Ontario: Muslim Women's Support Program Seeks Funding to Continue

18:11 - February 26, 2024
News ID: 3487337
IQNA – A mental health service in Ontario is seeking funding to resume a support program for Muslim women that was initiated after several Islamophobic attacks, including the 2021 London killings of four members of the Afzaal family.


The program, called Brave Space, was run by Abrar Trauma and Mental Health Services. It started as a pilot project in 2021 and expanded in 2023, but ended in late 2023 due to lack of funds, CBC News reported on Sunday.

Abrar Mechmechia, the leader of Abrar Trauma, said the program had a high demand and they were applying for more grants to sustain it.

The program offered support groups and workshops in Hamilton, London, Mississauga and Kitchener. The participants were Muslim women of various ages and backgrounds who shared their experiences and learned from each other.

The program also included educational sessions, art activities and self-defence training. Some of the participants said the program helped them cope with Islamophobia and feel more confident in their identity.

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Abrar Trauma and Mental Health Services has released a video to showcase the program and its impact. The video features testimonials from some of the participants and the project leader, Amira Youssef.

Youssef said the program was well-received by the community and they hoped to find new funding sources to continue it.

She also said the program was still relevant in light of the recent reports of hate incidents and community trauma related to the war in Gaza. She added that Islamophobia was often underreported and that more awareness was needed to prevent it and protect the Muslim community.


Source: Agencies