Ziad Paracha

Award Category: 
Youth Scholarships Award
Recipient Year: 
2015

Ziad Paracha is a Swedish-born Pakistani Canadian who arrived to Canada in 2003 with his seven-member family. He speaks numerous languages including Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Hindko, and English.

People are drawn to Ziad because of his abundant joy and outgoing personality. He uplifts the spirits of everyone he comes in contact with and is a strong asset to the Newcomers Orientation Week (NOW) program with the Calgary Bridge Foundation For Youth. A five-year active volunteer with NOW, he has led numerous events and activities for new immigrants and given them the sense of belonging and specialness that every newcomer needs to thrive in unfamiliar surroundings.

Ziad is also involved with Ascovime, an international non-profit organization that provides medical aid to third-world countries, mainly Africa. He is a co-founder and current president of Ascovime Canada, a branch of the parent organization founded in 2008 by a Cameroonian doctor. In 2014, he visited Cameroon where he helped doctors provide medical care and treatment to rural villagers in remote areas. Ziad’s passion for helping those in medical need doesn’t stop here. He also volunteers his time at the Foothills Hospital Long Term Patient Care in their Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, organizing activities for patients suffering from strokes, spinal injuries, and brain injuries but also offering old-fashioned TLC and sympathy. At the University of Calgary he is president of the Orphan Sponsorship Program, which raises awareness for orphans and lobbies to abolish the cycle of poverty and abuse around the world.