MUSLIM SOCIAL SERVICES

Muslim Social Services Kitchener-Waterloo is a charitable organization that provides culturally- and spiritually-sensitive humanitarian and social services to the Muslim and non-Muslim communities of the Waterloo Region. MSS aims to foster a healthy and inclusive region where people can live with dignity and respect. We aim to create a deep sense of belonging in community members from collectivist contexts through programs aimed at leveraging the resilience of children and youth, creating safer families, through community outreach initiatives, counselling, bridge-building, and capacity-building.

 

Our approaches to service are integrated and reflective of unique community contexts. We are a small organization that has been able to offer a wide range of programs and service and build our reputation through strong community partnerships. The MSS office is located in The Family Centre, and we are actively engaged in the collaborative atmosphere of the Community Hub.

 

MSS is a charitable organization and the registration number of our charity is 848686309RR0001.

  • Our Mission
  • Our Values
  • Our Commitment

SERVING THE COMMUNITY

MSS aims to foster a healthy, inclusive environment and provides various opportunities of learning and personal growth through its educational, outreach, and support initiatives; it seeks to create an understanding of Islam and Muslims in Canada, build bridges with other faith communities as well as mainstream social service and community organizations.

WE DEMONSTRATE

  • Faith-based principles: Demonstrating the strengths and caring of the Islamic faith.
  • Inclusivity: Filling the gaps that prevent people from feeling they are a valued member of the Kitchener-Waterloo community.
  • Compassion: Treating everyone in a sincere, generous, kind, and compassionate manner.
  • Respect: Treating all persons equally and fairly in an accepting and non-judgmental manner.
  • Confidentiality: Holding the highest regard for trust and privacy, and upholding the highest professional ethical standards. No information about the participants will be revealed regarding their identity or circumstances. Read our Privacy Policy here.
  • Social Justice: Creating a society that encourages and celebrates the value of all persons.

THROUGH THE YEARS

MSS offers diversity training workshops, seminars about Islam and Muslims, as well as training workshops for schools administrators, university and college staff, health professionals, police, social workers and other community organizations. Such training workshops help members of organizations develop a keen sense of awareness of Islam devoid of stereotypes and grasp the diversity of Muslims in Canada. It helps them find a way to support their Muslim students, clients or colleagues in a supportive and culturally sensitive manner.

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Idrisa Pandit

Founder, Director, Advisor

Idrisa is an academic and a passionate social justice worker. She has been recognized for her volunteerism and community contributions. Among her numerous awards are the University of Waterloo President’s community award 2017, Ontario’s Leading women leading girls award 2016, Oktober fest Woman of the year award, 2016, and the 2007 Top twenty Canadian Muslim women who inspire award. Idrisa’s research and writings focus on interfaith relations, anti oppression, anti racism, gender and Islam, and the Kashmir conflict.

Mahmud Shiblee

Board Director, Treasurer

Mahmud is a Chartered Professional Accountant currently working with a public limited company as a Financial Analyst in the region of Waterloo. He is also a volunteer Resource Committee member to the Board of Directors at the Cambridge Memorial Hospital. He is a listed facilitator with CPA Ontario and enjoys teaching/tutoring. He likes serving the community, so the community can serve the nation at their best potential and the nation becomes stronger.

Sue Hummel

Board Director

Sue graduated from the University of Waterloo and remained an active member of the Waterloo Region community through involvement with the Forest Hill United Church as an Outreach Coordinator, the Tri-Faith Sponsorship group, and volunteering with the Chandler Mowat Community Centre. She is a caseworker with the social services department of the Region of Waterloo. Sue is passionate about building bridges and developing a strong sense of community regardless of race or religion.

Humera Javed

Board Director, Chair

Humera Javed is the Education and Inclusion Coordinator at the Diversity & Equity Office, Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. She is a PhD student studying Curriculum Studies & Teacher Development at OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education), University of Toronto. She is interested in issues of diversity, equity, social justice, religious pluralism, intra and inter-faith dialogue, and how they relate to community-building and education.

Brice Balmer

Board Director, Co-Chair

Brice is a Professor Emeritus of Luther University College, Wilfrid Laurier University. He taught courses in the Master of Arts in Theology program, in the field of Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy. Brice is a co-founder of Interfaith Grand River and is an well recognized community leader and author. As an ordained Mennonite minister he has worked in chaplaincy for many years, especially with people who are marginalized, in Denver, Colorado, and in Kitchener, Ontario. He was also a co-pastor at First Mennonite Church, in Kitchener, for 17 years.

Rihanat Al Alwa

Board Director

Rihanat migrated to Canada from Nigeria and is very passionate about building relationships and helping people who are vulnerable. Rihanat is an active member of the Muslim community in Cambridge Ontario. Rihanat holds a Bachelor’s degree, and is currently pursuing an Associate degree in Islamic Education at the International Open University. Rihanat is a member of the Langs Board and is part of the Community Services Committee. She is also a Peer Champion with the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI). Rihanat was a Peer Leader at the Healthy Eating, Healthy Living in Canada program at the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Center (KDCHC). She enjoys spending time with her family and reaching out to her friends.

Farhat Javed

Board Director

Farhat Javed holds a Masters of Social Work (M.S.W.) in Individual, Families and Group Counselling (IFG), from Wilfrid Laurier University. Farhat is extensively experienced in providing culturally sensitive services to diverse populations, including immigrants. She has experience working with youth clients through the Family and Children Services of Kitchener-Waterloo (FCS-KW) and Lutherwood Youth Mental Health Agency (LYMH). Farhat has also worked as an Educational Trainer for Planned Parenthood where she led group facilitation activities in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, mental health and wellness for newly migrated women of various cultural backgrounds.

Khalid Khokar

Board Director

Mr. Khalid Khokhar is the Executive Director of the Islamic Centre of Cambridge and a life long educator and school administrator. Mr. Khokhar has been associated with MSS in a variety of roles, as a Board member, as well as a mentor and advisor. Mr. Khokar has served on Boards of many different not for profit organizations and brings a wealth of expertise to Muslim Social Services.

OUR STAFF

Engin Sezen, MA, MEd, PhD

Coordinator, Counsellor

Engin Sezen has a variety of work and educational experiences in Canada and overseas. After working as a high school teacher and social activist for over 10 years in Turkey, he came to Canada in 2001. Since then, Engin has worked closely with diverse populations, mainly underprivileged children and families in marginalized communities in Ottawa, Montreal, and the Waterloo region, as a community leader, mental health advocate and educator. Over the years, he has created and fostered welcoming spaces and developed inclusive intercultural environments that provide a sense of belonging for immigrant families and individuals.

Rozina Shaheen, MSW, RSW

Counsellor, Community Engagement Coordinator

Rozina has more than 10 years of community development experience in Waterloo Region and internationally. She holds Masters in Social Work from the Wilfird Laurier University with specialization in Individual, family and groups counselling. She also has certifications in Leadership and Management and Addictions. Rozina is a committed community developer who strives to work for positive change through advocacy as well as to directly enable individuals to access services to meet needs. Rozina is very strong and unique program developer and known for welcoming and engaging new participants to the programs. 

OUR HISTORY

Muslim Social Services was founded in January 2007 in response to the need for a culturally- and spiritually-sensitive community agency. MSS has aimed to follow the Islamic commandment of working to foster a just, equitable, and peaceful community.

 

The model MSS has adopted from its inception has been one of cooperation and partnership with other mainstream agencies, faith groups, and counselling centres that have well-established social service infrastructure. It is with the help of these partnerships and a great deal of hard work that MSS evolved form a group of loosely knit volunteers dedicated to making a difference to a full fledged not-for-profit organization in 2011.

 

In 2013, MSS was recognized by the Government of Canada as a charitable organization as well. We are committed to treating everyone who approaches MSS with dignity, respect, and compassion. We hope to validate the place of faith and culture in people’s lives and foster safe spaces for all members of our community.

“I think Muslim Social Services are doing a great role in our community. A role that may be missed in other organizations. It is an outreach role. It is the service role. It is taking care of these matters, issues that are really crucial to our community and how we can solve it.”
Kitchener Masjid
Imam Muhammad Abuelezz