Muslim Social Services July 2014 newsletter. Check out what is new at MSS

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Message From the President

Dear friends and supporters of MSS,

A lot has been happening at MSS.

I would like to take this time to address a few changes within our MSS staff. First, I would like to extend our best wishes to Humera Javed who served as MSS’ president—we wish her the best of luck with her new baby. During her  leave, I will be filling in as the President of the Board.
 I would also like to announce, with a heavy heart, that Bibi Baksh, MSS’ Executive Director has left  us to pursue her doctoral degree. Her position will be filled by our current counsellor, Sabira Hudda. Baksh’s hard work and positive attitude at MSS will definitely be missed. We are pleased to announce that MSS has been given an opportunity to hire a student intern under the Canada summer jobs program.  I would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest member of our team. Out of over ten applicants, we have picked Sana Abuleil as being the most qualified for the position of Communications Co-ordinator.
With warm regards,
Khalid Kokhar

Awards For Volunteerism

Two long term MSS volunteers were recently recognized for their community contributions. We congratulate Zainab and Anwar for their tireless efforts and passion for community work.

Waterloo Wellington Diversity Award--Zainab Ramahi

On April 26th 2014, Zainab Ramahi was presented with the first annual Waterloo Wellington Diversity Awards at the Tamil Cultural Association’s 25th anniversary Diversity Gala. The award was presented by MPP Catherine Fife at the Crown Plaza Hotel. The aim of this award is to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the well being of our region. The criteria needed to qualify for such an award included cultural uplifting and record of service and impact, both within a particular community or association, and in the community at large. Candidates for this award were well rounded, determined, and committed. Zainab was recognized for her commitment and work at MSS, her University, and several other community initiatives.

Outstanding refugee award--Anwar Arkani

MSS is proud to announce Anwar Arkani's outstanding achievements in receiving the first annual World Refugee Day Award. Being one out of five other recipients, Arkani received this award at Kitchener City Hall on June 18th.
Anwar Arkani is a native Rohyingya from western Burma. He arrived in Canada ias a refugee in 1998. Since he has arrived in Kitchener, Anwar has successfully established the Rohingya Association of Canada, the Rohyingya Language School for Children, and has developed the Rohingya Language Writing System and a keyboard layout system for typing in the Rohyingyan language. Anwar is a sought after public speaker and he has been successful in raising awareness in Canada and arodun the world about the ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas in Burma. 

Habitat For Humanity volunteer meal

There was an endless chain of smiles and laughter as Habitat for Humanity volunteers ate their tasty halal meal served by MSS volunteers on April 28, 2014. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization driven by volunteers and community members who are building houses in an attempt to eliminate poverty. Muslim Social Services has been involved in serving the volunteers for a few years.. Mehdiya Hudda, a dedicated volunteer, was on the worksite early in the morning ready to cook the meal. Mehdiya prepared halal chicken burgers accompanied with a side of salad and juice by noon for members of Habitat for Humanity to serve to each worker. We thank Dorothy Duxbury for giving us a chance to be part of this program to support the Habitat volunteers.

Second Line Service Training Workshop

 Muslim Social Services held eight week long workshops for a diverse audience from April 30th to June 18, 2014. This program was funded by the Newcomer partnership grant of United Way and Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation. The workshop focused on educating newcomers of key community services. The topics ranged from resources from volunteering in the community, employment services, foster care and children's services, settlement and  immigrant services, legal aid, Hospice, domestic violence resources etc. Each presentation was made by an expert in the area. We express our gratitude to all our presenters. All programs were translated in the native language of the participants and each participants received a resource kit at the end of all sessions. While the parents were learning, children were engaged in play, story time and crafts. Those attending the workshop simply wanted more with each passing week!
The Second Line Service Training Workshop was featured in The Record


Ramadan Food Drive 2014

Every year, Muslim Social Services organizes a food drive during the month of Ramadan for families in need This year, 135 families were registered to received the Ramadan food coupons. We are grateful to our partners at KW Multicultural Centre, the Working Centre, House of Friendship. KW YMCA, Refugee Reception House, as well as other community leaders for recommending names of deserving families. The success of this program depends on the help we receive from our partners in identifying families and individuals most  in need.

Thanks to our generous donors, we raised a total of $11,195.00 for food coupons. Each family received a very generous coupon to purchase halal food for Ramadan. A total of $8500 was distributed in food coupons and the remaining amount is being used to supply ongoing halal food supplies to the Waterloo region Food Bank and  three different House of Friendship Emergency food hampers.
This year's Ramadan Food Drive was covered by The Record

Farewell to Bibi Baksh

On behalf of MSS staff, we would like to wish Bibi Baksh, our former Executive Director, all the best as she embarks on her doctoral studies. Bibi has promised to return as a volunteer after she returns from her travels. We look forward to her continued involvement.



Meet our student intern: Sana Abuleil

I am honoured to have been given the opportunity by the Canada Summer Jobs Program to work with MSS for the months of July and August. So far, it has been an incredible experience. I have been able to network with many people, expand my knowledge. I have been introduced to several different community organizations and learn about what each one offers. Working with MSS has given me a new  perspective on needs of the community of Kitchener-Waterloo and how Muslim Social Services caters to those needs. As a student intern, I work under the direct supervision of Sabira Hudda where I organize workshops and programs, prepare newsletters, flyers, and brochures, and report on meetings and workshops. So far, I have gained a great deal of knowledge that will definitely help me in all my future endeavors.
Sana Abuleil


Annual General Meeting

On May 16th, 2014, The Family Center was crowded with people attending the MSS Annual General Meeting. Representatives from Family and Children Services, Hospice, and Capacity Waterloo all attended this year’s AGM. Zainab Ramahi, MSS’ youth representative kicked off the afternoon with a warm welcome and short introduction. Humera Javed, MSS’ previous president gave a presentation of the Annual Report where she discussed the past year’s successful events, charity highlights, and newly added services. Following Javed’s presentation was an update from the Executive Director, Bibi Baksh, who highlighted the activities that have taken place from when the staff was hired to the present day. Next, Khalid Khokhar, MSS’ current president and former vice president, gave an introduction to the board members of Muslim Social Services. Abbas Hyder, the Board Treasurer, presented the organizations financial statements. , Cathy Brothers, the Executive Director of Capacity Waterloo delivered the keynote address on the topic of importance of community partnerships. A link to the Annual Report is available on our website.

Cathy commended MSS members for their hard work throughout the years and encouraged them to spread their wings and take on more challenges with their projects and partnerships.. All in all, this year’s Annual General Meeting was a great success.

At the end of the meeting everyone was served with tea, coffee, juice, samosas and a cake generously donated by MSS staff.


Soup Kitchen: Over 500 meals served at St John’s Kitchen on May 27, 2014

On May 26, 2014, MSS volunteers delivered their five course annual halal meal at the St. John's Soup kitchen.We are grateful to all the volunteers who helped that day with cooking and serving the meal as well as those who helped with the fundraising for the meal. A special thank you to Rosina Kharal for coordinating this effort. We are also grateful to Gretchen Jones at the St. John's kitchen for her welcome and her support. We will miss her as she retires from her job this year. 
Budget Breakdown
Total donations received: $1112.50
Expenses: $652.17
Remaining balance: $460.33 ( to be used towards the ongoing halal food drive and Ramadan food drive)



We are proud to announce that our  counselling services are gradually increasing attracting many people from different backgrounds interested in faith and culture sensitive counselling.  So far we have offered this service free of cost and we will continue to do so for those who cannot afford to pay. In order to sustain this service, we will be introducing a sliding scale fee service very soon. We welcome donations dedicated to the counselling service so we can support this service long term for all. Sabira Hudda is offering counselling sessions at the Family Centre and as of Fall 2014 will also be available at the Delton Glebe Centre for a few hours every week. We are grateful for our partnership with the Delton Glebe Centre and for clinical supervision provided to our counsellor by the Director,  Dr. Krisitne Lund, 


Here is a sample of what our clients have to say;

"I have been receiving counselling from Muslim Social Services of KW for the last four weeks. It has made a significant and positive change to my life. Before, my life was full of stress and a lack of concentration. My relationship with my spouse was deteriorating because of the stress that I had. After meeting with the counsellor at MSS, I feel that I am more relived from all the stress. I now have a clear goal and plan for my life and I can now concentrate on accomplishing my future goals. My relationship with my spouse has become more and more harmonious.I appreciate the great work that MSS has done for me. Thank you so much."


Upcoming Programs


Volunteer Training Workshop

MSS is offering a volunteer training workshop on Saturday August 9th from 11-3pm. MSS is looking for enthusiastic, dedicated and outgoing volunteers over the age of 18 to help with various events and activities throughout the year.  Come out and learn what it means to be a volunteer, and listen to the incredible stories of current volunteers and the difference they have made in our community!

Senior Social


MSS is offering a senior social networking program every Wednesday starting August 6th, and ending August 27th. MSS is giving seniors an opportunity to socialize, meet new people, build long-term relationships and learn about available community resources. Seniors will  learn about social media-- Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as well as learn basics about using computers programs such as Word, web surfing and Email. Please indicate if you need an interpreter.. Don't forget to bring any questions you may have! Sign up by calling 519-772-4399x3  or emailing

Eid Mubarak

Members and staff of Muslim Social Services wish to convey a Eid Mubarak to all our readers and members

Copyright © Muslim Social Services Kitchener Waterloo

Our mailing address is:
65 Hanson Ave. Kitchener, Ontario N2C 2H6
PH: 519-772-4399x3
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