A Winnipeg teenager from Fort Richmond Collegiate, Divya Sharma has become the center of attention internationally for distributing care packages to essential workers across Winnipeg. Sharma received the Solidarity Award from the United Nations for assisting the frontline workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The 16-year-old said Tuesday she didn’t expect to be recognized because it was such a little project.
Sharma said she started by raising money from local businesses, and later, her family gave her a hand, making it a family project. She said her mother helped her with shopping, while her dad helped in delivering the packages. The packages consisted of pasta, cookies, and other non-perishable stuff. They sent these packages to police officers, truck drivers, and workers at the Health Sciences Centre and Victoria General Hospital. Sharma was able to deliver over 250 packages between June and July.
The 16-year-old said she learned about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which include ending poverty, achieving gender equality, and taking meaningful action against climate change in her geography class. After her family and friends encouraged her to apply for the UN Sustainable Development Goals Actions Campaign, she was selected for leading by example in kindness and solidarity during this pandemic.
Sharma is excited to learn that people can make a difference in the community despite their age. She plans to continue her community activism, and in the future, she wants to be a human rights lawyer. Sharma said she hopes to work for the UN in the future because they’re global leaders, and they have the power and say to change humanity.