January 6, 2021
Somali Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization use $20,000 grant from ECF to create a food hamper program to help the most vulnerable in their community
Immigrating to a new country is a culture shock for many, but it is incredibly hard for newcomers to adapt during a global pandemic.
When Rahma Farah immigrated to Canada, the experience was nerve-wracking. It took a while to get used to navigating her new environment and learning Canadian social customs. Now, she helps new Canadians adapt to their surroundings and cope with COVID, through her work at the Somali Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization (SCERDO).
At the beginning, everyone was confused with COVID-19,” says Rahma, Youth Skills Link Program Advocate at SCERDO. “We didn’t understand the severity and the consequences of it yet.”
Many people, specially newcomers, are still afraid of going out in public. Some people’s fear of catching the virus has put them into voluntary isolation, leaving them confused about how to access necessities such as groceries.
SCERDO has been helping newcomers, particularly the Somali community, access resources during the pandemic. The non-profit works with other like-minded organizations to advance education and create sustainable development in the community.
Throughout the pandemic, the organization’s goal is to make sure the most vulnerable in the community can get various necessities without having to leave their homes.
“We provide food for those who need it desperately, and we give to those who are the most needy, like seniors, newcomers, and disabled people,” says Bashir Ahmed, Executive Director at SCERDO. “They are so happy to receive these things, especially in these difficult times.”
A $20,000 grant from Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) allowed SCERDO to create the COVID-19 food hamper program. They will deliver groceries to seniors, newcomers, physically challenged people, single parents, and other people in need.
Fifty grocery hampers are delivered to people in need weekly. SCERDO hopes to continue running the grocery hamper program until March 2021.
“We have a very good relationship with Edmonton Community Foundation,” says Ahmed. “We are very thankful for them for providing the funding so that we can help the community.”
While the end of the global pandemic isn’t quite in sight, Ahmed and Rahma both hope that they can continue to help serve their community through SCERDO while making sure that everyone stays safe.
“As a community, we have the chance to tell each other that we cannot take this easy,” says Rahma. “We have to be careful, and we have to stick together.”
Learn more about ECF’s response to COVID-19.