Alaina Podmorow is a 17 year old young lady who is presently a grade 11 student at Aberdeen Hall University Preparatory School in Kelowna B.C. Alaina is the founder of Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan and is passionate in her commitment to enforce universal human rights. Alaina is an avid soccer, volleyball and basketball player and loves snowboarding in the winter at Big White in the Okanagan. Alaina loves to sing and play guitar.
In 2006, Alaina was inspired into action after attending a speech in her community by Canadian journalist, author and human rights activist, Sally Armstrong. Alaina learned about the human rights violations that had befallen Afghan girls. Alaina could not believe there were girls in Afghanistan that were not given the same rights and freedoms she experienced every day. Alaina started Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan in the spring of 2007. Since 2007, Little Women has raised close to $500,000 and have started teams of “Littles” across Canada and now into the United States. Alaina is currently speaking across the country to youth and adults about the need for education and basic human rights for girls and women in Afghanistan.
Alaina’s commitment over the years has been recognized with many awards. In 2008 she was the recipient of the Me to We award and in 2010 she won the Huggable Hero award. The Honourable Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation presented Alaina and Little Women with certificate of recognition for outstanding work in support of Afghan Women and girls. Alaina was selected as a Global Teen Leader for the We Are Family Foundation’s (WAFF) Three Dot Dash Initiative and was invited to attend the initiative’s Just Peace Summit in the spring of 2011, in New York City In January of 2012, Alaina was honoured by winning “Top Teen Philanthropist in Canada” sponsored by Mackenzie Investments. Alaina realized her dream to travel to Afghanistan in the summer of 2012. It was there that Alaina experience firsthand the hardships and challenges for girls and women, but more importantly she witnessed the successes of the projects that Little Women had been so passionately fundraising for since 2006 and the accomplishments that girls in Afghanistan were experiencing . “It truly refueled my passion and commitment to continue this work until every woman and girl in Afghanistan has the opportunity to exercise their universal human rights, especially the right to an education. In the fall of 2012, Alaina was honoured with The BC Council for International Cooperation Global Initiative award and also received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In September 2012, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, announced Alaina Podmorow as Honorary Youth Ambassador for the inaugural International Day of the Girl (IDG), October 11th, 2012.
“I am very pleased to present Ms. Alaina Podmorow to Canadians as Canada’s Honorary Youth Ambassador for the world’s inaugural International Day of the Girl,” said Minister Ambrose. “Alaina brings a strong background in working to advance equality for women and girls and is an inspirational role model for us all!”
At 17 years old, Alaina has become a recognized force for change who lives her life following her motto that “education = peace”. She considers herself a regular teenager who enjoys playing sports, singing and playing guitar with friends but someone who understands the world beyond her community needs help. Today Alaina is more motivated than ever and vows to never stop fighting for Little Women and for Global equality in human rights. She continues to speak to audiences, sharing information about the importance of education as a key tool in peace-building.