ASPIRE Programs

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ASPIRE Programs

Promotes the development and independence of clients by focusing on the core areas of education, employment, and community support.

Case Management

ASPIRE: Actualizing Self-Reliance by Providing Inspiration, Resources and Education.  ASPIRE Community Services aims at promoting the development and independence of our clients. This program recognizes the challenges that clients face in supporting themselves and intends to help them overcome these challenges by focusing on three core areas: education, employment and community support.

Each client in the ASPIRE Community Services program is paired with an ASPIRE Case Worker who will help them reach their goals through one-to-one support.

ASPIRE works with low-income families, immigrants, and refugees who are registered with the Muslim Food Bank and Community Services. ASPIRE aims to empower families who are in need by connecting them with volunteer caseworkers. We provide in-depth training to caseworkers to help them establish the trauma-informed practice. This is crucial because the majority of our clients are refugees who have experienced some form of trauma. Our client base also includes children that have witnessed violence and have been impacted by childhood poverty. ASPIRE also works from a trauma-informed lens. We provide support that honors the dignity of each client.

We are currently working with over 600 families. We have been successful in providing support services that nurture their physical as well as mental health. We have seen our clients progress thanks to early intervention. ASPIRE has successfully formed connections with various support agencies and developed programs that cater to the needs of our client group.

Employment Support

The employment support program was developed to assist the clients of MFB to gain independence by helping them find work. It started around Dec 01, 2016, though it may be in the minds of the MFB Board from much before that.

The program has evolved since it started. We started off by posting jobs that we knew about, on the website muslimgoods.com. We established an Employment booth which was staffed by different volunteers on Hamper Distribution days and started to register clients and asking them about the skills they have (English, Computer, Driving, etc) and trying to suggest the matching employers. We sent a few prospective clients to Employers.

We now have AVIA regularly staffing the MFB booth on Hamper Distribution Days.

Pharmacy/Medical Support

One on one consultation provided to families who have questions regarding health coverage, medication, Pharmacare and IFHP coverage.

Dental Support

Our bi-annual dental camps provide opportunities for families to be assessed by professional dentists and learn about preventative dental care and oral hygiene. Appointments are then set up for any clients who have dental issues more serious than what a single session could correct. Although dental needs are rarely thought of as a primary worry, having run these dental camps for a few years has shown us that they are an important need nonetheless.

Many MFBCS clients have spent several years without seeing a dentist which has severely affected their dental health and left them uninformed about proper oral hygiene. In additional, this service is essential to clients who are in the midst of achieving status within Canada and do not have the proper coverage in dental care, and would therefore have no other means of accessing these services for themselves or their families.

Parental Support

The Parenting Support Program (PSP) aims to help new immigrant and refugee families settle successfully in a new culture and contribute to Canadian society.  One of its initiatives was the Connecting Families Project which helped connect volunteer settled families with new immigrant families so that the former could provide social and emotional support to the latter. The project came to a successful end in September of 2017, and from observation, it became quite clear that these newly settled families needed support in regards to parenting within a new cultural context. As such, in October, MFBCS sponsored an enthusiastic volunteer to take the “My Tween and Me” Parenting Course and become the official facilitator of the Parenting Support Program.

Since its inception, the Parenting Support Program has held three sessions in Arabic, and will continue it sessions based upon interest and demand.

Based on training received from the BC Council of Families, the Parent Educational Support Program aims to help parents develop culturally appropriate and relevant parenting practices through a combination of research and faith-based approaches.

Special Needs Support

The HAMDA (Helping All Muslims with Different Abilities) program launched in the Summer of 2018 with a mission to encourage inclusivity of Muslims with Special Needs in our Islamic centres and Masajid by developing awareness and education, and to advocate for Muslims with Special Needs to have equal access to their faith by providing support programs in an encouraging environment.

HAMDA focuses on direct support of Muslim families with Special Needs by offering a variety of supports and adaptations within the Muslim community, or by referring Muslim families to exceptional resources and services within the Lower Mainland. We also focus on community education and to have informative easily accessible events where the topic of Islam and Muslims with Special Needs is destigmatized.

Our program, its coordinators, and volunteers are deeply passionate about creating inclusive Islamic communities. We come from all walks of life; we are parents and siblings of individuals with Special Needs, we are support workers, advocates, professionals, and we are all working together to generate positive change inshAllah.

If you are interested in the program or would like to volunteer, please contact: karima@muslimfoodbank.com or marwa@muslimfoodbank.com
You can also call: 1.866.248.3868 ext. 209
Visit our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HAMDASUPPORT/) to find out about upcoming events and interesting news with the Special Needs Muslim community!

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Prison Outreach

A program that provides culturally-relevant social and emotional support to inmates and formerly incarcerated persons self-identifying as Muslim.

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