Founded through a partnership between Muslim Family Services of Ottawa (MFSO), the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO), The Friends of CAS and the Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa (CAFO), the second annual Lamb Project was held. This project aims to provide the Muslim youth living in Foster Care in the Ottawa and surrounding regions the opportunity to stay connected to their religion and participate in the celebration of Eid Al Adha. This year’s project received overwhelming support from both community members and organizations surpassing the set goal of $2880. We would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this event a success. A special thank you The Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA), As-Sunnah Muslim Association (AMA), CAS Friends, the Children’s Aid Foundation, CAS Staff and the Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre for their generous donations.
November is Adoption Awareness Month. Throughout the month, Children's Aid Societies across Ontario spread the message that every child deserves to have a forever family' in the hopes of encouraging more families to open their homes to children in care.
This Eid al Adha was special for a group of Muslim children in our city that our community sometimes forgets. The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO), Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa (CAFO), Muslim Family Services of Ottawa (MFSO), and CAS Friends collaborated to ensure that Muslim children living in foster care still got to participate in the blessings of this special holiday. Through proceeds raised through fundraising within the wider Muslim community and volunteer efforts, children not only received Eid gifts, including calligraphy of their name by local artist Chaker Zouari, but they also received qurbani meat to share with the support of Al Furat Meat Shop. CASO paid for 1/3 of the lamb, CAFO paid for another 1/3, and the rest of the cost was covered by fundraising in the Muslim community.
Muslim Link interviewed Cindy R. Perron, the Communications Supervisor for CASO, Karim Mekki, MFSO’s Community Liaison Worker, and Sawsane El Khatib, a volunteer with CAS Friends, about how this initiative came together.
Somali Canadian Abdirizak Mohamud has been a foster parent with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa for over 10 years, during which time he has fostered over 15 children. The majority of these children have been from Muslim backgrounds. Muslim Link interviewed Abdirizak about his experience as a foster parent and why more Muslim foster parents are needed in Ottawa.
Muslim Family Services of Ottawa (MFSO) was recently honoured for their work with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CAS). MFSO has partnered with CAS to address the needs of Muslim children in foster care in the city. Muslim Link interviewed Pakistani Canadian Shawana Shah, MFSO’s CAS Multicultural Liaison Worker, about MFSO’s work and what is needed to better support Muslim children who come into care.
Nazima Khan, 34, and Riyad Khan, 35, married young in the hopes of starting a family early. Born and raised in Toronto to South Asian parents, Nazima works as a registered nurse in a labour and delivery ward and Riyad works as a teacher. They are the proud parents of three young children. There is very little that distinguishes them from your average Muslim Canadian professional family. Except that they adopted their children from the Children’s Aid Society (CAS).
The impetus for the project arises from the work of the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (MRCSSI) of London, Ontario which has worked with that city's CAS to dramatically reduce the number of Muslim children who are taken into care. MRCSSI received $285,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and another $70,000 from the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General in order to expand the project to York, Kingston, and Ottawa.