Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Gloucester-Southgate Ward Councillor Diane Deans presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Rasha Yacob at City Council today, in recognition of her efforts to make her community welcoming and safe.

Known to many in Albion-Heatherington as Auntie Rasha, Ms. Yacob has tirelessly volunteered to improve the community over the past eight years. She leads many initiatives including BBQs, potlucks, community gardens and Cuts for Kids, a program that gives youth in the community free haircuts.

Ms. Yacob’s passion for her community doesn’t stop there. She regularly translates for community members who do not speak English. Using WhatsApp, she created a group for Syrian refuges in her neighbourhood to share information, support and comfort.

Ms. Yacob has also led efforts to secure funds for local improvement projects, such as community gardens and a mural. Partnering with the City, Ms. Yacob cofacilitated consultations for the Building Better Revitalized Neighbourhoods strategy and sat on the Community Development Framework Learning Forum Planning Committee, all with the goal of making her neighbourhood more welcoming and safe.

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.

Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public.

The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.