“Stories can multiply the impact of a good initiative, so let’s learn how to be captivating storytellers!”

-Gideon Mentie

Age: 22

Hometown: Brooks, Alberta

Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta

Affiliations: SPECT, FullSoul Uganda, CAWST (ACGC Member), Canadian Foodgrains Bank

what influenced you to become a change-maker?

I am a 22-year-old Ethiopian-Canadian civil engineering student, born and raised in the little prairie town of Brooks, Alberta. Growing up in Brooks, where over 100 different languages are spoken, I was always surrounded by a multitude of different cultures and traditions and was constantly learning about new countries from friends and strangers. My perspective has consequently been global since elementary school, so I have chosen to study civil engineering with the intention of being a changemaker in the field of water resource management. I would like to see a world where communities worldwide are not scared of their hospitals or drinking water. That is why I am working to improve technology and infrastructure for low- and middle-income countries.

How does your work promote gender equality in Canada and around the world?

Early last year, I became involved with the Sterile Processing Education Charitable Trust (SPECT), which trains health care workers in low- and middle-income countries to properly sterilize surgical equipment. I am currently leading a team of engineering students in the redesign of SPECT’s surgical instrument support basket, used by SPECT to promote proper sterilization in low-resource health care environments. An estimated 99% of maternal deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and 11.6% of those deaths are due to sepsis, an infection of the blood that can be caused by improperly sterilized instruments. By reducing rates of post-surgical site infection in maternal health clinics supported by SPECT’s partner FullSoul Uganda, we are actively promoting gender equality in health care. Women should not be scared to access health care services in Uganda or anywhere else worldwide.

How does the work you do addressing gender inequality connect to progress on the other Sustainable Development Goals?

Having spent time in rural Ethiopia, I have seen how limited access to clean water disproportionately affects women and girls. In 2016, I spent the summer studying development in Ethiopia, and met many young girls who didn’t attend school consistently because they would spend upwards of four hours a day fetching water. This intersection of injustices reignited my passion for Global Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, and inspired me to begin volunteering with CAWST, where I was recognized as one of their star volunteers.

More 2019 Top 30 Alumni

Saige Godberson

"In the face of adversity, do not settle but rather speak up and create change." -Saige Godberson Age: 23 Hometown: Spruce Grove, Alberta Currently Residing In: Spruce Grove, Alberta Affiliations: Youthnited Nations International, Stollery Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Sigma Nursing Honors Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Special Olympics Edmonton I often say that “if everyone makes a small change, together we will make a big difference.” As a registered nurse in...

Koshin Mohomoud

"The most important thing for anyone wanting to make a change is to get involved. Whether you are able to volunteer a little bit of your time or a lot, it is always important." -Koshin Mohomoud Age: 29 Hometown: Surrey, British Columbia Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Edmonton Somali Professionals I am currently a senior policy advisor with the Government of Alberta. Prior to my current role, I worked in both the public and private sectors and spent time working in my...

Amber Rai

"To be a change-maker, you must identify an issue that needs to be addressed, think of ways to bring about the change, and evaluate your efforts to ensure you are making the impact that you hoped for." -Amber Rai Age: 20 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Currently Residing In: Sherwood Park, Alberta Affiliations: Learning Beyond Borders, HEAL International Ever since I joined the Learning Beyond Borders club over five years ago, I have been working on programs to help students in rural Uganda....

Karl Narvacan

"Be inclusive and accepting of other people’s ideas and habits, and you can be a changemaker for gender equality." -Karl Narvacan Age: 29 Hometown: Manila, Philippines Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre Society, Choosing Wisely Canada As first-generation immigrants from the Philippines, our family faced a common challenge—navigating the health care system. I vividly remember going to the ER one day when I had a severe toothache, only to...

Aditya Chaudhuri

"Realize that when you do not contribute to achieving gender equality, you are limiting the world from reaching its full potential." -Aditya Chaudhuri Age: 25 Hometown: Calgary, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Engineers Without Borders Canada (ACGC Member) I’m a musician, an engineer (in training), an absolute animal lover, but most importantly, a global citizen who is passionate about contributing towards a sustainable tomorrow. I used to think the world was only...

Elizabeth Roden

"You don’t have to do something on a grand scale; just live your values and stand up for what you believe in." -Elizabeth Roden Age: 29 Hometown: Glendon, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Operation Eyesight (ACGC Member) From an early age, I’ve always believed that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I helped form a leadership group at my high school and was eager to learn more about world issues. In 2007, I moved to Calgary to pursue a degree...

Belen Samuel

"Acknowledge the call to relationship and reconciliation that is present with the land you stand upon." -Belen Samuel Age: 26 Hometown: Born in Zimbabwe, originally from Eritrea Currently Residing In: Treaty 6 (Amiskwaskahegan/Edmonton, Alberta) Affiliations: Supports with Dreaming Rainbow I am a Zimbabwean-born Eritrean settler with migration experiences as a refugee. I currently exist on Treaty 6 territory, where over the past five years, I worked at the Africa Centre and at Youth...

Sara Kardash

"Listen to the stories of the women and gender-diverse people in our communities and take the time to unpack your unconscious biases." -Sara Kardash Age: 22 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Engineers Without Borders Canada (ACGC Member) I am in my final year of civil environmental engineering at the University of Alberta, where I have been involved with the on-campus Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Canada chapter as co-president. I went into...

Alex Wong

"As an advocate, it is important to recognize your own privilege and help elevate the voices of others, rather than replace them with your own." -Alex Wong Age: 22 Hometown: Calgary, Alberta Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: MD Admissions Initiative for Diversity and Equity, Medical Students’ Association - University of Alberta, Canadian Federation of Medical Students, Net Impact My passion for medicine stems from my belief that good health is one of the cornerstones of...

Ashley Anderson

"Become informed and be aware of how gender inequality manifests itself in your own circles and your own experiences." -Ashley Anderson Age: 23 Hometown: Olds, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Mama na Mtoto I was raised in a rural community in Central Alberta. Although I love my hometown, I also really love travelling and learning about other cultures. During my undergraduate degree, I spent two semesters abroad, studying in both Sweden and in Singapore. For my...
Share This