“In my religion there’s a saying that heaven is under your mother’s foot. That’s just how much importance is put under a woman, especially moms, because of their connection to children and how much knowledge they give to society. It’s kind of like; if you educate a woman, you educate a village. It’s giving all that power and all that information to twice as many people.”
Mirha Zohair is using her voice to empower young people in her community.
Mirha is a first-year student at the University of Manitoba and is known throughout Winnipeg for her involvement with the community. Mirha was chair of Fort Richmond Collegiate’s Youth in Philanthropy group as well as the school’s Peace of Mind mental health group. She also participated in the Canadian Roots Exchange Voices of Reconciliation and helped start a “Meet Me at the Bell Tower” group in the south end of the city, after being inspired by the well-known north end group.
Now that she’s in university, Mirha’s volunteer time is focused on her Mosque, where she teaches students in Grades 3 to 5 about Islam and being Muslim in Winnipeg. Her goal is to help young people feel comfortable in their identity as a Muslim, so they don’t feel as though they’re living a double life — one at home or the Mosque and one at school. She also emphasizes the importance of having strong female role models that are diverse in appearance and culture, so that young minority women aren’t limited in imagining what they can accomplish.
In 2017, Mirha was awarded the Gerrie Hammond Memorial Award of Promise at the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Awards.