Loyan Foundation is a community-based charity with a unique mandate to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to survivors of violence and other members of the East African community. Loyan Foundation has existed as a community advocacy association since 2006. It became incorporated in 2009 and gained charity status in 2011. Since 2010 we have been based in the Carmine Stefano Community Center, strategically located near Jamestown, Rexdale, and other high priority areas in the Northwest Toronto. Highlights under our current management regime over the past 18 months include the following:

• In April 2012, Loyan Foundation organized a town hall session to give and receive feedback from the East African community on incidents of violence and approaches to culturally competent programming. Over 50 community leaders, youth, and parents took part.

• This was followed a month later by a recruitment and orientation event which successfully brought together otherwise dissociated parts of the East African diaspora. Over 28 volunteer applications were submitted. Many of these applicants became volunteers and provided critical short-term assistance to subsequent activities including event organization, research facilitation and outreach and web development.

• As a final part of our 2012 outreach campaign, we held a summer barbeque which yielded a turnout of over 200 people of East African descent/origin.

• Our outreach subsequently led to the production of two core documents. First is the Loyan Foundation Training Manual which outlines key principles and methods to the delivery of culturally appropriate individual, group, and community support for survivors of violence in the East African community.

• The second core document is Loyan Foundation’s Needs Assessment report which was the first report to compile data and analysis on socio-economic conditions and levels of violence of the whole East African diaspora in Toronto (ie. not specific to one national diaspora).

• We have since presented our agenda and vision at multiple community consultations and speaking engagements, especially in the Northwest part of the city.

• In summer 2013, Loyan Foundation sponsored the aforementioned workshop sessions within TCHC in an effort to promote youth leadership in the community through art. As previously mentioned the results were overwhelmingly positive and included an exhibition of Modern Batik art at a local Muslim women’s event and the training of four new youth trainers.