Spotlight: Shler Ali – Ann & Jo-Ann Sobkow Scholarship

July 14, 2023

By Zara Khurana, Communications Generalist

MOSAIC was honoured to award this year’s Ann & Jo-Ann Sobkow Scholarship Award to Shler Ali to pursue a program in conflict resolution with a minor in human rights. This award, presented at the MOSAIC Awards 2023 on June 15, provides financial support to refugees aged 25 years and over to advance their education in a helping profession.

In the pursuit of creating a better future for herself and those in need, Shler, a dedicated individual with a passion for helping others, embarked on a remarkable journey of community service upon her arrival in Canada. Armed with her multilingual skills, she eagerly joined various non-profit organizations to assist individuals lacking proficiency in the English language. This experience fueled her desire to make a lasting impact, eventually leading her to secure a position as a settlement worker with MOSAIC. Continuing her work with MOSAIC, Shler also dedicated her time as a volunteer, focusing on aiding refugees in their settlement process within Winnipeg. Since 2017, she has tirelessly collaborated with different communities, successfully sponsoring approximately ten families, with seven of them already making Winnipeg their new home.

As a former refugee herself, Shler understands the challenges faced during such journeys. Being a woman from the Middle East, she is acutely aware of the obstacles in the pursuit of crucial resources. These personal experiences served as the catalyst for her dedication to empowering marginalized individuals, particularly women, by helping them access vital resources.  The unique circumstances of being a newcomer while simultaneously working with newcomers exposed Shler to a plethora of challenges and conflicts. However, rather than discouraging her, these experiences further fueled her curiosity and interest in conflict resolution. Recognizing that cultural differences, diverse perspectives, and the complexities of starting a new life can all contribute to conflicts, Shler developed a deep passion for conflict resolution. As a result, she aspired to pursue further education in this field, seeking to learn more about supporting newcomers in navigating and resolving conflicts they may encounter.

Talking about winning the Ann & Jo-Ann Sobkow Scholarship Award, Shler says, “I am overjoyed that I can now select my courses without financial worries. Balancing motherhood, work responsibilities, and being a newcomer often weighed heavily on my decisions, causing considerable stress. The relief of not having to worry about finances is truly gratifying.” The timing of this recognition could not have been more perfect, as she was struggling with doubts about her career path. Determined to overcome any obstacles, Shler sees this moment as an encouraging sign to continue her journey without hesitation.

Grateful for the invaluable support provided by MOSAIC, she wishes to express her heartfelt appreciation, acknowledging the organization’s significant contributions to the lives of numerous individuals. With a deep understanding of the struggles faced by individuals in various aspects of their lives, she acknowledges the long-lasting impact that such assistance can have. Shler says, “Many people are going through their own struggles, each with unique challenges. Organizations like MOSAIC truly make a difference, offering invaluable support that positively shapes the lives of those they touch.”

Congratulations to Shler once again!

Learn more about the MOSAIC Awards 2023 here.