Community. A sense of belonging. Living together. Celebrating diversity. These are words and phrases AMA has reflected upon over the past year while reviewing our impact on the community. This reflection has culminated in our new mission to inspire a spiritual and caring community.
With this new mission in mind and with your continued support, we reached out to more donors, built upon our core strengths, and inspired more committed individuals to join our cause in volunteering to make a difference. We are excited to share this journey with you to benefit children, youth, women, seniors, and all members of the family to create the greatest impact in our community.
During these last 12 months we have expanded our efforts to meet the growing educational, spiritual, and social needs of the neighbourhoods we serve. This last year was a year of continuity. Many of our popular programs continue to make a return year over year. This past year was also a year of expansion and new initiatives. We continue to identify, evaluate, and tackle the issues our community brings to our attention.
THANK YOU! We have made significant strides together, one meaningful act at a time. However, we couldn’t do it without your help. Over the past year your generous financial and volunteer support has fueled significant change.
What Did We Accomplish?
With your incredible support we have worked tirelessly to to create meaningful change.
- 3,366 total meals served to those in need and the visibly homeless.
- 850 attendees to full weekend courses on the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
- 680 participants to our educational workshops in our Community Centre.
- 1,500 families we have reached through our programs and services.
AMA Community Centre's vision is to inspire a spiritual and caring community. This past year alone our programs have impacted the lives of 1,500 families.Tweet This
The Unsung Heroes that Made it Possible
More than 200 volunteers gave AMA their time, energy and expertise. Volunteers more than helped with everything from board leadership, leading our volunteer committees
to ensuring that our special events from Ramadan to the two Eid celebrations ran smoothly.
Your support means a lot. You volunteered your time by coming in at 5:00 AM, staying past 1:00 early in the morning, and helping at all other hours of the day in-between. You also helped with your generous donations. Funders fueled us with the financial support we needed to offer programs in marginalized neighbourhoods for families.
You are the unsung hero that AMA relies on. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to you and the many volunteers who have sacrificed their time, money, and energy to support our work. They contributed at all levels of the organization and made an impact with all of the programs we run.
Through your trust and unwavering support, AMA will continue to make a difference to improve the social conditions of our community. We also extend our appreciation to the Board of Directors for their commitment and dedication:
Jalil Marhnouj (President), Mohamoud Hagi-Aden (Vice President), Sameh Ayoub (Treasurer), Abdel Mohsen Idris (Secretary), Dr. Mohammed Mostefa (Director), Abdirizak Abdi (Director)
Munir Shalghum (Director),
Letter from the President
The last 12 months have been special for AMA as we continue to expand our horizons for what is possible. I am grateful to our staff, volunteers, donors, and community members for making it possible each and everyday to continue to serve. We’re working hard, hand in hand with your continued support, to build a strong community that you and your loved ones can be proud of.
As we turn over a new leaf and look towards the coming year, it’s important to look back and reflect on how far we have come. Over the past 12 months we paved the way to accelerate our progress towards fulfilling our vision of creating a more caring and spiritual community. To make this possible we relied on your experience, expertise, and willingness to support the organization all these years.
Without your generous support we could not have hosted 14 successful workshops on a wide range of educational topics which impacted 680 attendees. Nor would our Helping Hands initiative provided 3,366 meals to those in need and the visibly homeless. Certainly, our annual summer camps continue to provide a safe, fun, and nurturing environment for our youth to develop and grow because you helped us every step of the way. This is only a teaser of what you can expect to see in this year’s annual report on how your support has made a difference.
We thank you for putting your trust in us, for allowing us to continue to serve your needs and grow our impact. Thank you for making this past year a successful one. Our annual report is here to highlight how your time, energy, and donations have made an impact.
Community Capacity Building
AMA is committed to providing information and resources which build residents' capacity to make informed decisions. We are dedicated to creating an environment where people participate in activities, promote social change and make their neighbourhoods vibrant places to live. This year we conducted a successful community capacity building project through United Way's Spark funding and a Citizenship and Immigration project for newcomers.
Diversity & Inclusion
We believe that dignity, respect and justice are rights of all people regardless of age, language, ethnicity, culture, religion, ability, gender, income, geographical location or sexual orientation. We acknowledge that there are systemic, social and cultural barriers that prevent people from having equal access to resources and opportunities. Therefore, AMA Centre is committed to recognizing and addressing barriers such as violence, poverty, isolation, exclusion, oppression and discrimination, so as to enable people to reach their full potential.
Contributing to building strong communities - cultural sensitivity programs for valuing diversity and inclusion. The Citizenship and Immigration project played a key role in this during this year.
Collaboration for Community Development programs - Working alongside institutions and centres for the benefit of the community. Programs for families, children and youth, seniors, etc.
Social Service & Community Building
From individuals of all ages to families in crisis, AMA provides various support services both through the Community Centre as through the counselling by the Imam of Masjid ar-Rahmah.
The mosque plays a key role in teaching the correct understanding of Islam in terms of creed and behaviour.
Raising awareness about Islam’s mission of peace.
By the Numbers
AMA Community Centre spent the summer of 2017 conducting a survey of the Emerald Woods and Sawmill Creek neighbourhoods and the people who attend our congregation. The survey was carried out to help AMA Community Centre assess the local community’s needs and assist with the future development of meaningful programming for all age groups. The new programs that would emerge as a result of our findings would lead to building better, cohesive and vibrant neighbourhoods.
Ensuring that we provide effective programming for the members of the community we serve, this past year AMA has invested quite a bit on programming for members of the entire family:
Programs for Youth
Fostering opportunities to engage youth in their growth into adulthood and supporting them to become contributing members to the community. Activities included summer camps, resume workshops, and martial arts training.
Programs for Children
Investing into programs to provide emotional, social, and physical development to children which allow them to thrive as they continue to grow into mature, responsible youth. Activities included craft workshops, kids fun day, and weekly soccer.
Programs for Women
Creating recreational, social, and educational activities for women to empower and improve their lives. Activities included fitness classes, weekend workshops, and potluck dinners.
Reached through our programs and services
took part in fun day activities.
in educational programs
to those in need and homeless
attended summer camp programs
Comparative Progress (2016 to 2017)
AMA Communtiy Centre programs are evoloving from year to year, offering more quality programs and engaging ever more participants.
took part in monthly social gatherings
participated in activities
participated in our program.
participated in youth programs
"AMA Centre has become a second home for our children. They learn and benefit immensely from the variety of educational and recreational programs offered during the year.”Feedback from a Father of 6 Children
Highlighting our Impact
Providing social activities for our seniors is a core component of the Centre’s programming. Our bi-weekly and monthly social gatherings for seniors allow them to foster a deeper connection with our mosque, centre, and with fellow seniors.
This program enables seniors to get to know others of the same age group and build a stronger sense of belonging with the wider community. This past year the program has provided seniors with numerous social and health activities such health clinics, presentations on healthy living, trips to museums, and eating lunch together at restaurants across the city.
This monthly program has risen in popularity. The purpose behind the Helping Hands - Feeding the Homeless initiative is to engage the Muslim community in helping those less fortunate as is prescribed in the Qur’an through providing meals to the poor, needy, and visibly homeless.
The program also enabled volunteers to build their capacity to be more contributing members of society as they are the ones who prepare, package, and deliver the meals. This past year AMA built relationships with 7 organizations in Ottawa to provide 3,366 meals to those in need including the Ottawa
Mission and the Shepherds of Good Hope.
Communication, sharing a language in common, and understanding is at the heart of building rapport with the people we interact with on a daily basis. Establishing relationships when there is a language barrier is a challenge for newcomers and for those whose English is not their strong suit. Identifying this need in the community led us to creating an English as a Second Language (ESL) Summer Program for anyone aiming to improve their English.
Having a strong understanding of English is crucial as it is a stepping stone to attending secondary or post-secondary schools to earn an education, finding meaningful employment, and building a stronger sense of social cohesion within Canadian society.
Last year we hosted 5 weekend courses about the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This ongoing program is an in-depth look into the life of the most influential man who has ever lived. Students were taken on a journey to learn the lessons behind the most important events in Islamic History.
Students uncovered the history of Makkah before the Prophet’s birth. They learned about the honourable upbringing from childhood into manhood and then into Prophethood at the age of 40. The course has completed the 13-year Makkan period and the 10-year Madinah period will be covered in the coming months. These courses have always been offered for free to the community to provide learning opportunities to increase knowledge and facilitate spiritual development.
AMA is involved with the Community Service Order (CSO) and the Intermittent Community Work (ICWP) program with the Salvation Army. These programs enable individuals serving sentences to stay out of jail for a number of days during the week in return for performing community work. AMA has been a part of the CSO program since 2012 and the ICWP since 2013.
During the last 5 - 6 years we had 38 participants work with us in our community centre. These two programs encourage offenders to demonstrate responsible behaviour in their communities and thereby reduce the chance of recidivism.
A strong need for education was identified through our surveys. This led to workshops to engage newcomer women who may have been facing barriers to participation in the community. We developed and offered workshops at AMA Community Centre which is accessible to the neighbourhoods we serve.
The workshops were intended to help and nurture their social relationships with capacity building workshops based on the consultations we conducted. While many of these workshops targeted women, there were a number of workshops that were open to men as well.
With support from the Multicultural Community Capacity grant from the Ministry of Citizenship, the Spark Grant from United Way, and the tireless efforts of our volunteers and staff, AMA was able to run 14 successful workshops this past year. Here are a few of the workshops that helped participants get out of isolation and that the community has benefited from.
participants agree that the project helped them participate more actively in their community.
Female Self-Defense Training - This workshop provided women in a marginalized area of the city with basic skills and training in self-defense to enable them to feel empowered and safe.
Relationship Secrets Every Woman Should Learn - This workshop focused on communication and relationship building with the men in women’s lives.
Cervical And Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines for Women - with support from South East Ottawa Community Health Centre (SEOCHC), this workshop provided valuable information to women on signs and symptoms of breast and cervical cancer as well as a video demonstration on how to perform a breast self-examination.
Learn to Learn – Content was geared towards study skills, time management tips, memorization and learning techniques to help people of all ages enjoy continuous, lifelong learning.
Physiotherapy Workshop - A workshop covering the basics of physiotherapy to educate participants on how to avoid injuries, when a visit should be paid to a physiotherapist, and important guidelines to follow to maintain good physical health.
Parenting Workshop - We provided support for families by offering content on how to raise children with strong morals, manners and skills to help them flourish in challenging times. It also covered case studies and discussions on a variety of parenting scenarios as well as practical advice and solutions for dealing with parenting issues. We offered and provided free childcare for each program, in order to support a greater attendance of newcomer mothers to enhance their parenting skills.
Moving Forward Together
You are the unsung hero in this journey. There are many ways you can help us with the cause.
1. You can donate to sustain our activities all year round.
2. You can share your ideas with our team on how to improve our programs and services.
3. You can volunteer and offer your expertise, whether it would be tackling critical youth matters, expanding our horizons for community development, or ideas to enrich our dawah activities to name a few.
We believe that we will transform our vision into reality by developing innovative solutions to the complex and diverse issues facing our community.
AMA is the first Islamic centre in Ottawa that has clearly defined its vision to serving and supporting both Muslims as well as the community at large in new and innovative ways.
You can visit our websites or contact our team to learn more about how to get involved. Let’s move forward together to make this next year even better than the last.
The AMA Management
Annual Report (2017 - 2018)
Assunnah Muslims Association (AMA)
1216 Hunt Club Rd | Ottawa, ON K1V 2P1