As one of the youngest volunteers at the David Suzuki Foundation, 17-year-old Baani Dhillion has already made a huge impact as a Punjabi by Nature volunteer. Hosting a weekly information booth at the Ontario Khalsa Darbar Gurdwara Sahib, Baani has brought the importance of nature to the Punjabi community in Mississauga, Ontario.
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When asked about her personal connection with nature, the beauty of Baani's response is in its simplicity. Though she has travelled extensively (including across much of North and Central America, Singapore and India), one of her favourite outdoor memories is of canoe-camping on an isolated island in Ontario's Algonquin Park. And when asked what her favourite outdoor activity is, she replies, "Lying on the hammock with my dog Mia beside me and watching the birds above us hop from tree to tree."
Born with a love for nature, she is spreading her message to increase her impact. As a young member of the Punjabi community she has recognized a way to use her specific skill set:
"I feel that we, the younger generation, have a moral obligation to reach out into our communities. We have the tools and means to learn the latest and newest knowledge, which we must take to those who may not have these tools and means. Those with special language skills can act as bridges to their communities."
At the David Suzuki Foundation we rely heavily on the younger generation to use their energy and passion for the environment to work for change at the community level. Baani provides an excellent example of someone who has turned her personal inspiration into something bigger than herself.
We hope Baani can be in inspiration to youth who are wondering how to turn their passion and inspiration for the environment into real change. Thank you to Baani for her special contributions to the South Asian community with the David Suzuki Foundation!