Discover what inspired Sarah & Houda to engage in the fight against hunger

Meet Sarah Zankar and Houda Halwani co-presidents of the Action Against Hunger Youth Chapter at the University of Ottawa created in 2015.

  • Sarah, why did you start an Action Against Hunger Youth Chapter at the University of Ottawa?

“My involvement with Action Against Hunger actually begun when I was in high school at École Secondaire Roméo Dallaire in my hometown Barrie, Ontario. When I first started the club I was focused on the main goal of Action Against Hunger, to end world hunger, but knew little about the programs they delivered. After two years of working with the organization, learning about their work in depth and receiving their constant support and encouragement, it only seemed fitting to start a youth chapter at the university of Ottawa when I began attending it.”, said Sarah.

  • Houda, you’ve helped Sarah creating the club, what have you learned through this experience?

“Through my experience with the youth chapter, I have been able to build and improve essential attributes including leadership, teamwork, time management and creativity skills. Starting the club in my early years of university, it served as a great way to build lasting friendships, founded on the common drive to help others by eradicating malnutrition. My perspectives have widened on important global issues, and my motivation to stay optimistic facing such obstacles is ever increasing. For these reasons I will always be grateful for my experience in the ACF youth chapter”, said Houda.

  • Sarah, why do you support Action Against Hunger? 

“I support Action Against Hunger because I believe it is among the few organizations that remain true to their cause. Throughout the years, Action Against Hunger has proven to be leader in humanitarian work with the innovative programs and solutions they carry out. Their constant drive keeps us driven and moving forward. Their programs to help communities grow and achieve self-sustainability hit close to home, as Houda and me are both first-generation children to parents who have immigrated from Lebanon. Having visited the country throughout my childhood, I have seen the effects of hunger on communities and recognized the impact malnutrition can have on an individual’s lifestyle. Furthermore, Action Against Hunger leads by example, reminding us to prioritize humanity over discrimination, of race, religion or gender. These values align perfectly with my own, and for that reason I could not think of a better organization to support.”, said Sarah.

As of December 31st 2015, Sarah and Houda’s Youth Chapter has 20 members on its executive team and as many as 100 participants at its regular events.

The University of Ottawa Youth Chapter has raised nearly $4,500 for Action Against Hunger’s work. Their events have reached more than 1,000 students on campus. These include Action with Love (a Valentine’s Day bake sale, photo booth and speed dating fundraiser), regular Let’s Play Hunger Away events (board game night fundraisers) and Bananas in Pajamas, a pajama day and pancake bake sale event.

If you would like to get involved in the fight against hunger and create your own club, please contact Karine at


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