The Somali Canadian Seniors Project is a partnership between the Centre for Race and Culture and the Somali-Canadian Cultural Society. The project is funded by New Horizons for Seniors (Canada), Alberta Human Rights and Multiculturalism Education Fund and City of Edmonton, Emerging Communities Partnership Grant.
This project aims to rekindle the traditional role of Somali elders (seniors) of teaching their history, culture, and traditional crafts to Somali-Canadian youth and other community members. Somali-Canadian seniors are tremendously isolated here in Edmonton, unlike in their homeland where they would be in constant communication with other community members acting as teachers, advisors, and mediators. Seniors are still highly valued but people no longer live in proximity to each other; the pace of life is so fast here especially with immigrants who are often working several jobs to make ends meet, and the weather often keeps them confined to their homes.
The Somali seniors are meeting once a week and finding out about the different resources that are available to them in Edmonton, and discussing issues of relevance and concern to them. They are finding ways to revive their traditional role as mentors by working with Somali youths and children. They are also coming up with solutions to address their isolation, and have visited/will be visiting different senior centres, City of Edmonton facilities, government agencies and non-profit organizations to learn about the programs and resources for seniors.
For more information, please contact:
Abukar Nur - Project Coordinator
Serena Ma – Project Manager