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Calgary philanthropist offers matching funds for Bow Valley College's first ever Giving Day

Bharwani family foundation helps students reach academic goals.


Bow Valley College donors, like our students, are diverse. We are thankful for our donors and the tremendous impact they make on the lives of our students each day with their generosity. And thanks to one donor, Esmail and Safana Bharwani and the Bharwani family foundation, your gift during our inaugural Giving Day event will be doubled. The Foundation has committed to matching each gift (up to $50) to a total of $20,000, helping us reach our $40,000 goal.

“Bow Valley College is an important institution in Calgary,” says Esmail. “It serves the needs of newcomers and is open to everyone, including students facing language, economic and educational challenges.” An immigrant to Canada himself and a committed philanthropist, Esmail currently funds 12 student awards, supporting students to reach their educational goals free from financial pressures. 

He says he values the role that education can play in students’ journeys, changing not only their lives but those of their families and communities, too. “I believe in the power of education. Education moulds us as individuals – it changes our attitudes, our behaviours, enhances our skills and enriches our ability to market ourselves and make an impact in the world,” notes Esmail. “In my travels around the world, I have met many students, and one common theme I have picked up on is that students often do not have the financial resources to attend or finish school. Any support, however small, provides critical financial support to help everyone pursue an education.”

Bow Valley College is committed to helping its students secure the knowledge, skills, and confidence to build a better future for their community. Thanks to the support of Esmail and Safana, your donations to the Bharwani Foundation and Community Future Education Fund during our first-ever Giving Day will help establish an endowment that will ensure student financial support continues in perpetuity. This endowment will fund four annual awards supporting our most vulnerable students, including single parents, newcomers to Canada and BIPOC students.

“I have spent 50 years working on three or four jobs at the same time. I have seen good times and bad. I have made money and have lost it. I am now retired, and I ask myself a question: what can I do with what I have left to help others so that they can improve their own lives?” reflects Esmail. “I feel much happier when I share with others. My hope with this gift is that others will be inspired to give, and in turn, many of us together can maximize our impact and help build the next generation of drivers in our economy.”

Mr. Bharwani has been a donor to Bow Valley College since 2011, sponsoring multiple student awards, including the Esmail Bharwani Veterinary Office Assistant Program Award. Student recipient Daniela Basabe says she is grateful for the Bharwani award she received in 2020. “This award was a breath of fresh air during a time of darkness and uncertainty,” Daniela notes of her time as a student during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Bow Valley College was the most rewarding choice I made. I gained confidence in myself as a student, and I’m now able to continue my education and build my career.”

Your help, along with that of Esmail, Safana and the Bharwani family foundation, will help ensure that students like Daniela have access to the funds they need to complete their studies. In 2020/21, more than 655 students received more than $990,000 in student awards and bursaries – made possible by everyday donors just like you. Join the movement and help us inspire our students to reach higher and continue their studies. Make your gift today!


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