Partners In Positivity; Maham Fatima leads bullying prevention effort at Saskatoon school

Partners In Positivity; Maham Fatima leads bullying prevention effort at Saskatoon school


Maham Fatima

Positivity is contagious, and no one knows this better than the students at Saskatoon’s Fairhaven School who are taking their message of kindness and positivity to new, viral levels in an effort tackle bullying.

Selected as one of 2017’s I Am Stronger Community Grant recipients, the students at Fairhaven School are using the grant to build stronger relationships between younger and older students through a program they’ve named the Fairhaven Care Partners.

The drive to create the program was led by Maham Fatima, a Grade 11 student at Tommy Douglas High School who regularly volunteers as a tutor at Fairhaven. Over the past three years, she has spent quite a bit of time getting to know the students and families that make up this vibrant and diverse school. But last year, after witnessing an unfortunate incident of older children bullying a younger student, she knew that she needed to do something to help bridge the gaps between students.

“I believe that it is important to influence the younger generation so when they grow up they can create positive change in the world,” said Maham. “It's really important to spread kindness because when you are kind to someone they pass it on which helps everyone be kinder and happier.”

For Maham, this meant providing students across grade levels with an opportunity to get to know one another to discover common interests and experiences. It was an idea that resonated with SaskTel’s I Am Stronger, and they were excited to support Maham’s efforts to promote kindness by naming the Fairhaven Care Partners as one of its 2017 grant recipients.

“What really stood out to me about Maham is how passionate she is about making a difference,” said Lyndsey Pankratz, SaskTel’s I Am Stronger program coordinator. “At such a young age, she’s already such a positive role model and leader. It’s so inspiring to see.”

Through the grant, the Care Partners were able to purchase resources for their weekly meetings and other activities. They have made and exchanged friendship bracelets, and now have board games to play when they get together. Earlier this year, they also ventured into the community to do random acts of kindness.

Maham hopes the program helps to change the narrative that bullying is some sort of inevitable part of childhood. But more importantly, she feels the lessons learned by students through the program will be taken beyond the classroom, helping combat all forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination.

When she isn’t busy volunteering, Maham is busily working towards her own goal of finishing high school. Her work with younger children is preparing her well for the next stage in her life as she intends on becoming a teacher after finishing her own education.

“I noticed early on how driven, hard-working, and compassionate [Maham] was. She would come to the school and be so eager to help in any way she could, with any child who needed help,” said Miranda Morstad, a Grade 1 teacher at Fairhaven School and Care Partners supervisor. “Maham really was the inspiration for everything. She saw this need and took action to make her local community a better place.”

By building bridges of understanding and respect, the Fairhaven Care Partners are helping to foster a caring environment where positive student relationships can thrive! And, work is already underway for the Fairhaven Care Partners to organize more random acts of kindness over the coming school year.

If you have an idea for a bullying prevention initiative, visit www.iamstronger.ca for details on how to apply.

About I Am Stronger’s Community Grant Program:

SaskTel takes great pride in its year-round commitment to students and schools in Saskatchewan. Since 2013, SaskTel’s I Am Stronger initiative has been engaging schools across the province to build awareness of cyber safety and the effects of bullying. Offered in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Community Grant program has provided over $45,000 to Saskatchewan youth to pursue their own initiatives that promote kindness and positive school environments.

 



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