MUN students campaign for positive change

Andrew Robinson
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Active-8 aims to inspire through youth ambassadors

Two Memorial University students are doing their part for a campaign that aims to inspire others to make positive change.

Sana Ghouri and Ashley Hunt, both Memorial University students, are youth ambassadors for the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation’s Active-8! Campaign.
— Photo by Andrew Robinson/The Telegram

The Active-8! Campaign highlights the efforts of eight Atlantic Canadians who have demonstrated an interest in international development through their own actions. Through the profile pages of the eight youth ambassadors, others are encouraged to make pledges of action for positive global change. The person who inspires the most acts as of noon on Feb. 28 will win $1,000.

Sana Ghouri and Ashley Hunt are representing Newfoundland and Labrador in the campaign. Ghouri, a third-year student, is studying international business at MUN and is originally from Saudi Arabia. Hunt is a fourth-year nursing student.

While the two MUN students are in a competition of sorts, Ghouri and Hunt have been working together to promote a campaign overseen by the Atlantic Council for International Co-operation. They are jointly hosting a screening of the documentary films “Recycled Life”  and “Flow: For Love of Water” on Feb. 12 at the Bruneau Centre starting at 6 p.m.

Ghouri has been an active student volunteer while attending universities in Malaysia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Since coming to MUN, Ghouri has become involved with the Student Volunteer Bureau and donated time to various events and causes.

Her academic interests are fuelled by a desire to promote sustainable profits in business.

“You don’t have to earn a lot of profit at a major expense of somebody else,” said Ghouri. “You can be doing good (financially) and still do good for the community at the same time.”

Hunt grew up in a close-knit community on Bell Island, and her interest in volunteering with community groups continued into university. She has raised money for Cystic Fibrosis Canada through the Shinerama campaign, been involved with Spread the Net to secure malaria nets for children in Africa, and raised funds for the Canadian Red Cross for its work in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.

Both students have been inspired by others. Hunt cites her grandfather Granville Hunt’s go-getter attitude as a trait she has adopted for herself. The elder Hunt, who died in 2008, was a businessman on Bell Island.

“He did a lot of pretty amazing things in his day,” said Hunt, noting her grandfather was the first person to distribute Pepsi products on Bell Island. He also moved houses from Bell Island to Topsail on a barge following the closure of the local coal mine.

“He was always a go-getter, and people in my family compare me to him in that I’m always going after something. ... It’s not business, but it’s something I’m passionate about.”

Ghouri’s mother, Shazia Ghouri, faced many challenges as a businesswoman in Saudi Arabia.

“She was a big inspiration for me, because I think it was very bold of her to go out there where there were very few women, and she was sometimes the only woman who would be (working) with businessmen.”

The actions people pledge to take can be big or small. A friend of Hunt pledged to chair a local committee related to global health, and Ghouri’s favourite pledge came from a person originally from Syria who wants to help people living in war-torn countries through caring and education.



Organizations: Atlantic Council, International Co, Bruneau Centre Student Volunteer Bureau Canadian Red Cross Pepsi

Geographic location: MUN, Newfoundland and Labrador, Bell Island Saudi Arabia Malaysia Africa Philippines Syria

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