Manaaim Somani, a grade 7 student at the St. Francis Xavier High School, Ottawa raises funds for the second consecutive year through the Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s World Partnership Walk. During 2018 and 2019, he mobilized 250 gifts valuing over CAD 17,500 receiving Silver Medal in both the years among hundreds of ambassadors and fundraisers from Ottawa in the category of the most funds raised by an individual.
Manaaim strives to exemplify being a responsive and ethical global citizen and make his humble contribution by supporting poverty alleviation through education, development and gender equity. Manaaim has been stepping forward to fundraise as part of World Partnership Walk since 2018. Started in 1985, the WPW organized annually by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada in ten cities is the largest event in Canada in support of international development.
As Manaaim turned 11 a day after the World Partnership Walk 2019, he felt gratified with his modest efforts as he reflected: “I am confident that all the funds that I collected along with other donations would make a big and lasting impact. I felt like what I had always wanted to do had been started from these campaigns. I am very thankful to the Aga Khan Foundation Canada for providing such an opportunity including for kids like me to make a difference in the society. It was also heartening to see other kids along with me working for this worthy cause and making a difference. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to all well-wishers, family and friends for their generous support and continuous encouragement. I would like to summarize my reflection in the words of Malala Yousafzai, a young Noble Peace Prize Laureate from Pakistan, who said, and I fully agree: “It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are, anyone can bring about change — and the action you take to deliver that change is valuable”.
More about Manaaim Somani:
Originally from Karachi, Pakistan; Manaaim migrated to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan at the age of 2 years with his family in 2010 and studied at the QSI International School of Bishkek, which follows the American curriculum and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in United States. In July 2017, he immigrated to Canada and studied at St-Laurent Academy for a year before joining St. Francis Xavier in Fall 2018.
At this young age, Manaaim has travelled internationally with exposure to diverse and multicultural environments; consistently demonstrates leadership and excellence in academics, extra and co-curricular activities; enjoys mathematics, physical education, sports, technology and scientific inquiry. He actively engages in community service and volunteering opportunities; plays alto-saxophone as part of SFX School Band and participates in team and individual sports.
Manaaim has published a number of poems and stories/narratives in KidsWWwrite, which is an online anthology for young writers and readers established in 2001 by the Department of English at Okanagan College, Canada (ISSN 1703-3020). Manaaim’s poems have been published in the Young World, which is weekly magazine for children, and in Daily Dawn. His art pieces have been published in artSonia Museum – the largest online artwork collection for children.