September 30, 2008 09:29 AM – It was in 1979 when Almas Dhrolia-Jiwani immigrated to Canada from what was then Zaire and is now called the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although in her teens, she soon became heavily involved in volunteer service.
Fast forward to today, and Dhrolia-Jiwani is being honoured with a Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. The award presentation takes place tomorrow in Toronto.
“We’ve been blessed with so much that the least we can do is share our time and knowledge to alleviate poverty and serve humanity,” said the Mississauga resident.
Among her extensive community service, Dhrolia-Jiwani assists newly-arrived Afghan refugees to settle in Canada. She has served as a director with the United Nations Development Fund for Women to empower women in developing countries.
“Ambition and motivation are at the core of success for everyone, but especially for women living in difficult circumstances in the developing world,” said Dhrolia-Jiwani. “If I can light the spark that gives them hope, courage and a will to make it, then I’ve succeeded.”
Dhrolia-Jiwani barely allows any time for herself. She dedicates her life to her family, her business, her community and volunteering with national and international organizations.
Dhrolia-Jiwani said she considers the award to be a great honor. It will help make her work even more worthwhile, she said.
“If I can be just a drop in the ocean to make a difference in this world, and to make life easier for the world’s poor, then I’m happy — very happy,” she said.
The Caring Canadian Award was created in 1996 by former Governor General Roméo LeBlanc. It is given to those who have served over a number of years and normally have not been recognized previously by a national or provincial honor.