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Seeking change

Students help in anyway they can to help others, near and far

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Shaden Abusaleh, 16, is just one of the leaders in her school’s Activists for Change group. The Fort Richmond Collegiate student is helping to raise money for Syrian refugees, First Nation’s water pertifiers, and women’s rights.

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Shaden Abusaleh, 16, is just one of the leaders in her school’s Activists for Change group. The Fort Richmond Collegiate student is helping to raise money for Syrian refugees, First Nation’s water pertifiers, and women’s rights. Photo Store

A group of students at Fort Richmond Collegiate aren’t too happy with the world and they want to see some change.

Shaden Abusaleh, 16, a student graduating early from Grade 11, is one of the leaders of a school group called Activists for Change, which evolved from the school’s Free the Children group.

She said there are three things Activists for Change would like to work on this year — help for Syrian refugees, providing clean water for First Nations communities, and women’s rights issues.

"We are basically taking on an issue like child-brides or sex-trafficking and (our teachers) will ask us ‘Well, what do you want to do about it’," Abusaleh said. Right now, Activists for Change is raising money for Syrian refugees, which Abusaleh says important because the plight of Syrian refugees is urgent right now.

"We are doing bi-weekly events to raise money," Abusaleh said. "So we did tacos-in-a-bag, last week we did a bake sale, and we have henna next week. All the money raised there will go to Syria."

The goal is to raise $1,000 and so far Abusaleh estimates the group is at $400.

Abusaleh’s family is originally from Syria and she was born there. She and her family now split their time between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

"It’s not (because) I am a Syrian (that) I am doing this, it’s the idea that it’s a cause that every single human should be concerned about," Abusaleh said. "We are basically one body, so if one part of our body is injured, our whole entire body suffers."

Abusaleh said working with the group makes her feel like she is contributing to the world.

"The idea is to do something," Abusaleh said. "I don’t think I could be the type of person to just live my life around what suits just me. I need in some way be able to lend a hand."

After graduating from Fort Richmond, Abusaleh hopes to attend the University of Manitoba before going to law school to become a human rights lawyer.

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