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It's up to you(th) to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality

Global Health student Shania Bhopa

Global Health student Shania Bhopa is passionate about achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

By Ruth Adair, September 25, 2020

When it comes to tackling the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Global Health student Shania Bhopa says we need youth voices. 

So she’s using hers.

Bhopa presented earlier this week at the Youth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Summit 2020, hosted by UNITE 2030, and will be delivering a talk this weekend at the Wemakechange Assembly.

This week’s invite-only virtual event included individuals from around the world who are currently seeking ways to give back in their hometowns and advance the realization the SDGs.

“I’ve learned firsthand how important it is to act locally before thinking globally,” explains Bhopa, who recently launched The Canadian Courage Project, a non-profit organization aimed at helping homeless youth and their pets in the GTA.

The organization’s mission, which aligns with SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 3 (Good Health and well-being), partners  with local youth shelters to provide homeless youth and their pets with donated food, funds for vaccinations, hygiene products, and essential items.

“The inspiration behind this project stemmed from my younger sister’s heartache seeing homeless youth on the street with their animal companions,” Bhopa says.

She and her sister chose to take action on this cause based on a gap in existing support, coupled with research highlighting the positive mental health effects of animal companionship.

“We want to promote mental well-being and awareness within the GTA,” explains Bhopa, who was honoured to have been able to contribute to the UNITE 2030 summit and be among an inspiring group of youth who are taking action on the 2030 Agenda.

Bhopa will join 11 other changemakers tomorrow at the Wemakechange Assembly, where she will discuss the challenges in Canada and how individuals can make change happen. “Youth changemakers can make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality,” she says.

Currently, Bhopa has plans to kickstart a global health inspired podcast series, in which she will interview experts about the world’s most pressing issues.