Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jewish Somali Project Off to a great start in Ottawa

Over a hundred members of the Ottawa Somali community braved a rainstorm on the evening of Saturday, May 8th, 2010 to attend an information and registration session at Carlton University's Minto Center. The Canadian International Peace Project and the Canadian Somali Congress invited potential mentees from the Somali community in Ottawa to be part of a groundbreaking mentorship project that started in Toronto between the Canadian Jewish and Somali communities. Given the great interest in the project, mentors will also be recruited from outside the Ottawa Jewish community to cope with the large numbers of Canadian Somali college and university students as well as young professionals requesting matches with mentors.

Ahmed Hussen, National President of the Canadian Somali Congress stressed the importance of this project in assisting to develop the first cadre of young Canadian Somali professionals and leaders who will in turn reach back into other communities to help those in need. This project builds on the groundbreaking work already being done between the Jewish and Somali communities in Ottawa by Mark Zarecki, Executive Director of the Jewish Family Services and members of the Ottawa Somali community. The Jewish-Somali Mentorship Project not only assists in the integration of the largest African diaspora community in Canada but also acts as a model of how diverse communities can collaborate to promote greater social cohesion between diverse communities both in Canada and in the international community. The Jewish-Somali Mentorship Project is extraordinary in that it is the first time in Canada or anywhere else in the world that the Jewish and a large Muslim community have come together to work at a national level.

This information and registration session will be followed shortly by another Information and registration session for potential mentors.

Iman Salah, Summer Intern


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