Consistent with our service mandate, we provide support programs that enable our clients to overcome barriers and reach their full potential. We also provide cultural programming and lessons that enhance understanding and facilitate dialogue between all Canadians. Our programs are inspired by afrocentric perspectives and include:
Settlement and Integration
Settlement and referral program aimed at helping newcomers successfully settle, get fully involved and engaged in all aspects of life in Ontario and contribute to Canadian society. Services are provided in English and many African languages and dialects. Program offers counselling, information, referrals and workshops on Canadian society, citizenship and way of life.
Income Tax Filing
Free income tax filing clinics by appointment to newcomers and low-income families and individuals. Aim is to facilitate income tax filing for new and recent immigrants. Services are provided in English and many African languages and dialects by volunteers working with Chartered Accountants and the Canada Revenue Agency.
Youth in Transition Program
Multi-dimensional program that offers sustainable supports to black youth in transition from Ontario’s Child Protection system to the community. The aim is to assist black youth in care to transition smoothly to independent living. Program is offered in partnership with child protection agencies, municipalities and other community organizations.
Family Court Support Program
Intervention program for families with young children going through divorce or dealing with child custody issues. The aim is to demystify the family court process, lessen stress on families, maintain family stability and help children cope using a blend of African and Canadian conflict management approaches. Program is offered in partnership with child protection agencies, courts and faith community organizations and includes individual and family counselling, accompaniments, case conferencing support, advice and Information, and referrals to community resources. The program also offers workshops on family law and parental rights, child custody and access, child and spousal support, separation agreements and the family court system.
Youth Justice Family Worker program
Multi-faceted program that provides targeted support to the families of youth in conflict with the law or at high risk for contact, age 12-17. Families may be referred through Probation Services, Crown Attorney and other youth serving organizations. Aim of the program is to address the underlying causes of risk. Family Workers engage youth and families to collaboratively identify their needs, their strengths and provide therapeutic services to reduce the factors that may be contributing to the youth’s risk for contact with the justice system. The program involves working closely with other service providers to ensure the coordination of services and case management.
Heritage For Empowerment
A multi-faceted community initiative that leverages African cultural programming, including music, fashion and literary arts to enhance awareness, competence and understanding; build employment and leadership skills; create a sense of community; and build individual resilience. The initiative includes:
- The African Culture and Youth Leadership Program – involves afrocentric cultural and literary events, story telling , drumming, dancing and language lessons, writing clinics, and mentoring by prominent writers of African origin
- The African Comedy and Theater Arts Program – involves pidgin stand up events, comedy for health initiatives and comedic roadshows
- Hair Afrique- African and natural hair braiding – involves expert-led workshops and hands-on lessons on braiding, the history and significance of African hairdos and mentoring opportunities
- African Sewing and Fashioning initiative – involves lessons on sewing and dressmaking and the proper use of electric and industrial sewing machines
African Food Connect
A nutritional program aimed at encouraging healthy eating among new and recent immigrants through education and access to non-perishable ethnic foods working with major grocers and food suppliers in the GTA. Using an app that connects African Canadian grocers/restaurants with consumers looking for deals on ethnic foods, the program aims to reduce food waste, save money and enhance food security. Participating grocers or restaurants alert Sankofa or consumers directly of impending deals (food nearing expiry or about to be discarded) for pickup. Program offers counselling, workshops and information on food and farming, community gardens, traditional recipes, food preparation and healthy eating as well as visits to local farms.
An educational and skills-building training program aimed at helping women identify, address and recover from abuse. The program helps survivors develop their voice, connect with other women survivors of gendered violence, engage in peer support, and acquire practical skills to help navigate the various systems including family courts and child welfare. The program offers supportive counselling in group or individual settings; referrals to appropriate community resources (e.g. Legal Aid, clinical counselling services, shelters, and social welfare programs); and advocacy for appropriate resources and supports.
Family Resilience and Violence Prevention Program
Family resilience initiative aimed at increasing awareness of, and reducing the incidence and impacts of domestic violence within the African Canadian community through culturally sensitive and language specific services. The program is geared towards: abused women or women that are at risk of abuse and violence; children who have or are at risk of experiencing abuse or have witnessed abuse in their homes; men victims or perpetrators of abuse and violence; and families living in abusive/violent relationships. It involves supportive group and individual counselling to victims and perpetrators of abuse; advocacy for appropriate resources and supports to achieve independence as well as peer support services and field trips to local agencies that help victims of abuse and domestic violence.
Parenting Made Easy
Community-based program aimed at honing the parenting skills of new and recent immigrants, building the resilience of children, facilitating intergenerational understandings between newcomer parents and youth, providing crisis intervention, counselling, mediation, case conferencing and day-to-day support to parents to decrease the risk of violence and abuse, homelessness. The program offers home visits to talk with families about issues, concerns and goals; information and resources about child learning and culturally-affirming parenting practices; and confidence and trust building initiatives with school, police and child welfare systems.
Foster Parenting and Kinship Placement Initiative
Foster parenting awareness and kinship placement initiative aimed at increasing awareness of and interest in foster parenting and kinship placement with the community and reduce the number of blacks in the child protection system. Program activities include information on adoption and kinship arrangements in the community as well as group discussions and training on fostering.
Parent-Teacher Partnership Program
Education and support program targeted at school personnel and parents of school-aged children with concerns in any of the following areas: suspension, expulsion, school reports, parent council, learning disabilities, course selection, university/college selection, school disciplinary policy and attending interviews/hearings. The program aims at helping parents overcome barriers that inhibit communication and becoming fully involved in the education of their children; understand their rights, accepting responsibilities, and building positive relationships with schools; understand the direct correlation between behaviors in the home and performance in school; understanding school policies and disciplinary procedures; become successful advocates for their children; and build a network of parents helping parents helping children.
The program also aims to assist school personnel in understanding cultural nuances which impede positive communication with parents and students; understanding and demonstrating cultural sensitivity when interacting with students; and adopting non-threatening and non-judgmental approaches in resolving problems.
Cultural Bridging for Newcomer Youth in Schools
A settlement support program for newcomer immigrant youth aged 15 to 19, in schools who may have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in addition to weak academic backgrounds, poor school attendance and disengagement with school and community resources. The aim of this program is to facilitate integration and cultural bridging. The program offers weekly youth sessions; supportive counselling; needs assessments and referrals; parent meetings; and accompaniment ton continuing education, community agencies, work placement, workforce recruitment centres or specific skills upgrading programs.
Youth at Risk
Community-based program aimed at ensuring that socially marginalized youth have access to comprehensive supports that help them achieve their potential and reduce risk factors in order to help make neighbourhoods and communities safe. Program offers counselling (e.g. individual and family counselling), information and referrals, employment training, mentoring and internship opportunities. It also involves workshops on cultural history and identity, conflict resolution, anger and stress management, and forming positive relationships.
Education Open House
Education open house with relevant educational institutions aimed at increasing awareness of educational and career options for visible minorities. The program includes onsite guidance and counselling; education fair and exhibition; education tours and workshops by Ghanaian and African professors and teachers.
Youth Learn and Work Program (LWP)
A specialized co-op program that re-engages students who are at risk of not completing high school. The two-semester program helps high school students from priority communities earn credits toward their high school diploma and gain work experience. The program offers classroom work supervised by a teacher each semester; paid co-op placement with Sankofa, other community organizations or a government ministry or agency; and workshops on employment, work-life balance and career networking.
Youth Entrepreneurship Program
Enterprise training and awareness program that leverages the talents and curiosity of the youth to identify and develop entrepreneurship opportunities and create their own business. Aimed at empowering youth through entrepreneurship, the program will seek to increase awareness of entrepreneurship opportunities; promote entrepreneurship as an alternate career path; build business acumen and leadership skills; help youth with entrepreneurship experience start or grow a business and in the process pursue self-employment as a career choice. Program initiatives include training, counselling, mentorship, networking and volunteer opportunities for youth; financial support programs Business Summer Camps (e.g. Computer Coding); and workshops on entrepreneurship, techniques for idea generation and creative thinking exercises; business planning; social enterprise and finance.
A computer literacy and coding program aimed at teaching coding to youth (ages 15-19) in African Canadian and other minority communities, fostering interest and building minds, knowledge and skills while encouraging participation in higher education and equipping them for the possibility of gaining employment or pursuing entrepreneurship in related fields.
An annual hack-a-thon for Ghanaian and African Canadian young adults aimed at increasing the entrepreneurial, employment and academic awareness of computer technology related activities within the community and leveraging this awareness to solve real world problems. Program offers design and testing workshops and competitions, cash prizes, awards and scholarships as well as mentoring by experts and community leaders.
Mental Health and Wellness
Mental health and wellness program to outreach and engage members of the African/Black community who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing mental health challenges by promoting awareness of mental health in the community. The aim of the program is to reduce stigmatization; improve access to and awareness of mental health services and resources; and connect community members with mental health services in the community. The program involves culturally appropriate supportive mental health counselling; referrals to relevant and appropriate mental health service providers; public education and information sessions on mental health awareness, prevention and treatment; community outreach through schools, detention centres, and hospitals; and peer, family and self-referrals from community agencies, schools, parents and service partners.
Positive Aging Program for Elderly
A positive aging program aimed addressing the isolation, stigma and unmet health and cultural needs of elderly immigrants of Ghanaian and African-origin in the GTA. Program initiatives include nutritional support, counselling and coaching for dementia and Alzheimer care; intergenerational pairing; cultural, educational and recreational programs; Information and referral to community resources; respite care and volunteer pick-up and drop-off; and assistance in financial and retirement planning, job applications and form completions.