Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 12, 2009 11:02 ET

Minister Kenney Announces Support for Innovative Mentorship Project

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 12, 2009) - The Government of Canada is investing in an ambitious and groundbreaking project that will bring together young Somali-Canadians with established Jewish-Canadian mentors in an effort to improve cross-cultural understanding. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney made the announcement today.

The project, which will promote integration and foster the leadership skills of young people, will be supported by a federal grant of $473,640 to the Canadian International Peace Project (CIPP), the organization responsible for the Somali-Jewish Canadian Mentorship Project.

"The project is the first of its kind in Canada," said Minister Kenney. "It brings together leaders from a well-established community with the future leaders of a community that is striving for a more complete inclusion in Canadian society."

Over the course of the two-year project, 130 mentoring partnerships will be created between 18- to 25-year-old Somali-Canadians and Jewish-Canadian mentors. The role of the mentor is to assist the individual being mentored as he or she pursues educational and professional goals.

"The Somali-Jewish Canadian Mentorship Project brings two very different and diverse groups together to work towards building stronger communities," said Mark Persaud, CEO of the Canadian International Peace Project. "We are very proud of this project and we are very pleased to receive this support."

One of the long-term goals for this project is to establish a successful model for similar cross-cultural projects.

This funding has been provided through the Multiculturalism Program, which aims to facilitate and strengthen support for economic, social and cultural integration in Canada. These projects look at issues affecting ethnocultural and racial communities with the goal of fostering increased participation in society, while addressing issues such as discrimination and racism.

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