UCC’s Sarah gets her teeth into Jamie campaign

UCC dentistry student Sarah Jameel has been asked by Jamie Oliver to be an ambassador for his global food initiative. Picture: Des Barry

Celebrity chef and food campaigner Jamie Oliver has asked a UCC student to become an ambassador for his latest global food initiative.

First-year dentistry student and youth activist, Sarah Jameel, 23, who is originally from Sri Lanka, said she is looking forward to getting her teeth into Oliver’s Food Revolution movement which aims to educate every child about food, to inspire families to cook, and to empower people to fight obesity.

Oliver used Twitter to endorse her new food blog, Food Beyond Borders — an online storytelling platform connecting people and places through food culture — before asking her to back his Food Revolution movement.

“It was really exciting to see Jamie Oliver endorse my blog,” she said.

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“I see food as a uniting force and I hope my blog will integrate all of that into something positive online.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Jamie’s network to promote healthy eating, healthy food and lunches, and I will certainly try to bring that to UCC and beyond.”

Sarah, who has studied on three continents, has been interested in food since childhood and was inspired into activism by her dentist father, Dr Farhim Jameel, who delivered outreach dental programmes in Sri Lanka.

At 11, after the Asian tsunami, she fundraised for hospitals in devastated areas of eastern Sri Lanka and organised free health camps for poor children. At 16, she founded Kick the Butt, a ground-breaking fashion and social media-based anti-smoking campaign aimed at Sri Lankan teens.

She briefed business and world leaders on the project at the 2010 World Economic Forum, and was later invited to 10 Downing Street to meet British prime minister Gordon Brown.

She has been honoured with several major awards, including a Global Teen Leader award, has addressed the closing plenary of the World Economic Forum, the UN’s International Women’s Day Celebrations in Sri Lanka, and the Just Peace Summit in New York, and counts music legend, Nile Rogers, of Chic, among her mentors.

See her work on www.foodbeyondborders.org, on Twitter @foodbeyondB or #foodbeyondborders or on Instagram @food.beyond.borders.

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