Seva Food Bank Hires Director of Programs and Youth Development
Seva Food Bank is pleased to announce the hiring of Sadia Rafiquddin as its new full-time Director of Programs and Youth Development. In her new role, Sadia will be developing focused programs for our client families and connecting them with services available in the community. Sadia will also be launching our new community volunteering and youth leadership development programs, through a generous grant provided by the Inspirit Foundation.
“My early exposure to human rights violations in my birth country, Pakistan and the legacy of our move to Canada as refugees has motivated me to pursue a life devoted to social justice,” explained Sadia. “I’m very excited to be working as an advocate at Seva for the hundreds of families that walk through our doors every month.”
Sadia has been featured as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network and completed the Action Canada Fellowship. She holds an Honours B.A. in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Toronto, Trinity College and a Masters degree in Human Rights from the University of Sydney, Australia. She has also been an accredited journalist at G8 Summits in Russia (2006), Germany (2007) and Japan (2008) and contributed to more than 16 research reports for the G8 Research Group.
“From Day One, our vision has been to not just operate a food bank, but build an organization that addresses the root causes of poverty in our community and our client families,” remarked board chair Gurmeet Singh Ahluwalia. “We are delighted to have Sadia on the team. She brings a tremendous amount of experience and energy to the role. Her efforts will be critical in ensuring we are not only serving our clients dietary needs but getting them back on their feet. We’re also very excited about Sadia’s involvement with launching the Seva Squad, a community volunteering movement, and the Seva Fellows, a leadership development program for high-potential youth.”
In addition to the hiring of Sadia, we are pleased to announce that Rohit Mehta has moved into a full-time role as our Director of Operations and Volunteer Engagement. Sadia and Rohit will be taking over responsibilities from Michael Brito who is finishing his staff role with the Seva Food Bank to concentrate on his studies but will continue to serve in a volunteer capacity. “Michael was our first employee and in his time with Seva contributed in every aspect to the organization,” said board member Birender Kaur Gill. “He is loved by our volunteers and clients and while we are sad to see him transition off as an employee, we look forward to working with him as a volunteer.”
The Seva Food Bank provides safe, nutritious and culturally-appropriate food to over 1000 registered low-income families in Mississauga through a partnership with The Mississauga Food Bank. It is an initiative of Sikhs Serving Canada, a registered not-for-profit charitable organization whose mission is to positively impact local communities by acting on the basic Sikh tenets of sarbat da bhalla (the well being of all) and seva (selfless service).