How one young woman gives back to the community
A passionate health care advocate, Habiba Cooper Diallo is the leader of the Women’s Health Organization International, has spoken out about women’s health care at Toronto’s The Word On The Street, has written numerous articles about the health issues affecting African populations and is a recipient of the Huffington Post Impact’s Award.
Oh, and did we mention she is still in high school?
“Through education and community involvement everyone has the potential to share a better, healthier, more inclusive world,” says Habiba.
Building on her work with raising awareness about the health issues affecting African populations in Canada and around the world, Habiba became involved with OneMatch. As a champion for her high school’s Get Swabbed program she mobilized her community to learn more about how stem cell donation can help save lives.
In February 2014, as part of Black History Month celebration, Habiba partnered with a notable alum from her high school – former NBA draft pick Will Njoku. Together, they worked with OneMatch to create a Get Swabbed event that celebrated life in honour of Black History Month.
To say that the event was a success is an understatement. The school registered 150 potential optimal stem cell donors in only a few hours. But the impact goes beyond the number of people involved.
“We’ve started a conversation about the health issues that affect all people,” says Habiba. “Many don’t know about the need for stem cells, especially for African Canadians. With the swab event and the awareness that we brought to the school, more conversations are going to go on about how young stem cell donors can help build future generations.”
To learn more about becoming a stem cell donor, please go to www.onematch.ca
To learn more about your local blood donor clinic, please go to www.blood.ca
To learn more about the building of the national public cord blood bank and the campaign For All Canadians, please go to www.blood.ca/cordblood.