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End of Year Giving
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As the end of the year closes in, time is running out on tax deductible donations. About 25% of Canadians take advantage of the sizeable benefits Canadian Federal and Provincial governments offer to Canadians who give to registered Canadian charities.
Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) is a non-profit organization that provides a wide range of services to Muslim newcomers, refugees and established Canadian Muslims. Your donations help people like Ameena (not real name) and her family. Please read her story:
In the summer of 2016, Shahina received a call at the office from someone overseas asking if someone could help their daughter, Ameena who was missing. The person on the other end was crying. Ameena and her husband had a fight and Ameena left home with her 4 children. Earlier the police had called ISSA about a family and that the family had been placed in a shelter. Could it be Ameena and her children?
Upon further investigation, it was confirmed that it was Ameena and her children the police had called ISSA about. Shahina called and assured the family overseas that we would look after the mother and her children and make sure she got the best services and that hopefully the family could be reunited.
Shahina visited the shelter and met with the mother and her four daughters who were all under the age of six. She assisted Ameena through the various systems and explained processes and advocated for her with Child and Family Services, justice and police. Ameena was having a hard time understanding why she could not just go back home.
Shahina started counseling Ameena to help ease her emotional pain and to help her understand how the marital conflict could be repaired. The main thing was to see what was the best way to help Ameena and her family and to support any decision that Ameena made.
Within a few sessions it was clear that Ameena wanted to return to her home since she felt the shelter was not the right place for her and her children. Ameena was missing her home and her daughters were crying for their Dad. Ameena was agitated and Shahina assured her that this stay was temporary and that she needed to be patient. To make sure Ameena did not make any rash moves Shahina shared her cell number and was on call 24/7.
As her anger subsided, Ameena acknowledged that the fight with her husband was mutually provoked. However, she wanted assurances that her husband would change his behavior and not get verbally abusive if she returned, while she committed to work on her own behavior.
Her time at the shelter was running out so Shahina requested that they extend the time for a few more weeks while an agreement could be mediated between the two parties that would be beneficial for the family, especially the children.
William kept in touch with the husband and advised him that if he wished reconciliation then he must follow the case planning put together by Child and Family Services, take a parenting course and anger management course. The husband followed William’s advice. The courts took the father’s positive actions into consideration and removed the no contact order. This allowed the family to be reunited.
Shahina had also kept in touch with Ameena’s family overseas and kept them up to date on how things were going and guided them on how to best assist the family’s reunification.
Today, Ameena and her husband are still together. They are parenting their children and resolving their issues. Shahina continues to be in touch with Ameena’s family and is receiving positive feedback on how well the family is doing.
Your donations help ISSA help families like Ameena's and others who need someone to be there for them.
Photograph taken by Nilufer Rahman