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2024 INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY SPOTLIGHT - Kadiatu Barrie

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In an ongoing effort to forge a more equitable world, this year’s IWD theme is  #InspireInclusion. At HarryCares Foundation we continue to promote a more inclusive world through our Women and Girls Initiative and as  we strive to build a community of leaders with an inclusive representation of women, our goal is to continue to provide platform for women and girls to feel empowered, inspired and heard.

 

For this year’s International Women's Day theme, we wanted to take a moment to highlight an inspiring young woman who has been doing tremendous work in her community to inspire inclusion. 

 

Kadiatu Barrie was the recipient for the HarryCares Foundation NBA Courtside Ticket Giveaway in 2015 which provided her with the opportunity to observe Toronto Raptors players pregame preparation. She grew up in Jane and Finch and has been a changemaker in her community, trailblazing through systemic barriers and shining a positive light on the community that raised her.

 

Simona Ezenibe, VP Public Relations had the opportunity to connect with Kadiatu for a brief interview below: 

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Harry and Kadiatu in 2015

Harry and Kadiatu in 2023

  1. In 2015, you were the recipient to the HarryCares Foundation court side Raptors ticket giveaway. What impact did that have on you?

     

    Recalling the 2015 HarryCares Foundation courtside Raptors ticket giveaway, sitting courtside was a moment I will never forget. Being chosen as a recipient by the HarryCares Foundation made me feel deeply valued and special. That experience laid the groundwork for my future, eventually leading me to work with the Raptors years later. It was not until a few years later I saw Harry again at a Raptors 905 game and was able to share with him what that moment meant for me and let me know all the work I was doing. It was great to reconnect and learn that the HarryCares Foundation is continuing to do amazing work for both communities in North America but also in Africa as well!

2. Looking back on your experience growing up, how did that impact the person you are today and your professional trajectory?

     I believe that everything happens for a reason. Reflecting on my upbringing, being the eldest among six siblings instilled in me a sense of responsibility. I was constantly reminded that I needed to set a positive example for my younger siblings, shaping my character and influencing my professional journey. Working in different spaces and organizations has also allowed me to meet some incredible people, who continue to support me and push me to continue to be the best version of myself. Everything I have done, all of the tears and hardship has led me to becoming the person I am today and I love that for me. I am blessed to have so much support around me from friends and family who never allow me to give up on myself.

3. What is your proudest achievement and why?

     

      My proudest achievements so far remain being the first one in my family to graduate from University and the airing of my first story on CBC. Words can't capture the overwhelming joy I felt during those moments. It reaffirmed my belief that with perseverance, any dream can become a reality.

4. How are you currently making a difference in your community?

 

     Currently, I'm actively engaged in making a difference in my community as a Community Resource Engagement Worker with the New Narrative program at YAAACE. Through this role, I provide case management and support services across five pillars for individuals aged 6-29 in the Northwest Toronto communities. Our focus is on Violence prevention and intervention. Working at YAAACE allows me to give back to the same community that nurtured and supported me, providing mentorship, guidance, and love. I am also a Program Coordinator and Personality for a media team called Street Voices. Recently I facilitated a workshop on how to network effectively, sharing some insight on how networking can open many doors to different opportunities if taken seriously. 

5. What advice would you give to young aspiring women who are trying to find their path?

 

     Embrace the uncertainty of not having everything figured out. Stay open-minded and explore new experiences; they will guide you to the spaces where you truly belong. Identify your passions and strengths and explore diverse career paths that align with them. Remember, there are endless amounts of opportunities out there; don't settle for a job solely for financial reasons if it does not bring you happiness. Lastly, be gentle with yourself. Success takes time, and it is crucial to acknowledge and celebrate your progress along the way.

Thank you for your time and commitment in making a difference in the community and for being an inspiration to young girls.

TOGETHER WE CAN ALL #EMBRACEEQUITY #BREAKTHEBIAS

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HCF GIRLS INITIATIVE

The HCF Girls Program is part of our community outreach efforts aimed at creating a safe space and equal opportunity for girls to particpate in youth programs and sports just as their male counterparts. Giving girls equal oportunities have been integral to the success of our programs over the years. Sports bridges gender gaps. In 2018 we added 10 girls to the Peace Ambassadorial program in Nigeria. In addition, we added 3 girls to our Youth Pathways virtual mentorship Program (Leadership, Personal Development and Financial Literacy) which we rounded up in Toronto, Canada (Winter 2021) and over 40 women and young girls during our annual Christmas events. In 2022, 16 girls participated on the Bigger than Hoop Dream 3x3 Peace Ambassadors Basketball Tournament.

We have continued to ensure that Women and Girls have a direct line of communication and support as most of our program operations and decision making process are executed by our volunteer women in Nigeria and Canada. HCF is 95% women led. We are proud to have celebrated International Womens Day on March 8th, 2023.  #EMBRACEEQUITY

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YOUTH PATHWAYS PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS

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HCF ANNUAL CHRISTMAS EVENT

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Below are some of the highlights of our girls participating in the HCF life skills and basketball clinics, including a community outreach initiative at the Daughter's of  Mother of Mary Mercy Compassion home

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