I am Aiza Asif and I am a third year Bachelor of Science student, majoring in Biomedical Sciences.
My passion for humanitarian work was ignited in 2015 when I helped build a classroom and a nutrition program in San Jose, Costa Rica. This trip lit a fire, and in 2016 I participated in humanitarian work in Ecuador.
Upon my return from the Amazon region of Ecuador, I founded a Global Awareness Project (GAP) at my high school. I led events for GAP that assisted in issues related to world hunger, access to education, textile waste, and pollution.
When I started at UofG in 2018, I was honoured with the Lincoln Alexander Chancellor’s Scholarship, that created the opportunity to work as a research assistant under Dr. Manish Raizada on his Sustainable Agriculture Kit (SAK) project in Nepal.
The SAK mission was to provide low-cost, sustainable technologies to improve livelihoods of terrace farmers in rural areas of Nepal. Its major focus was to reduce food insecurity and physical distress for female farmers in the region.
At UofG, I am an executive member of Jack.org, a mental health awareness club, an executive team member of Oxfam, and a STARTonTrack program facilitator in the Student Experience Department.
I am currently planning a virtual research symposium focused on Global Determinants in Health. I have helped to recruit three speakers for this event, while overseeing the publication and distribution of promotional material.
The Summerlee Humanitarian Scholarship enabled me to join a project co-led by Dr. Matthew Little, an adjunct professor in the Department of Population Medicine and assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. In partnership with an NGO (International Care Ministries) in the Philippines, Dr. Little is focused on community engagement for health solutions in low-resource settings.
The Summerlee Humanitarian Scholarship allowed me the time to contribute to a project meant to assess the associations between food environments, dietary behaviours, and nutrition in Southeast Asia. Covid-19 restrictions dictate that a trip to the Phillipines will be postponed – I hope that another travel opportunity will be organized when it becomes possible.
I am passionate about reducing global health inequities. I thank the Angel Gabriel Foundation and the Lang family for the generosity that helps improve life here, and around the world.