Our clients are primarily refugees and new immigrant families to Canada, who require assistance to overcome often significant barriers to integrating successfully. Last year, our Food Bank Operations provided food hampers that are catered to specific dietary needs (vegan and religious dietary restrictions) to approximately 450 clients mostly families, or about 1,500 people. The number continues to grow as refugees come from Syria, Iraq, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Yemen and other war-torn countries and settle down in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley including Richmond, Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, New Westminster, Delta and Maple Ridge. On monthly basis, we also provide between 300 to 400 meals to homeless people in downtown Eastside.
ASPIRE Community Services (Actualizing Self Reliance by Providing Inspiration, Resources & Education) aims at promoting client development and independence. We recognize the challenges that clients face in supporting themselves by focusing on three core areas: education, employment and community support. By acting as liaisons between clients and readily available resources in Metro Vancouver, volunteer caseworkers empower clients as they navigate their way to a brighter future.
The Refugee Settlement Program focuses on the unique challenges refugees face during the settlement process.
The HOPE (Healing Opportunities through Prevention and Education) project is an extension of the ASPIRE Program where we provide support to youth struggling with mental health, behavioural and substance use challenges. The ASPIRE Training Institute provides capacity-building for our volunteer caseworkers and members of the community at large, in order to strengthen their community service skills.
Muslim Link has been given permission to publish the true story of how one Baha'i refugee family was supported through MFB's Aspire Program which pairs volunteer caseworkers with families in need in order to help them navigate social services in BC.