On April 18th, 2023, Sara Jamil was awarded the prestigious Naim Malik Award for promoting Intercultural Friendship at the City of Richmond Hill's bi-annual Volunteer Achievement Awards at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.
Naim Malik was dedicated to having the many cultural groups in Richmond Hill come together. He worked with the City's council and staff, including creating events to showcase the special holidays of various groups.
Intercultural friendship is important to this very diverse city. Richmond Hill is home to many people who have strong ties with their homelands. Many languages are heard on the streets. Many faiths have built places of worship here. The current census lists these as the top 10 countries where immigrants to Richmond Hill are from - China, Iran, Hong Kong, South Korea, India, Italy, Russian Federation, Philippines, Ukraine, and Pakistan.
Two-thirds of Richmond Hillers identify as a visible minority.
Intercultural friendship is key.
Naim Malik's family was on hand to be on stage with Sara. His wife was pleased that the award was given to a female Muslim.
Sara is an active member of her faith-based community, the Ahmadiyya Muslims, particularly giving her time to mentoring young girls. Sara had been active with the Women and Girls Sector of the Charter for Compassion. She founded Compassionate York Region and made a successful delegation to the council in June 2022, and the City of Richmond Hill passed the motion to become a Compassionate City.
Her friend, and a team member with Compassionate York Region, Marj Andre, nominated Sara. Marilyn Turkovich wrote a compelling letter of recommendation for this award.
In this pre-recorded video, Sara and Marj spoke of examples of compassion happening in their community, including the Happy to Chat bench initiative. They also recognize that much more needs to be done.
"Compassion is a verb" say Sara and Marj.
Sara and Marj are very pleased to have had this opportunity to talk about the need for compassion.
Find below the letter of endorsement from our Executive Director, Marilyn Turkovich.
Congratulations, Sara. We love you and miss you! Grateful for your work in your community and the example and pathway you are giving to others to start their own compassionate communities and keep creating ripples of compassion all around them just as you are doing it.
Thanks to Marj for writing this piece and sharing the good news with us! If you'd like to share the work of your compassionate community or your organization and be featured in our blog, please reach out, and let's get a piece out! I'm all ears, and eyes, and heart: email@example.com