Nina has recently joined the RESULTS Ottawa group and is passionate about raising her voice to end extreme poverty. Not long ago, Nina met with her Member of Parliament (MP) and we’ve asked her a couple of questions about her experience. Here’s what she had to say:
Why did you decide to meet with your MP?
“From my academic background in global health to my volunteer experiences abroad in Vietnam, Belize, and India, I have developed knowledge on the challenges of achieving global equity. For the past four years, I have been a researcher on projects that ranged from food security to infectious diseases, but most importantly I learned the importance of using your research platform for advocacy purposes in order to create meaningful change in the society. That is the reason why I decided to meet with my MP and express why I think investing in international development is important for Canada and on a global scale for the elimination of extreme poverty and preventable diseases.”
How did your meeting go?
“I was definitely nervous meeting my MP for the first time but Sherry Moran (fellow volunteer citizen) and the RESULTS Canada staff prepared me well. When I first entered my MP’s office, we pretended to hand shake because he was feeling under the weather and wanted to prevent the spread of germs. This definitely lightened the mood and I felt more comfortable speaking to him.
During the conversation, I discussed my experience with global inequalities: how I have witnessed individuals open defecating on the streets in Delhi and the stories I’ve heard from locals discussing the impacts of corruption and low-funded healthcare systems. My MP resonated with me by sharing his past experience abroad and also the fact that a distant family member passed away from tuberculosis. I was delighted and perhaps even surprised to see how willing my MP was to help as he offered to pass along my ask to the Prime Minister and Minister of Health. Overall, I felt the meeting was successful because I spoke authentically, adding in personal experiences as I saw fit.”
What’s your advice for someone who has never met their MP?
“Let your personality shine by speaking about issues you’re most passionate about. Don’t be afraid to speak from the heart.”
Thank you Nina for inspiring us to engage with our elected officials!