Myra tours the Edmonton Food Bank in preparation for the Pay it Forward, No Hunger event she organized on January 27 as part of Global Awareness Week.

Student aims to pay it forward and end hunger

January 27, 2020 | Health, Society
During the 10 years I worked with the United Nations World Food Programme, I saw so much sadness. We visited people’s homes to gather information and send help to people who were hungry – sometimes walking for kilometres on unpaved roads or in the mud, or riding donkeys to remote areas of Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and Libya.

I saw parents struggling to put food on the table for their kids. I saw children skipping school day after day because their stomachs were empty. I saw people who hid their hunger – who were ashamed to admit it. I saw the aftermath of natural disasters and wars. And I saw how hunger kills people.

I have never looked at food the same way since.

When I came to Canada in 2013, I hoped I could continue working in food security, but I needed two years of additional education for the degree I had earned back in my home country of Jordan to be recognized. That is how I eventually came to MacEwan to study political science.

My passion is helping people, so I applied to become a volunteer with the Office of Human Rights, Diversity and Equity. Completing training on the UN Sustainable Development Goals last November showed me that world hunger rates are continuing to increase, despite the substantial increase in the means for food production.

It made me wonder why. But wondering won’t change anything, so I decided to plan an event for Global Awareness Week about hunger and how it’s linked to other issues, like human rights, gender equality and education. There are some simple ways we, as students, can pay it forward and help end hunger: by talking about the issue with our friends and on social media; donating to the food bank, if we can; and volunteering.

Working in a war zone or emergency area is terrifying, but watching a child smile because they have food to eat or seeing a mother lifting her hands to the sky to pray are just some of the rewarding moments I will never forget.

–Myra, Bachelor of Arts student and Champions of Diversity and Equity (CODE) volunteer

As part of her CODE volunteer work with the Office of Human Rights, Diversity and Equity, Myra is hosting an event for Global Awareness Week called Pay it Forward, No Hunger at Griffins Landing in Building 6 on January 27. Learn how to become a CODE volunteer.


January 27–31 is Global Awareness Week

Learn about human rights and gender equality issues. Witness the impact of sustainability initiatives and poverty education. Get creative at hands-on workshops. This is Global Awareness Week.

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