Although Nilufer Hasanova is currently studying to become a paediatric nurse at the University of Calgary, if volunteering could be a job, she may actually be tempted to switch. Nilufer’s friends would say she would give her limbs to charity if she could. And, when most young people are choosing skiing, hockey, music as free time pursuits, she is working on the next fundraising initiative. Favourite pastime (and present time): giving back to her community and the tens of thousands of Canadian dollars she’s raised for local charities is testament to this.
Nilufer founded the non-profit organization Hope for Home, whose mandate is to financially support orphanages in developing countries. In addition to Hope for Home, she is actively involved with the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, a non-profit organization helping immigrant youth in Calgary to adapt to Canadian life. As a spokesperson for the organization, she readily shares her own migration from Azerbaijan via Turkey story with other immigrant youth and families. If that wasn’t impressive enough (or exhaustive of her time), she regularly grows out her own hair and donates it to Angel Hair for Kids, raising money for cancer research.
She has given back tenfold since moving to Canada in 2005, including to her single-parent family. Nilufer has held part-time jobs from a young age to support the family and acted as translator for her mother to help her more easily acclimatize to living in Calgary (Nilufer having mastered English fluency within seven months of arriving in Calgary). Nilufer is known to donate money that she may not even have, saying “well I will just work a little harder this month; they need it more than I do.”