Celebrating national partners during Asian Heritage Month

These national organizations with roots in Asian-Canadian communities support patients through blood donation and more

May 28, 2021
Members of Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) stand near a sign advertising a blood donation event in Calgary, Alta.

Members of Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ), above, regularly organize and participate in blood donation events.

Asian Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the rich history and accomplishments of Canadians of Asian descent, including their connections and contributions to Canada’s Lifeline.

For Canadian Blood Services, partnering with Canadians of Asian descent through our Partners for Life program is a way to mobilize diverse communities in support of Canada’s Lifeline and create awareness of the need for more donors.

This Asian Heritage Month, we celebrate the four national partners below who support their communities and patients in need by donating blood and plasma, recruiting potential stem cell donors and hosting fundraisers.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association

A donor gives a thumbs-up from the bed of a blood donation event hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association. Other donors and Canadian Blood Services staff are in the background.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association regularly hosts blood donation events like this 2020 event in Vancouver, B.C.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) has been supporting Canada's Lifeline for more than 15 years. It is an international non-profit organization for Muslim men aged 15 to 40. With more than 90 local chapters across the country, AMYA is also Canada’s largest Muslim youth group. AMYA chapters run events across the country including blood drives and stem cell donor recruitment events (before Covid-19). AMYA also hosts an annual fundraiser called Run For Calgary in Calgary, Alta.

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AMYA is active across the world and involved in similar activities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Germany, and Ghana.

“Community service is a central tenet of Islam,” says Mr. Saud Ahmad, AMYA’s national vice-president in Canada. “Our heritage is devoted to supporting patients. By giving blood, we act on our heartfelt desire to serve humanity irrespective of creed and religion.”

Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ)

Two members of Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) in Milton donate blood at an event with other participants gathered behind them.

Members of Iglesia Ni Cristo in Milton participated in a blood donation event in May 2021. – Church of Christ - Milton members donating blood, May 2021

Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ), a church founded in the Philippines, has helped save thousands of lives since first partnering with Canadian Blood Services many years ago. Each May, through the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, church members in Canada join groups around the world to host blood donation events. In Canada, the annual event is one of Canadian Blood Services’ largest national partnership campaigns. This year alone, Iglesia Ni Cristo has hosted 45 group donations with close to 500 participants. In Canada, many church members have become regular blood donors with approximately 40 per cent of donations now occurring outside of the May campaign.

“As members of the Church of Christ, we follow the commandments of God recorded in the Bible. All of our doctrines and religious services are based on Biblical teachings,” said Brother Raul F. Adalla, Iglesia Ni Cristo’s district minister for southern Ontario. “One of those is the commandment of God written in Proverbs 3:27 (Today’s English Version) which states. ‘Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it.’ That is why we continue to show our love and concern for our fellow men through humanitarian and outreach activities.”

Nepalese Blood Donors Association

Members of the Nepalese Blood Donors Association hold signs with the Canadian flag that say “I am a blood donor” outside a Canadian Blood Services donor centre in Toronto, Ont.

Members of the Nepalese Blood Donors Association gather outside a Canadian Blood Services donor centre (Yonge & Bloor) in Toronto, Ont.

Nepalese Blood Donors Association Canada (NBDA Canada) is a sister organization to the International Nepalese Blood Donors Association and has been supporting Canada’s Lifeline since its founding in October 2020. Through its first national campaign to acknowledge the Nepalese New Year (Naya Barsa) in 2021, participants donated more than 60 units of blood.

“We would like our Canadian friends to know that people from Nepal ―the home of Mt. Everest and the birthplace of Gautam Buddha ― who are living in Canada are very loving and compassionate people who genuinely believe that blood donation is a civic duty,” says Suresh Gautam, president of NBDA Canada. “Nepalese community members consider giving blood to be giving a gift of life. Giving a gift of life voluntarily is considered a very virtuous thing to do in our culture. Our Nepalese blood donor friends all over the world donate whole blood, platelets, and plasma.”

Sant Nirankari Mission Canada

A man with a black floral shirt sitting in a chair donating blood wearing a face mask at the donor centre in Calgary.

Mukesh Naudyal donated blood to celebrate Human Unity Day in Calgary in April 2021.

Sant Nirankari Mission Canada has been supporting Canada's Lifeline since 1996. Its 12 branches across Canada host blood donation events, and members also participate in other local blood drives on a regular basis. The organization has also supported Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry by helping to recruit potential stem cell donors at some of their events.

Sant Nirankari Mission is a global spiritual movement. It has been organizing blood donation events internationally since 1986 to celebrate Human Unity Day each year on April 24. In addition to the annual April blood drives, Sant Nirankiri Mission also holds blood drives at other times of year, especially in times of need (such as during the COVID-19 pandemic).

“Sant Nirankari Mission recognizes blood as a universal human lifeline. All humans, regardless of caste, color, gender, or creed, need it to survive.” says Dave Lashar, a member of the board of, Sant Nirankari Mission Canada. “By donating blood, we are fulfilling our sacred duty to society. Our charitable work aligns with our beliefs: to unite people for the good of humanity; to promote oneness and humanness; and to undertake selfless acts that have a positive effect on people every day.

“Blood donation is an important part of the work we do. This is why we have partnered with Canadian Blood Services to carry out a simple act of generosity — giving blood to those who need it.”

Canadian Blood Services is very grateful to be able to call these organizations our partners. Together, we are stronger, and together, we are Canada’s Lifeline.

Organizations that partner with Canadian Blood Services provide incredible support for patients in a range of ways, from blood donation events to fundraisers. Learn more about becoming a Partner for Life. This Asian Heritage Month, we also invite you to learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at blood.ca/DEI.

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