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 From The MSS President

Salaams and Peace to all,

Welcome to our Summer newsletter!
Belated Eid Mubarak to all!

There has been a great deal of activity in the last few months at MSS. We had to say goodbye to Ms. Sabira Hudda, our ED/Counsellor who has gone on to serve our partner, the Family and Children's Services. We are grateful for her contributions in the last year and a half and we wish her very well.

As part of the Canada Summer student program, we are very fortunate to add Mr. Yusuf Zine, a filmmaker, actor, writer as our communications coordinator for this Spring and summer. Yusuf has been actively involved in helping MSS in many ways, especially in the area of marketing and promotion.
On our Board, we welcome a new member, Ms. Tina Allishaw and Ms. Humera Javed, who has returned from her maternity leave.

This year's Ramadan Drive was a huge success. Thank you all for your generous contributions. We supported eighty five families and will be providing halal food support to the local emergency food hampers for the rest of the year. MSS volunteers also cooked every Saturday of Ramadan for the Chandler Mowatt community Centre Iftaars where close to two hundred community members joined for Iftaar. We were very pleased to see several community partners and the Kitchener Mayor at the last Iftaar.

As you will note below, there are several vibrant programs underway and we are also in talks with other organizations with shared values, hoping to create better services for our community by sharing our strengths and learning from best best practices of others. As always, there are opportunities available for volunteering with MSS. Please do take advantage of these opportunities, as our strength lies in our volunteers. Our Board volunteers continue to work hard at building organizational capacity by refining our policies and procedures and working on a long term organizational sustainability plan.

We welcome your thoughts and suggestions as we strive to be a community organization of excellence. Please do send us your feedback and let us know what else you wish to see from MSS, your community organization.

In Peace,
Khalid Khokhar

Ladies Tea Time!

MSS has for now concluded the weekly Ladies' Tea Time gatherings at the Chandler Mowatt Community Centre. Given the interest in continuing these sessions, MSS plans to resume them very soon. Please watch out for an announcement. These sessions conducted by our counsellor provided a safe space for women to gather and share varied life experiences and challenges with one another. These gatherings helped to build confidence and offer support in a confidential and nurturing environment.

Everyone had a valuable story or skill to share and much learning took place. During the final session, in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University, a group of students as part of their community service learning project made presentations on financial management, banking and investments to this ladies group.

Thanks to Rebekah Rempel of Community Service Learning office at WLU, and Prof. Salyani, in making this opportunity possible for members of the Ladies tea time group.


2015 Safer Families Workshop Series

The Safer Family Workshop Series began on May 19th in partnership with a number of organizations--Family & Children Services of the Waterloo Region, the Guelph Police Service, the Islamic Centre of Cambridge, the Islamic Humanitarian Service, the Islamic School of Cambridge, and the Sexual Assault Support Centre. We are grateful to all our partners for their help and support in making these workshops a success.

The sessions ranged from issues of domestic violence, sexual violence, custody issues as well as Islamic perspective on ending family violence. Our thanks to all our presenters--Detective Constable Donald Conibear, Joan Tuchlinsky, Parastoo Derekhshandeh and Imam Kabbar. It was encouraging to see more men than women in attendance.

Special thanks to our dedicated volunteers, Aisha and Ameena Hollyer for volunteering their time to help with child care.
Br. Khalid Khokhar, Imam Kabbar, and Detective Constable Donald Conibear at the Cambridge Islamic Centre.
Parastoo Derakhshandeh from FACS with Aisha Hollyer, a volunteer with MSS.

2015 Annual General Meeting!

On Wednesday, May 21st, MSS held its AGM at The Family Centre. Our guest of honour was Ms. Jassy Narayan, a well known community activist and social worker. She spoke about 'Building stronger communities with hope'. Thanks to all who attended our AGM.

Ramadan Food Drive 2015!

This year, we had a very successful Ramadan Food Drive, Alhamdulilah! The food aid that we chose to distribute this year was in the form of grocery store gift cards applicable at stores such as Food Basics, Metro, Zehrs, and Loblwas.  We were able to serve 86 families in the KW region, with more still currently being served.

Special thanks goes out to Fariba Chaghand (House of Friendship), Tea Buzadzic (KW Multicultural Centre), Ismail Mohammed (Chandler Mowat Community Centre), Bashir Shahbaz (Refugee Reception House), Maria Frana (House of Friendship), and the Muslim Association of Canada for recommending names of deserving families and individuals and for their continual support of this project..

Budget Breakdown
Total donations received: $8,300.00
Total food cards distributed: $6,125.00
Remaining balance: $2,475.00
(to be used towards providing halal food through the local House of Friendship emergency food hampers)

KW Rohingya Youth Taking The Stage!

On Saturday, June 13th our staff connected with many different Rohingya youth in the KW community for a meet-up. The purpose of this meet-up was to organize a set of programs and workshops that can help benefit the Rohingya youth in Canada. We decided to have our informal gathering at the Chandler Mowat Community Centre during a community BBQ. 

We sat down and asked them what they want to get out of this project. One of the youth spoke up and was very adamant on sharing their personal story of seeking refuge in Canada from Burma. They said it was important that people heard these kind of stories. Some other youth in the group agreed and shared the same sentiment. Finally one of the youth suggested doing a stage play to showcase these stories in a creative way. Everyone was very excited at the prospect of doing a play as many had mentioned their passions included acting.

Combined with their drive for the performing arts and their desire to tell their important stories, the Rohingya youth unanimously decided on putting together a stage play to showcase their personal stories of hardship. MSS will work closely with the youth this summer to create this play and perform it for the KW public. Our intern, Yusuf Zine, is a trained and professional actor and director and will help in the creative process. Our goal is to help empower the Rohingya youth throughout this process and give them a chance to voice themselves where they otherwise may not have the platform. Coming soon!


Want To Improve Your Computer Skills?

MSS Is Hiring!

Attention all part-time job seekers! Muslim Social Services is hiring a part-time Counsellor and a Coordinator starting in August! Visit our website at this link to see more details, including the full job descriptions:

To apply, please send your cover letter, resume and names of three references to In the subject line please include the title of the position you are applying for.



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