothers. My mother, Gulbanu Sherali Bandali Jaffer, was known to all of us as Mama. She cocooned us with her love and was the sunshine in our lives.
Mama was the first girl in East Africa to pass London Matriculation, which is the equivalent of university entrance, and then she went on to be a mathematician. She was the youngest principal in her school. Often her students were older than she was. She married my father, Sherali Bandali Jaffer, a politician, and as a young bride moved to Uganda. She very quickly embraced my father’s work. With his help, she provided sanctuary to unwed mothers in our home. My parents have over 75 children that they have looked after or have been godparents to.
Mama never gave up her love for studying. She continued to study and became a social worker and probation officer in Kampala, Uganda. The Ugandan government sent her for further studies to London, England, and to Kent University in Ohio. While she studied, my father cared for us all.
t has long been known that the burden of malaria on the developing world is crushing. An entirely preventable disease affects 350-500 million people each year, kills upwards of one million and claims the life of an African child every 30 seconds. This is simply unacceptable.
What is even more unfortunate is that this disease preys on the most vulnerable population namely pregnant women and children.
It is estimated that 50 million women become pregnant in malaria-endemic areas annually, half of them in sub-Saharan Africa alone. The toll this disease takes on mothers and their children is not negligible as studies indicate that malaria indirectly causes at least 25,000 maternal health deaths and between 75,000 and 200,000 newborn deaths each and every year.
I am a child of Africa. I have drank water from the river Nile and I have swam in Lake Victoria. I have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of malaria.
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/
Afghanistan – Human Rights of Women and Children
Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise before you today to shed light on the importance of empowering women in Afghanistan.
This past Friday, the Honourable Minister Lawrence Cannon stated that Canada would mark December 10 as International Human Rights Day. He stated:
Canada supports the Government of Afghanistan and Afghan civil society organizations in their efforts to promote and protect human rights, especially those of women and children. Canada consistently raises human rights issues such as freedom of expression and women’s rights with the Government of Afghanistan.
I would like to commend Prime Minister Harper and Minister Cannon for showcasing Canada’s commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights at home and abroad. However, I believe that it is important to recognize that the situation for women and children in Afghanistan is still particularly volatile.
As we reconfirm our commitment to championing human rights, I believe it is important that we reflect upon the great work that is being done and that needs to be done in Afghanistan. Although many development organizations have been working tirelessly on promoting and protecting the rights of women and children in Afghanistan, there is one organization that is particularly close to my heart.
The Aga Khan Development Network is one of the world’s largest private development networks, and with the support of its donors and partners it has channelled over US$700 million toward Afghanistan’s reconstruction.
The Aga Khan Development Network has established several programs in Afghanistan focusing on health, infrastructure rehabilitation, education, micro-finance and large-scale rural development. Not only do these initiatives help create a more stable and secure environment for the Afghan people, they also provide a beacon of hope for young Afghan girls who would otherwise be destined to a life of domestic labour.
Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, I rise today to speak on the importance of embracing difference. On Friday, October 15, I had the privilege of attending the tenth annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium. This event was founded by our former Governor General, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, and is co-chaired by Mr. John Ralston Saul.
This year, the symposium attendees warmly welcomed His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan who delivered an inspiring speech on the topic of pluralism.
The Honourable Mobina S.B. Jaffer — Senator for British Columbia, Senate of Canada, Ottawa
Senator Mobina Jaffer was born in Uganda and educated in both England and Canada. She received an LLB from London University, England and completed the Executive Development Program at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. She was the first East Indian woman to practice law in British Columbia.
via CLE BC Online Store.
by Senator Mobina Jaffer on Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 9:01am
On Sunday September 26th I had the privilege of attending the Ismaili Walk for Women. This was the 19th year of the walk and the third year of a successful three-year partnership between the Ismaili Muslim Community of British Columbia and the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre Foundation. Together these two organizations set out to raise funds for the Women’s Health Research Institute which in turn assists them in their endeavour to advance knowledge and care for women, newborns and their families across British Columbia and around the world.
Ismaili Walk for Women
Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I also want to recognize the great Senator Norm Atkins. He was a friend and a great example to all of us. If he were here today, he would say, “Enough said: Move on to what you really want to say.” Therefore, I will continue with my statement.
I rise before honourable senators today to speak to you about sisterhood.
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Ismaili Walk for Women in Vancouver. This was the nineteenth year of the walk and the third year of a successful partnership between the Ismaili Muslim Community of British Columbia and the BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre Foundation.
Funds raised from this event benefit the Women’s Health Research Institute in its endeavour to advance knowledge and care for women, newborns and their families across British Columbia and around the world.
Debates of the Senate (Hansard) – 3rd Session, 40th Parliament, Volume 147, Issue 34 Thursday, June 3, 2010
Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, on Friday May 28, Senator Kochhar and I had the privilege of attending the foundation ceremony for the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and Park in Toronto hosted by His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan and his royal family.
After the ceremony was completed, I struggled to find the words to describe the significance of the Aga Khan’s generous contribution. Nothing I could say would do this project justice. It was not until I awoke the following morning to a Toronto Star article that read: “Of all the gifts ever given to Toronto, none is more beautiful than the Aga Khan’s” that I realized what the Aga Khan had bestowed upon not only Torontonians, but all Canadians.
The Aga Khan’s project, which will be crafted by several world-renowned architects, comprises three elements. These elements include: an Ismaili Centre that will feature a circular prayer hall; an Islamic museum that will be the first of its kind in the English-speaking world; and a welcoming park that will connect these two buildings together and will be designed to resemble the traditional Islamic gardens in Alhambra, which flourished during the great era of Spanish history when Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together harmoniously.
Although the Ismaili Centre, park and museum will indeed be rich in beauty, this beauty extends far beyond the aesthetic and architectural merit of its design. The true appeal of the Aga Khan’s project lies not only in the vast gardens, glass domes or serene pools that these grounds will showcase. The true beauty lies in the concepts and ideologies this project seeks to promote, and in the message it sends to the world.
This message is one that Prime Minister Harper described at the ceremony as being “. . . dedicated to the promotion of ethnic, cultural and religious interchange . . .” and is one that “. . . truly inspires our own hopes for a better world.”
Honourable senators, Muslim societies constitute over a quarter of the world’s population. However, many people, particularly those who reside in the Western world, have limited knowledge of Islam.
The Aga Khan’s project will help those who are currently misinformed and blinded by a veil of ignorance with an insight into the plurality within Islam and the relationship that Islam has with other traditions. The Aga Khan continuously assures us that once this veil is lifted, we will be able to recognize what our societies are experiencing is not a clash of civilizations, but rather a clash of ignorance.
Honourable senators, in our great country, we are open to understanding and embracing diversity. We no longer dwell on the differences between various religions and cultures. Instead, we embrace our commonalities and this embracing, in turn, enables us to live together in peace and harmony. As the Aga Khan so eloquently stated in his closing remarks, this project is “. . . a proud gift from our generation to future generations — even as it celebrates so fittingly what past generations have given to us.”
The Canadian Committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Organizes the “Say NO-UNiTE” Event Spotlighting Global Actions to End Violence Against Women
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, May 26, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) —-The Canadian National Committee of the United Nations
Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) proudly announces its first Say NO – UNiTE End Violence against Women event to be held on June 2, 2010 in Room #308 of the West Block on Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
The event will include the following prominent speakers:
– The Honourable Senator Mobina Jaffer, Q.C.;
– Ms. Nanette Braun (Head of Communications, United Nations Headquarters, UNIFEM);
– Mr. David Keller (President, Amnesty International, Canada);
– Dr. Shafique N. Virani (Professor, University of Toronto);
– Madame Lise Watier (President and Founder, Lise Watier Foundation);
– Ms. Zahra Rasul (Faculty of Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus); and
– Ms. Almas Jiwani (President, Canadian National Committee of UNIFEM).