The Somali community has been facing many issues and hardship due to cultural differences, integration issues as well as language barriers. Youth issues (School dropout, Violence, incarceration, having problem with the law enforcement agencies resulting in many killings) are one of the major concerns within the Somali community. This project was created to reduce and eventually eliminate barriers that the Somali youth faces therefore cultural resource person was hired within the school system in order to assist youth and parents integrating within the education system and Canadian society in general.
- To improve school achievement and high school completion of Somali Canadian students, with an aim toward post-secondary program enrollment.
- To improve cultural competency of school staff to better engage with students and families of different cultural backgrounds
- To increase the ability of students and families with an immigrant background to interact with schools and understand the Alberta school system in order to better supports their children’s education.
- To improve the ability of cultural community organizations to engage with school staff in support of students
- To research and share the learning’s with other school and agency staff in Alberta from implementation a cross-cultural, student/parent engagement coaching model as one strategy to support improved school achievement and engagement for students and families from a refugee background
“Reducing Barriers for Somali at Risk Youth within their Community and School System”. It was a three-year initiative designed to bring together Somali youth and their parents as well as educators from Edmonton Public Schools in a process to develop strategies, tools and resources that would improve relations between the Somali community and schools in Edmonton to promote everyone’s goal – “TO SEE YOUTH STAY IN AND SUCCEED AT SCHOOL”. The initiative was supported through funding from the Multiculturalism Program of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and the Alberta Human Rights Education Fund.
At the end of the project, all the project objectives has been acheived. This project and many others have significantly increased student graduation rate significantly.
The organization gratefully acknowledges the funding support by the Canadian immigration and citizenship (CIC) and Alberta human rights commission. We also thank to our local partnering organizations such as Edmonton public school board (EPSB), Catholic Social Services (CSS) and Big Brother Big sister (BBBS) for recruiting tutors and volunteers for our organization.
We are particularly grateful to Mirande Alexandre (program officer, CIC), Nicholas Ameyaw (coordinator for the education programs of the Alberta human rights and citizenship commission), Kevin Carson (assisting principal, M.E. Lazerte high school), Karen Bardy (Programs, Edmonton public school)
SCIF (Safe Community Initiative Fund) From 2010 to 2013
The SCIF pilot project aim was to address after school delinquency activities and the school dropout rates that have afflicted many Somali Canadian children and their families in Edmonton and its vicinity.
Because of SCIF funded program and many others, kid’s involvement of in high risk activities has significantly decreased. The program has strengthened their sense of identity and increased their leadership skills and positive community involvement.
The program implemented by Somali Canadian Cultural Society and its partners has reduced killing of Somali Canadian youth to zero. This after school program has significantly increased the number of high school graduates.
We are highly indebted to Alberta safe Community for their guidance and constant supervision as well as for providing necessary information regarding the project & also for their support in
funding the project.
We are also highly indebted to Boys and Girl Club/Big brother/Big sister for providing additional support in order to make this project successful.
Needs of Assessment of Somali Canadian Youth from Edmonton and its Surroundings
- To study the need of Somali Canadian youth in Edmonton and its surroundings, and it intends to find answers for the rising number of Somali youths involved in gangs, drugs and criminal activities, which might
have contributed to the murder of around 33 young Somali Canadian Men in Alberta in the past 5 years.
We, the Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton, have taken efforts in this project. However, it would not have been possible without the kind support and help of many individuals
Schools and organizations. We would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of them.
We are highly indebted to Alberta Justice, Crime Prevention and Restorative Justice for the funding the project. We are also highly indebted to Alberta Correctional service for helping us
gather some of the information we needed to finish this project
Our thanks and appreciations also go to Hon Minister Jonathan Denis for taking time from his busy schedule to announce the funding of this project and making himself available to us
throughout the life of the project and also providing us some of the information we need to complete the project.