Ottawa Somali Fathers Association (OSFA)

PQCHC supports the Ottawa Somali Fathers Association (OSFA), an organization dedicated to helping Somali families overcome the stress associated with emigration to a new country.

“Fathers in Transition”, a research study conducted by Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre was completed in May 2002. In this study Ottawa Somali fathers participated in the research project and shared their thoughts, experiences and feelings regarding their parental role.

The study highlighted differences between the fathers’ expected roles in Canada and what was typical in their homeland. They thoroughly discussed the impact of immigration on their lives, and in particular the ways it undermined their fathering abilities. As a result, the researchers recommended organizing a Somali Fathers Association in Ottawa, and after a few informational sessions the group was established on July 3, 2002.

Mission

Ottawa Somali Fathers Association is a community-based group dedicated to improving the well-being of Somali immigrants and refugee families.

Goal

To help Somali families learn and adapt to their new environment, while acquiring new skills through professional training, positive parenting and self-care.

Objectives

  • Creation of an atmosphere of harmony and security in the whole community.
  • Full integration of the Somali community into the Canadian mainstream society.
  • Maintaining Somali culture in children and youth, while learning values of Canadian culture

OSFA consists of energetic and highly motivated Somali men, women and youth who live in Ottawa and who are willing to come together and discuss their experiences integrating into their new society, and the challenges and needs that have resulted.

OSFA is also committed to narrowing communication gaps between the youth and the elders. This group works towards balancing the desire of Somalis to respect and preserve their heritage, while ensuring the success of their children in Canada. OSFA collaborates with PQCHC’s Somali Youth Support Project to establish a bridge between generations, participates in wider community events to introduce members to their new surroundings and connects youth with Somali language classes.

Membership to the Ottawa Somali Fathers Association is free regardless of age or gender. To join, contact 613-820-4922 ext.3339 at PQCHC.