When was the last time you needed to access services for yourself, or a member of your family, or a community member? How was your experience? Now…
- Imagine being warmly welcomed with comforting words to a new space that makes you feel that you are at the right place;
- Imagine being able to readily access services;
- Imagine an environment where it is easy to efficiently obtain all kinds of detailed and relevant information;
- Imagine being able to have a “go to place” for service in the comfort of your own familiar community centre;
- Imagine having access to all kinds of different community services that are available in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA);
- Imagine being serviced by culturally and religiously sensitive helpers that guide you to find the services you seek;
- Imagine having the knowledge to benefit from the forty different community programs and services that ISNA Canada already offers the community.
I really hope the above has captured your imagination and you will see these ideas as valuable! ISNA Canada, established over 40 years ago, is the oldest Muslim serving organization in Canada – although we offer a plethora of services, we are keen to discover new ways to serve our community. In May 2014, during the ISNA Canada Convention, our team surveyed over 100 attendees. We learnt that our community has been growing and this means we are continuously facing different challenges. Our needs are rapidly increasing and evolving at a rate faster than ISNA Canada’s own service capacity.
Concerned by the significant service gaps that remains to be filled, we started searching for solutions. We are reaching out to various external service providers in the GTA. In doing so, we recognize that (a) no one organization can meet all the needs and (b) our community’s well-being and advancement is directly linked to our ability to readily access service expertise, experience, and resources. These necessities and challenges gave birth to a new program: ISNA Compass. ISNA Canada has embarked on a mission to help our community reach and avail services that exist beyond its own borders.
ISNA Compass, a unique initiative, is custom designed to be a community information and resource centre. The mission of our team is to aspire to new levels of service and engage with the community to address its core needs in a more holistic, flexible, and accessible manner.
ISNA Compass is both a concept and a physical environment. Conceptually, it is a hub that provides direction to service seekers and bridges the service gap through a network of formal and informal relationships with Muslim and mainstream service organizations in the Greater Toronto Area.
In its physical form, the ISNA Compass has a dedicated space and presence at the ISNA Canada Centre that is readily accessible. We will provide referrals to helpful resources such as newcomer support, child and youth services, mental health services, and senior support services. Additionally we will focus on bringing collaborative events such as workshops relevant to the needs of the community, as well as trainings for imams, volunteers and staff.
We are open this Ramadan and invite you to drop-by the ISNA Compass. If you are interested to learn more, or to join and receive training to become an ISNA Compass volunteer or are a service provider with resources to help us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us in the room, located next to the ISNA book store at the ISNA Canada Centre.