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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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 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.
Board Director, Chair
Board Director, Co-Chair
Rihanat Al Alwa
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.
Engin Sezen, MA, MEd, PhD
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.
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.