Media Releases

U of T Faiths Act Fellows mobilize against malaria

April 14, 2010

TORONTO, ON – Dur­ing Faiths Act Week, April 25 to May 1, 2010, Tony Blair Foun­da­tion Fel­lows Aree­ba Jawaid and Hilary Keachie from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to will join forces to raise aware­ness, funds and resources to com­bat malar­ia across the world.  

Malar­ia, an entire­ly pre­ventable and treat­able dis­ease, remains a crit­i­cal threat to glob­al health. More than 300 mil­lion peo­ple con­tract malar­ia annu­al­ly and one mil­lion die. 

Dur­ing and lead­ing up to World Malar­ia Day, April 25, 2010, the fel­lows will host an array of events that bring togeth­er peo­ple of all faiths to help com­bat malar­ia. One major ini­tia­tive – Con­gre­ga­tions Act – chal­lenges con­gre­ga­tions of diverse faiths from across Cana­da to take the “10 Nets for 2010 Chal­lenge” to raise $100 for ten life sav­ing bed­nets. From the Mar­itimes to the Prairies, numer­ous faith com­mu­ni­ties have signed on to this ini­tia­tive includ­ing con­gre­ga­tions in Mon­tre­al, Ottawa, and Toron­to. Sup­port­ed by Mus­lims, Jews and Chris­tians, Con­gre­ga­tions Act illus­trates how faith com­mu­ni­ties can work togeth­er for the com­mon good in civ­il soci­ety both at home and abroad. 

Oth­er events tak­ing place dur­ing Faiths Act Week include: 

  • Sol­i­dar­i­ty Walk: 250 stu­dents from high schools across Toron­to will par­tic­i­pate in an inter­faith walk-a-thon on April 25, 2010.  
  • Knick Knack for Nets: Items from var­i­ous res­i­dences will be col­lect­ed and sold in a large yard sale on April 24, 2010 at Bloor Street Unit­ed Church. Along with cheap gen­tly used items, there will be face paint­ing, cot­ton can­dy, pop­corn, and fresh­ly baked goods.  

“Faiths Act is a clear exam­ple of the pos­i­tive impact faith com­mu­ni­ties can, and do, have on the world, espe­cial­ly when they work togeth­er,” said Jawaid.  

Keachie says she would, “encour­age peo­ple of all ages to get involved in mul­ti-faith action such as Faiths Act Week because it’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn about dif­fer­ent cul­tures and reli­gions while liv­ing out shared val­ues of com­pas­sion and jus­tice.” 

The Faiths Act Fel­low­ship in Cana­da was unveiled by the Tony Blair Faith Foun­da­tion along­side the Belin­da Stronach Foun­da­tion in Decem­ber 2008. 

Peo­ple of all faith are being urged to take part in Faiths Act Week. All funds raised will be matched by for­mer British Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair. For more infor­ma­tion on Faiths Act Week, vis­it: 

Below are brief bio­graph­i­cal sketch­es of the UofT Fel­lows:

Hilary Keachie
Hilary is 23 years old, Chris­t­ian, and received a degree in edu­ca­tion at the Ontario Insti­tute for Stud­ies in Edu­ca­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. She grad­u­at­ed from McGill with a bach­e­lor’s degree in world reli­gions, polit­i­cal sci­ence and French lan­guage in May 2008. Hilary gained expe­ri­ence in inter­faith work as a vol­un­teer under the super­vi­sion of Antho­ny Man­sour at the Cana­di­an Cen­tre for Ecu­menism where she gained expo­sure to inter­faith projects on both the micro and macro lev­els. She is flu­ent­ly bilin­gual in French and Eng­lish and has net­works with faith com­mu­ni­ties in both Mon­tre­al and Toron­to. Hilary is inspired to mobi­lize oth­er young peo­ple to form inter­faith rela­tion­ships and fur­ther the Mil­len­ni­um Devel­op­ment Goals.

Aree­ba Jawaid
Aree­ba is 22 years old, Mus­lim, a stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to work­ing on her Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in human biol­o­gy and geog­ra­phy. She has a pas­sion and demon­strat­ed track record for com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice. She was first inter­est­ed in com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice after her expe­ri­ence vol­un­teer­ing at the HIV/AIDS Con­fer­ence in 2006. Since then she has worked with the Cen­tre of Com­mu­ni­ty Part­ner­ships and The Mul­ti-faith Cen­tre at the Uni­ver­si­ty, where she has served on var­i­ous sub­com­mit­tees, plan­ning com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice and inter­faith events. She is flu­ent and Eng­lish and Urdu. Aree­ba strong­ly believes in empow­er­ing youth and peo­ple of faith to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in their com­mu­ni­ties


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Richard Cham­bers
U of T Mul­ti-Faith Cen­tre
Office: 416–946-3119

Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to media rela­tions