Mississauga, December 18 (CINEWS): Usually people who claim to serve humanity and dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others are politicians. Daven Seebarran has no political aspirations and is involved with Seva Food Bank. So just who is Daven and what makes him tick?
Daven Seebarran has dedicated his career to the social services sector. Committed to the belief that social determinants of health are at the foundation of every person’s quality of life,
Daven has worked in the fields of HIV/AIDS, sexual health, housing, and poverty reduction. He has created sustainable environments where people feel safe and proud, where families can thrive, and children can grow.
Prior to joining Seva Food Bank in 2013, Daven developed community health strategies, community development and public finance activities in some of the most challenging communities in the Canada.
What does multiculturalism mean to you?
To me, multiculturalism is people getting along authentically. There is a genuine appreciation of the diversity that exists our communities. Multiculturalism is many cultures, religious groups and ethnicities, etc. living together-
where people are able to showcase and celebrate their culture.
What can new Canadians integrate quickly into the country?
It is difficult for new Canadians to integrate into Canada. Institutional racism continue to be a major barrier to many new Canadians. This takes the form of hiring practices, a de-valuing of experiences and expertise, and overt
Most users of your foodbank come from all stratas of society who are currently going to a rough patch. What have you observed and learnt?
We have learnt that anyone is vulnerable to using a food bank. Our clients come from all walks on life, doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses, and other highly qualified jobs. Systemic barriers prevent many of these individuals from
practicing in their field. Many of the skilled professionals must rely on precarious employment to make ends meet, and many cannot afford basic necessities like food.
An unexpected health crisis, accidents, and the economy also impacts who uses the food bank. Anyone is vulnerable to this.
Do you think South Asians donate enough or can we do more?
I think South Asians have been leaders in giving to Seva Food Bank. We rely on the generous support of the community in all aspects of the work we do. South Asians have donated over $500,000 at our annual radiothon. They also donate
food and many have donated their time by volunteering. Running two food banks, and serving more than 1800 people each month comes with hugh costs. It costs us about $0.56 for each meal we distribute to the community. That is getting
food directly to families. Next year, we hope to get 1.25 million pounds of food to local families, and we need the South Asian community to continue to be leaders in this endeavour.