Sindy Zemura-Bernard founded an international development charitable organisation called Southern Africa Embrace Foundation, located in Toronto, Canada.
The foundation supports the wellbeing of vulnerable women, children and youth in five countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe) in the areas of education, youth empowerment, HIV, gender equality and rural economic development.
Established in 2011, the organisation has since sponsored 386 children between early childhood development (ECD) to Grade 11, supported over 500 children with food packages, medical support and educational supplies, and works with youth in southern Africa and in Canada to address youth employment, raising awareness on youth sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and HIV awareness.
The organisation’s work also centres on capacity building and in 2018 launched a social enterprise to empower rural artisans in South Africa and Zimbabwe as part of the gender equality and rural economic empowerment programme. In 2020, her organisation will break ground on a girls’ centre in one of the high-density suburbs in Gauteng or Durban, South Africa.
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Our organization’s participation at this year’s #UNGA was A success 👏✅ We were represented by our global ambassador and founder @sindyzg in sessions covering the Global Action for Universal Health care, UNFPA #ICPD25 discussions, Generation Equality launch by @unwomen, visiting the infinity classroom to experience the reality of 260m children currently out of school, Ending gender based violence & #Beijing+25 We are pledging to increase our support as of 2020 to children’s education and to further promote gender equality and the eradication of gender based violence across Southern Africa To learn more about our work and how, together, we can end global poverty, illiteracy in children, gender inequality, gender based violence, empower youth and raise more awareness on HIV please visit our website (link in bio). #educationmatters #SDG5 #SDG1 #SDG3 #SDG2 #SDG4
Sindy is the diaspora advisor to the African Union (AU) Youth Envoy, Ms Aya Cheebi, on inter generational dialogues for African youth and leaders.
She currently serves on international committees, boards and working groups within UNAIDS, UN Women / AU, VOW (Canadian Voice of Women for Peace), CanWaCH (Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health), WIIS (Women in International Security), Women Deliver, CANFAR (Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research), and a lot more.
The respected humanitarian, advocate and entrepreneur writes as a guest contributor for WIIS and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) publications with a focus on women’s health issues, international development, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and on HIV/Aids in Africa.
Sindy says she grew up seeing gender disparities and poverty faced by many poor families, especially women and children, and knew that there had to be something she could do to help close the gap. She started volunteering at local shelters and schools where she met like minded individuals.
She studied public administration and governance, social work, international development and gender studies, which deepened her understanding of social issues. She also took a few online courses on funding, proposal writing and leadership training.
She is driven by a deep desire to give back to her fellow Africans. As a mother of two children aged six and three years old, Sindy believes it is her responsibility to leave an impact that will ensure that her children grow up in a better world than she did.
She is mindful of the role that her friends and family have played in her success, and over the years has relied on them as the mobilisers of her cause. They were also instrumental in her nomination as a finalist in the 2019 TYI 100, encouraging her to enter the competition.