A Surrey man has been honoured by the prime minister for his volunteer efforts.
Raghbir Singh Bains is among 17 recipients of this year’s Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards (PMVA) and attended a special ceremony hosted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Toronto last month.
The PMVSA recognize two national recipients – one for lifelong achievement and one for an emerging leader – as well as 15 regional recipients, including individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
The awards also highlight best practices in community leadership and encourage partnerships across sectors.
“Canada ranks near the very top of the World Giving Index. Our generosity is evident abroad, but it is also plainly seen every day, right here at home,” said Harper at the ceremony. “Contributing to their community is the primary motivation for Canadian volunteers, who gladly and freely give their time, energy and experience.”
The recipients were presented with medals, certificates and lapel pins during the ceremony. As part of their recognition package, each recipient will identify a not-for-profit organization to receive a one-time funding grant in its honour.
Not-for-profit organizations identified by the 15 regional awards recipients will each receive $5,000, and those identified by the two national awards recipients will each receive $10,000.
According to a news release, Bains’ voluntary efforts have left a significant mark on his community.
He is a trained drug counsellor, translator and interpreter, and has arranged and hosted hundreds of seminars, conferences, rallies, exhibitions and youth workshops.
Bains often gives free lectures to students in schools, colleges and universities on subjects such as life skills, multiculturalism, diversity, cooperative living, nationalism, cultural values, drugs, trafficking, sexual assault, prostitution, bullying, domestic violence and more.
His work has helped countless immigrants with language barriers overcome social challenges and settle in British Columbia.
Bains has sat on many advisory committees in Surrey, Delta and Vancouver. He has also helped to raise awareness on the plight of HIV/AIDS in Africa and the ill effects of substance abuse around the world.
“Social challenges are being tackled in new ways across the country,” Harper said. “Local organizations could not achieve the incredible level of success they do, and Canadian communities would not be as vibrant if it weren’t for the talented, capable volunteers and charitable efforts of innovative organizations from coast to coast to coast.”
The call for the 2015 nominations for the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards launched on April 13, and will run until June 30.
For more information visit www.pm.gc.ca/pmva