The Black Youth Action plan is an initiative introduced by the Ontario Government in March 2017 to help reduce disparities for Black children, youth and their families. Somali Centre for Family Services has received a 3-year funding for the Together We Can Mentorship Program..
OUR VALUES AND PRINCIPLES AT SCFS
SCFS is a broad-based, non-profit organization that enjoys strong community support and is respected by other service providers and its funders. The Centre was initially established in response to the large influx of Somali newcomers in Canada. Its original mission was to preserve culture and heritage; however, it quickly became apparent that the needs of the community were more in the realm of settlement, integration, and counseling.
Special emphasis has been paid to providing services to enhance the community’s social well-being in Canada. Since its inception, the Centre has been delivering meaningful and culturally appropriate services designed to meet the specific needs of our community members.
The Together We Can Mentorship is a program that will engage and 40-50 youth a year who face multiple challenges and risk factors that hinder their capacity to develop their resilience and confidence to be successful. The mentors are dedicated Black professionals who are going to help overcome risk factors like cultural barriers, poverty, lack of meaningful employment, interaction with the justice system, lack of access and understanding, etc. By matching these mentees with suitable mentors, our goal is to enhance their protective factors and their potential to succeed.
Program Outcome and Strategic Plan for three years:
Mentorship: Providing insights and caoching while augmenting mentee's social capacity by providing strong social support, problem solving skills, and community engagement.
Entrepreneurship: Providing business tools and ideas, networking and partnership development, access to skills development and job training opportunities
Employment: Job placement & networking, access to hidden job markets, resume writing, cover letter prepration, employment trands and interview simulations
“I appreciate you getting in touch with me. I think in terms of being exposed to individuals who have done a lot in a sector of personal interest, the program has been an inspiring and motivating tool.” — Hassan, employed as Junior Policy Analyst at Natural Resources Canada.
“I am happy that I know what I want to do now, which is half the battle. I really appreciate your support and the resources that I have received from [Together we can Mentorship Program] which has changed my perspective about employment, challenges that are faced by youth and how to navigate through social, cultural and employment opportunities and challenges, thank you!” —Abdi Omar, University Student.
SCFS will ensure the program will have open and consistent communication and support between the project coordinator, the mentors, and the mentees. The intent is to have necessary confidentiality between mentors and mentees as they identify and rectify any challenges their youth are facing as early as possible.
In that regard, there will be bi-monthly meetings with the project coordinator and mentors and mentees to work out any limitations they might come across. In short, the program will ensure that is an ongoing support system for the mentors and the mentees as need be.