Nov 28, 2022


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Shannon van Leenen, MA

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Celebrating Giving Day by honouring donors and raising awareness about food insecurity

Ahead of Giving Day on November 29, 2022, Bow Valley College announced it is naming two of its spaces in honour of the Esmail Safana Farzana Fayaz Bharwani Foundation. The Esmail and Safana Bharwani Theatre and Hall have been named in recognition of the couple’s generous contributions that continue to make an impact on the lives of hundreds of Bow Valley College students.

“The Bharwanis are known for their philanthropic endowments at post-secondary institutions across Alberta, and our Bow Valley College students have benefited tremendously from their gifts,” says Dr. Misheck Mwaba, President and CEO, Bow Valley College. “We are proud to name two of our facilities in recognition of such selfless donors who are helping remove barriers to education and transforming lives today and in the future.”

The Esmail Safana Farzana Fayaz Bharwani Foundation awards scholarships to multiple students at a time, with endowments designed to ensure financial support continues in perpetuity. In keeping with Bow Valley College’s values of inclusion and resilience, single parents, newcomers to Canada, and BIPOC students are among the recipients of the foundation’s awards.

“As an immigrant to Canada, Bow Valley College’s connection to newcomers holds special meaning to me. The College is also training students who will excel in high-demand careers, including technology, creative industries, business, and healthcare. These students will contribute significantly to the economy of this province and, for that matter, Canada. We want to enrich the lives of as many students as possible. It is my hope that our endowment will inspire others to embrace charitable giving to institutions like Bow Valley College,” says Esmail Bharwani, of Esmail Safana Farzana Fayaz Bharwani Foundation.

Bow Valley College hopes that spirit of giving will resonate with people searching for a meaningful way to give back on Giving Day. On November 29, 2022, the College aims to raise $50,000 to help reduce food insecurity amongst students and for student awards and bursaries.

The rising cost of food is a concern worldwide. Sadly, many of our students are struggling, choosing between paying their tuition and other daily expenses or buying groceries.

“As an international student, when it comes to finances, I have had to tighten my belt and weigh my needs and priorities. At the grocery store, I consider alternatives,” says Rianne Clare Ragudo de Leon, a Bow Valley College business administration student. “When I received an award, I felt supported, inspired, and able to focus on my goals.”

Gifts from our donors reduce financial pressures, giving students the assurance they need to continue their academic journey and allowing them to prioritize their studies.

“Food insecurity can take many forms, but most commonly, students have just run out of money. After they pay their rent, transportation costs, and bills, students have very little left to buy groceries,” says Stacie Baker, Manager of Learner Financial Empowerment, Bow Valley College. “We have a program that offers students a free bowl of soup. However, we are finding we can no longer meet the demand.”

All gifts, no matter the size, make a significant impact. This Giving Day, we encourage you to give any amount to the fund of your choice. Thanks to a generous anonymous matching gift donor, your gift on Giving Day 2022 will be matched (up to $1000) up to a maximum of $15,000, doubling the impact of your gift. To donate and learn more about the programs and bursaries Bow Valley College offers, please visit Bow Valley College Giving Day 2022.


About Bow Valley College

Calgary and region’s only Comprehensive Community College — with 14,000 full- and part-time students, Bow Valley College helps Open Doors – Open Minds to in-demand jobs in Calgary, Alberta, and Canada. Our graduates contribute to the digital economy, TV & film production, and serve on the frontlines of healthcare and social services. One of Canada’s top 50 research colleges, Bow Valley College invests in virtual reality (VR), Work Integrated Learning (WIL), micro-credentials, and foundational opportunities.


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