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Nominee Profile

Name: Narine Dat Sookram, RSSW
City:Kitchener Area
Category: Non Muslim Recognition Award
Total Votes: 91

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List of the nominee's achievements:

Soorkram is both a Ontario College Graduate from Mohawk College and from Brock University and has been a long time advocate for social change. He named one of the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant in 2013 and has become the ONLY person in North America to receive the World of Difference 100 Award for Championing Women Economic Empowerment. He has founded his first charity at the age of 14 and then founded the Active Vision Charity Association here in Canada as a continuation for his passion to serve humanity and has has impacted the glove for his work.


Conestoga College, Kitchener, ON, 2014 - 2015
Career Development Practitioner (Post-Secondary Certificate)

Mohawk College, Brantford, Ontario
• Social Service Worker Diploma (completed April 2013) – Dean’s Honour Roll

Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario
• Bachelor of Education in Adult Education (Anticipated date of graduation is June, 2014)

Advanced Career Training Institute, Kitchener, Ontario
• Microsoft Office Software Specialist Diploma, 1998

College of Professional Management, Britain, England, 1998
• Management Studies (Group Diploma), 1998

Waterloo School for Community Development (The Working Centre), Kitchener, Ontario
• Diploma in Local Democracy (Program completed, to be graduated in October 2012)

The Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation, Waterloo, Ontario
• “ENGAGE!” Leadership Program, April 2012

Employment & Voluntary Work

ACTIVE VISION Charity Association Corp., 1993 - Present
Founding Executive Director

Opportunities Waterloo Region, Kitchener, ON, June 2013 – April 2014
Canada Learning Bond (CLB) Outreach Coordinator & Project Lead

Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo, September 2012 to April 12, 2013
Information Resource Referral Counselor (Practicum)

YMCA Immigrant and Employment Services, Kitchener & Cambridge, May 17, 2012 – August 17, 2012
Employment Information & Resource Specialist (Practicum)

Mohawk College, Brantford, Ontario,
- Peer Mentor (Part-Time Paid Position)

Guyana Times, Guyana, South America
- Columnist

Initiated of the Award winning Caribbean Dreams Concert since 2002
Initiated the Award winning Caribbean Spice Radio Show since 2003
Author of the book, ‘The Teenage Years’
Wrote several article on social issues and social change

Awards/Recognition – Received over 100
• Newcomer Champion Award, 2014
• Waterloo-Wellington Diversity & Champion Award, 2014
• Sage Award Recipient, 2014
• Waterloo-Wellington Heroes in the Home Award Recipient, 2014
• TIAW World of Difference 100 Award for Championing Women Economic Empowerment, 2013
• RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Winner, 2013
• Mohawk College Alumni of Distinction Award Recipient, 2012
• Multicultural Award Recipient (Guelph and District), 2013
• Peer Tutor Recognition, 2013 (Mohawk College)
• Faculty’s Pick: Humanities 101Facilitor, Rensison University (University of Waterloo), 2013
• City of Kitchener Youth Action Council – Certificate of Achievement, 2013
• 10 Ideas to Change Waterloo Winner, 2014?2013
• Ontario Volunteer service Award – 20 Years of Service, 2013
• Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, 2013
• Famous People of Guyanese Heritage Inclusion, 2013
• The Canadian Encyclopedia Inclusion, 2013
• Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipient, 2013
• Waterloo Award, 2012 (The city’s highest civic honour)
• Academic Excellence: Dean’s Honour Roll, 2012/2013
• Desi News Magazine Inclusion, 2012
• 100 Years, 100 People: Here and Now, 2012 (Kitchener Post)
• YMCA Peace Medallion Honouree, 2011/2010
• Men of Honour Award Honoree, 2011
• Waterloo Region 40 under 40 Award, 2010 (Waterloo Region Record)
• Guelph 40 under 40, 2010 (Guelph Mercury)
• June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient, 2010 (MCI)
• Ontario Volunteer Service Award – 15 years’ service, 2010
• Volunteer Impact Award Winner: Helping Hands, 2010, (Volunteer Action Centre of Kitchener)
• Arts Awards Waterloo Region, 2012 in the “OPEN” category
• Community Service Award Recipient, 2010 (Alliance of Guyanese Canadian Organizations)
• Guyana Folk Festival Award Recipient, 2011 (The Guyana Cultural Association of New York)
• Samaritan Award Recipient, 2011 (Rogers Kitchener Radio Group)
• Lifetime Achievement: Humanitarian, 2011 (West Indian Music Awards)
• Sonic Boom Awards (Favourite Caribbean Music), 2006 (CKMS 100.3 Sound FM Radio Waterloo)
• Sonic Boom Awards (Favourite World Music), 2006 (CKMS 100.3 Sound FM Radio Waterloo)
• Quality Circle Project Award Winner, (Denso Global Network)
• Canada Post Leadership Literacy Award Finalist, 2010

and many more.....

The impact and influence the nominee had on the Muslim word:

Sookram has been very influential to the Muslim world because of his openness his personal values. For example he initiated and hosts a community radio show here in the Region of Waterloo to promote the Guyanese/West India Culture. And in so doing he takes the imitative to promote all cultures/religions, especially within Guyanese culture, because Guyana is made up to 10% of Muslims, some of which who are migrants of Canada as well. For over a decade now, Sookram has dedicated several segments on his award winning radio show to let the Guyanese/West Indian Muslims feel a sense of home, where the can tune in to his weekly show on 100.3 CKMS FM and listen to music in a language they can understand. On special occasions like Ramadan, Sookram will go a little further and play Muslim songs that are written in English so that the Canadian children who does not understand the language can feel a sense of connection as well, but most importantly he also does it because he wants to give the opportunity to the non-Muslims as opportunity to get a positive message as well, because in Guyana the motto there is "One People, One Nation, One Destiny." During special occasions like Ramadan, Sookram will take extra request from his dedicated listeners to play suitable songs to for the occasion, because he wants all the Muslim brothers and sisters to enjoy that special occasion. One of the reasons why Sookram is so open to the Muslim community is the was born close to a Village called # 63 Village in Guyana where majority are Muslims and has a beautiful Mosque (the picture that is uploaded is him standing in front of it). This picture alone tells a good story, because not only was he anxious to visit it, but he was more interested to bring back the image back here in Canada to show his Muslim villagers here in Canada, so they can be motivated and inspired to perhaps give back to the Mosque, because though it is a small one, it certainly is serving its purpose to unite and brig the Muslim brothers and sisters together. Here are the unique kinds of things Sookram has done to influence the Muslim world, because that’s what he does best. The impact on his visit to Guyana and with his thoughtfulness of going all the way to take out the picture of the Mosque has had a huge impact on the Muslim community, especially the ones who have migrated to North America, some of whom live in Toronto and USA. For example, after his Muslim friends saw the picture he posted on the social media, the made comments such as this, “Wow !!! Brings back beautiful memories bro. Thanks for talking the time to do this for us!! One love !!”. Sookram also impacted the Muslim world by being a mentor for internationally trained Muslim immigrants, because the realizes that as Muslim immigrants, perhaps the challenges are much more than other immigrants and he is a great fit to do so, because of his repetition who was named one of the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award Winners in 2013, among others allocates as well. On Sookrams awards winning community concert here in Kitchener called the Caribbean dreams, he made it very inclusive to one and all by not only provides the opportunities to Muslims to be part of the event, but he has gone much further to cater for all Muslims in every possible way. For example, the made the event an alcohol free event and had special dietary as well. The thing that sets Sookram from others is that he is a registered social service work who is open to one an all and because of him being very influential, he uses it as an advantage to have conversation to people show many not have had the opportunity to be exposed or open to the Muslim community. One very unique thing he did on the big screen projector on his most recent community event was he to the opportunity to write a few quotes and they were, “ Love that homeless neighbour, love that Muslim neighbour” and the response has be vital.

The impact and influence the nominee had on the world and humanity:

Sookram has been a true philantrophic, humanitarian & volunteer for years, who has impacted many around the globe. Since two decades ago Sookram founded the ACTIVE VISION Charity Association to help immigrants integrate into the Region of Waterloo (Muslims included) and to promote the rich cultural heritage of the West Indian Culture. And in so doing the initiated the annual CARIBBEAN DREAMS Concert over 12 ago to preserve the legacy and tradition of the West Indian/Caribbean Culture here in the Region of Waterloo where new and young artistes get the opportunity to showcase their artistic talent and at the same time everyone gets the chance to mix and mingle with each other from different backgrounds and cultures. Since 1993 he volunteers his time to oversee the overall operation of the organization.
Sookram also contributed to the West Indian community by initiating a weekly community radio here in Waterloo, because he saw a need at the time. And in so doing Caribbean Spice Radio was born in 2003, where he promotes the West Indian Music that really makes every West Indian to feel a sense of home knowing that they can tune in and listen to music that they can understand and feel connected to. Since the inspection of the program the listeners have grown tremendously and it was voted by the public as the most “Favourite Caribbean” and “Favourite World Music”, making it the ONLY program on 100.3 CKMS Radio Waterloo to receive that honour.
Sookram has been a role model for the West Indian community in the Region of Waterloo he always lends a hand and supports other initiatives.

Sookram’s contribution made a huge impact in the West Indian Community (this includes Muslims as well), because through the CARIBBEAN DREAMS Concert many opportunities were created. For example he created opportunities through partnership engagement, where local businesses and individual leaders worked together with people who have fresh ideas, because the event was used as a means to get people to get to know each other while showcasing a diverse set of talents. A good example is that there is a shipping company that exist here in the Region of Waterloo that specialises in shipping items to Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean, but people were not aware of it until they gathered at the annual Caribbean Dreams Concert initiated, planned and organized by Mr. Sookram. His generous voluntary efforts have assisted others West Indians to obtain or to keep employment in a challenging economy, in turn allowing those individuals to support themselves and their families and to feel welcome within their new community.
Many young artistes (Muslims included) who were given the opportunity to participate either on Sookram’s annual concert or his weekly community radio show were empowered to a point where they were able to recognize their own potentials. For example many youths are now more confident in emceeing at cultural shows and some have gone one to perform professionally as djs, singers and song writers, all because of Sookram’s effort through his hears of commitment in serving the West Indian community through its rich cultural heritage. He became a role model for the global community.
Apart from Sookram’s years of dedication to the West Indian Community he also volunteers his time to mentor international trained professionals here in the Region of Waterloo since 2012, he also mentors business women in third world countries where he shares his business skills professional women so that they can become successful business women in their own home countries regardless what part of the world they are doing. In fact Sookram became the ONLY Canadian in 2013 to receive the TIAW of Difference 100 Award in the category of Championing Women’s Economic Empowerment. In addition Sookram also volunteer his time to deliver lunches to the seniors through Community Connections – Meal on Wheels. He also plays a lead role in educating the underprivileged families and helping them break all the barriers in accessing the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) for their children’s education.
On top of all of this he gives back tremendously to his home country, Guyana, South America, whereby he collects books and school supplies and send them to the less fortunate school children directly to the schools and to others needy villages as well. He has been doing his for the past two decades at his own time and expense. He also writes a weekly column on the Berbice Edition of the Guyana Times (his come country’s newspaper) where he reflects on inclusion, diversity and community engagement. I am attaching a couple of samples of his articles that shows his steps and dedication towards diversity and inclusion. As a registered social service worker with the Ontario College of Social Worker and Social Service Worker Sookram also lend this professional talent to counsel people locally and internationally at no cost. Sookram’s advocacy work led him to be given the privilege to bestow the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, making him the ONLY individual Canadian to be given that privilege (see attached article for the whole story). He presented the medal to people of all walks of life, colour, race, age, etc.

How the nominee’s activities and achievement will continue to impact and influence in the future:

Sookram’s activities and achievement will continue to impact and influence in the future inspire, because he has always been passionate about his work from since early children and has proven from time and time and again that what he does is out of love and in fact people can recognize that; that is why he is getting over 4, 000 his on his charity website, (no surprises here). Some people who never contributed or give back has done so now for the very first time of their lives all because they have seen Sookram as a role model. But the biggest one will be the results of the books and school supplies he sent to the schools in Guyana, especially the ones from more recently. For example his most recent shipment of books was during the Christmas of last year whereby some of those books went to a few nursery schools. And one school in particle opened their own library for the very first time. If was not for those books those innocent children probably would have not had the opportunity to read and educate themselves. In fact that particular school named their first library after Active Vision Library after the organization Sookram, ACTIVE VISION Charity Association, that is.
Sookram’s leadership role in the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) program gave the “underprivileged” families in the Region of Waterloo the knowledge and supported the needed to save up for their children’s education, because this is FREE money from the government that too many people were not aware of, but this is where Sookram stepped in and offered a lot of one on one support to families so that all the barriers in accessing the CLB can be broken, such as taking clients directly to the Service Canada to get their SIN cards and then back to their home again.
The thing that makes Sookram special is that although he works full, married and has a toddler and on top of that he is still in school trying to complete another degree, and still never stop studying, he still finds the time to give back in a big way. When I talk about the cultural events he organizes he does it with passion though he faces with so many challenges to make it possible and he never gives up because he knows that not everything will be successful at its first try
I think that it is important for Sookram’s contributions and achievements be acknowledged now because he represents and exemplar every criteria of the award, Waterloo-Wellington Diversity Awards that is. And because he is very influential as well I think that others will be motivated to do great things in life regardless of age, gender, religion, social-economic status, colour, sexual preference etc. I also think that Sookram will add to the awards presentation because for those who knows him will know that he has done well for himself and by that I meant he has received some of the most prestigious awards, some of this include: RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award, 2013; TIAW World of Difference 100 Award, 2013; Governor General Caring Canadian Award, 2013; Guelph & District Multicultural Award; Waterloo Award (Highest Civic Honour); Waterloo Region 40 under 40, 2010 and many more and is very deserving of the Diversity Award.

List of any references that support the nomination, i.e books, magazaines, websites, ..etc

Articles about Nairne Dat Sookram
1) Guyanese Canadian lives to serve others
2) Sookram named among famous people of Guyanese heritage
3) Guyanese man cops immigration award
4) Guyanese Canadian among Who’s Who in the World
5) Guyanese-Canadian receives Multicultural award
6) Guyanese-Canadian granted privilege to bestow Diamond Jubilee Medal
7) Guyanese-Canadian celebrates 10 years of radio broadcasting
8) Guyanese-Canadian awarded for community service
9) Mohawk College Alumni
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