Anna Elisabete Canella
Program:Bachelor of Science Degree
My name is Anna Elisabete Canella. I am an international student from Brazil in my third year, Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Neuroscience.
My desire to help began in my country of origin. I was haunted by the atrocities of the Brazil ‘Holocaust’, allowed under a dictatorship between 1930 and 1980. The violent intolerance of minority groups during the ‘Holocaust’ motivated me to better understand how this can even happen.
The problem is that many people naturalize these historical phenomena, become almost immune to the horror and allow the same societal intolerance to co-exist with the institutionalized inhumanity.
In the hope of sensitizing students and the community around these 50 years of abuse, I participated in a project called Humana Mente (Human Mind), the main purpose of which was to preserve the memory of the approximately 60,000 victims through a collaborative work of art.
A panel of 50 photos and 50 audiovisual productions was displayed at the Museum of Art in Sao Paulo so that people could begin the healing by acknowledging the atrocities committed upon citizens marginalized by their race, sexual orientation, or political beliefs, among other things.
As a University of Guelph student, I volunteer with the Guelph Neighbourhood Group Coalition. We are empowering members with problem solving and micromanaging skills because the number of people in need overwhelms the resources available.
I will honour this Scholarship by helping the marginalized population of Kenya gain access to healthcare. I will travel to Africa with AIESEC to improve medical care and bring awareness to the new generations of marginalized citizens. I will assist practitioners, doctors and nurses while I learn from these extraordinary professionals who work for the benefit of humanity.
While in Africa, I will also help to empower children and families at pre-schools and orphanages by teaching, running workshops and assisting with general care.
Drawing on my experiences in Brazil, I will create a Research Project in photos, with a goal to capture the essence of the people and the difference that humanitarian aid makes in their lives.
My lens will capture positivity, despite the hardships in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project is meant to inspire sympathy and not pity, for these good people. We are there to empower and provide resources for inclusiveness, not to simply address the ‘symptoms’ of poverty and marginalization.
The Angel Gabriel Foundation, that supports the Summerlee Humanitarian Scholarships deserves our deepest gratitude. For my part, I will represent the value of these funds with the generosity and humanity from which they were created. Thank you.