(May 31, 2013) – On Friday, John Gerretsen, Ontario Member of the Provincial Parliament for Kingston and the Islands was at the Islamic Centre of Kingston to hear more about a new initiative being launched – the Shared Journey Project.
This is a collaborative project involving four community organizations and social service agencies that have partnered to address child abuse and domestic violence within Muslim and immigrant families in the Kingston area.
The program is being led by the London, Ontario based Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (MRCSSI) and received a $285,300 province-wide grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2012.
“The project helps make Kingston and area a better place to live, work and raise a family by improving social supports, advocacy, crisis intervention, and building connections with main service providers and the Muslim community,” said MPP John Gerretsen.
In addition to MRCSSI, the other organizations involved in the program are the Islamic Society of Kingston, the Kingston Community Health Centres and the Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.
The collaborative initiative will enable community partners to share the critical knowledge gained through 10 years of successful collaboration between the MRCSSI, the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex and a wide range of partners within the Muslim community.
“We’re very pleased to be working with our community partners on this issue,” said Steve Woodman, Executive Director of Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.
“We have been keeping children safe and families in crisis together for more than 100 years. In our experience, it is partnerships like this one that make a difference.”
“Child abuse and domestic violence are shared problems that sadly affect all communities, including ours, yet a cookie cutter approach often does not work,” said Imam Sikander Hashmi of the Islamic Society of Kingston. “This project gives us a wonderful opportunity to develop local solutions that are sensitive towards cultural nuances and that involve organizations that are trusted by our community.”
“Partnerships between cultural communities and Canadian mainstream organizations help develop new ways of caring, understanding and supporting families and children in the community,” said Mohammed Baobaid, Executive Director of the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration. “We look forward to this opportunity of engagement.”
The two-year project will culminate with a provincial conference where partners from Kingston, Ottawa, York Region and London will be able to share outcomes, findings and experiences resulting from the Shared Journey Project.