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Canada’s First Somalia-born MP To Be Guest Speaker At Caribbean African Canadian Social Services Organization Launch

Canada’s First Somalia-born MP To Be Guest Speaker At Caribbean African Canadian Social Services Organization Launch

TORONTO, Ontario — Ahmed Hussen, the newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) for the York South-Weston riding, and who is the first Somalia-born Canadian citizen to be elected to Canada’s House of Commons, will be the special guest speaker at the launch of the Caribbean, African Canadian Social Services (CAFCAN) organization.

The event will be held on Sunday, November 22.

A lawyer and social activist, Hussen immigrated to Canada in 1993, settled in Regent Park and quickly gravitated towards public service. In 2002 he co-founded the Regent Park Community Council and was able to secure the $500 million revitalization project of Regent Park, all while ensuring the interests of the area’s nearly 15,000 residents were protected.

Prior to being elected on Monday, October 19, he served as the National President of the Canadian Somali Congress – a Somali community organization that works with national and regional authorities to advocate on issues of importance to Canadians of Somali heritage and strengthen civic engagement and integration.

CAFCAN, a not-for-profit agency whose primary focus is on building and strengthening the service framework for African Canadians through the use of psycho-social interventional approaches, is an off-shoot of the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA).

Officially incorporated in May 2014, CAFCAN has now formally assumed full responsibilities for the social services arm of the JCA.

CAFCAN was specifically set up to provide culturally appropriate social services, aimed at enriching the lives of the African, Caribbean and Diasporic (ACD) communities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Since then, the JCA and CAFCAN have been operating as two entirely distinct and separate entities.  Specifically, since June, 2014, each organization has its own Board of Directors, each composed of different individuals, except for one seat of CAFCAN’s Board of Directors, which must be filled by a member of the JCA’s Board, and vise versa.

The two Boards of Directors have separate meetings and agendas, and a separate Financial Management Policies and Procedures Manual and a strategic plan was drafted and approved for CAFCAN.

Now both organizations have separate financial, organizational and operational management systems, including separation of budgets, assets and liabilities.

CAFCAN has also developed its own logo, business cards, letterhead and website, and recently held its first General Membership Meeting, and the official launch event is the final piece, symbolically giving CAFCAN full fledge operation status.

CAFCAN will continue the JCA’s 53-year tradition of delivering social services through “highly trained and skilled professionals, working to assist all service users, in the utmost supportive ways, to alleviate social conditions that are impacting adversely upon them, as individuals, families and as youths, and hopefully enabling them to reach their full potentials”.

These programs and services have included but are not limited to: Family and Youth Counselling; Employment Support; Seniors’ Servivces; Violence Against Women, Leadership & Outreach Programs for Youth and Young adults; and In-School and Settlement Support Programs for New Immigrants and Refugees.

CAFCAN — which receives funding from various levels of government, as well as the United Way of Greater Toronto and York Region — will hold its official launch at the JCA Centre, located at 995 Arrow Road in Toronto.

For more information call (416) 740-1056 or email: info.cafcan@gmail.com.

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