Alliana Rempel, 11, sold her hand-designed cards at the Arborg Christmas Market to raise funds to build a school in Nicaragua Dec. 8. (Juliet Kadzviti/The Interlake Spectator/Postmedia Network)
A young girl from Arborg is taking her talent for storytelling and art and carrying it forward to better the world.
Alliana Rempel, 11, has been raising money for the less fortunate with funds she receives from selling hand-designed cards.
Rempel attended the Arborg Christmas Market at the Arborg Bifrost Community Centre to showcase some of her art Dec. 8.
While there, she told The Interlake Spectator her activism started after her mother Carissa Rempel attended an event at the Canadian Museum For Human Rights in Winnipeg, where well-known human rights activist Malala Yousafzai’s book was being showcased by her father Ziauddin Yousafzai.
Carissa brought the book “I Am Malala” home and Alliana’s curiosity peaked.
“I took an interest in it, but I was only in Grade 3 so my mom thought I wouldn’t be able to read it, but we got through it and I read it,” she said.
Her mother, who said she was inspired not to clip her daughter’s wings after hearing Ziauddin speak, helped her through the more graphic and complex parts of the book.
Carissa explained Alliana was immediately drawn to helping where she could.
“I wanted to do something to help, so I started with these cards, so that I could raise $2,000 for the Malala Fund and I reached that goal in less than six months,” Alliana said.
“I kept fundraising for another year and I decided I wanted to do something new to help.”
Alliana decided to start raising funds to build a school in Nicaragua through WE, which could cost upwards of $10,000 per classroom.
To help raise even more funds, Alliana penned a children’s book, “One”, showcasing the courage of Azmia, a young girl from a war-torn country whose education is disrupted by terrorists.
“In the book, Azmia’s school supplies become her heroes and they find a way for her teacher to continue secretly teaching her,” Alliana explained.
She noted the book was inspired by Malala’s own remarkable story. The 20-year-old activist was infamously shot by the Taliban in her home country of Pakistan for simply attending school and encouraging other girls to do the same.
Alliana’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. Both Malala and her father praised her book and encouraged people to pick up a copy.
“I strongly recommend this inspiring book One by Alliana Rempel to all children. Alliana tells children to believe in the power of education and change the world,” Malala stated.
Ziauddin added, the book was well-presented. “Alliana’s creative art makes the book attractive and fun.”
To help Alliana reach her goal or to find out more about her previous visit battlethebadwithbeauty.com.