In 2012, Kambo (then Quality Program Services) approached the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia and pitched a free energy efficiency education pilot program. With permission from the Gurdwara’s leadership, we hired and trained members of the Sikh community to deliver energy efficiency education in their own language. We quickly realized that we’d identified an important need within the community, not only in terms of the content we delivered, but also our delivery method. People needed an opportunity to learn from trusted members of the community who were fluent in their mother tongue.
The pilot was a success and inspired Areef and Yasmin Abraham (father and daughter colleagues) to formally launch the Empower Me program. Today, Empower Me remains part of a family-run and minority-owned social enterprise that spans the Pacific Northwest. With a dynamic brother and sister duo (Karim and Yasmin Abraham) leading our team, Empower Me has expanded beyond the Vancouver region and is now embedded within communities across British Columbia, Alberta, and the State of Washington.
“Because they had trained our own people to help educate us, it felt a lot more like our own initiative, rather than outsiders telling us what to do. Our community members were really interested in the subject and there was always a lineup around the booth that Quality (now Kambo) had set up.”