About Us

About Loyan Foundation

The Loyan Foundation is a grassroots, community- based registered Canadian charitable organization that is committed to addressing issues of violence in the East African community through a wide range of programs and services that promote and support a more vibrant, healthy and resilient community.

At the Loyan Foundation we believe in reducing exposure to violence by building a more united, safer and stronger East African community. Through effective outreach, education and collaboration we empower and support East African youth and their families to learn how to live healthy and successful lives.


  • Providing culturally appropriate programs and services that address the educational, emotional and social well-being so that families as a whole will become healthier and stronger.
  • Addressing and providing settlement and integration services to assist families in transition;
  • Connecting people with a comprehensive directory of community resources and supports that exist across Toronto
  • Applying innovative solutions that holistically address individual and community problems; solutions that strengthen our families and community;
  • Develop wise partnerships with organizations to help make this happen.


The Loyan Foundation serves East African immigrant families and individuals in Toronto.

  • Our adult services focus on those who face struggles in Toronto due to language barriers, lack of education, lack of life and employment skills, and physical/mental health challenges.
  • Our youth services focus on youth and children who struggle because of lack of parental presence and guidance, educational support, bullying, the lure of gangs and drugs, and physical/mental health challenges.


To reduce exposure to violence and nurture and build a more united, safer, and stronger East African community through multi-level engagement with families and youth.

Our Roots/ History

The Loyan Foundation began in 2005 with the shooting death of 23 year-old Loyan Ahmed Gilao in a tragic case of mistaken identity. Loyan was a forward-looking and community conscious young man, who started a youth development program called We Help, committed to building youth programming in his community. While his work was cut short all too soon, in the immediate aftermath of Loyan’s death, a group of families and supporters came together to engage in public advocacy, awareness and education initiatives to prevent the violence which had claimed Loyan’s life and carry on his work and passion. This association developed into Loyan Foundation.

In 2011 the Foundation became a registered and expanded activities to develop youth-oriented violence prevention programming and research.

Board of Directors

  • Dr Mohamed Gilao, Founder
  • Colin Morrison, Treasurer
  • Evan Heise, Secretary
  • Hassan Yusuf, Director
  • Hajiya Elmi, Director
  • Kasaun Bekele, Director

Our Partners

For the past 10 years The Loyan Foundation has partnered with several community partners to expand programming and outreach to the community.


Improving the lifes of youth Creating Opportunities

Development of social skills.

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