About Us

Somali Immigrant Aid Organization first began to deliver information and referral services to members for the Somali Newcomer community in 1986. The SIAO was incorporated and hired its first staff in 1988 to provide a lifeline needed services for many immigrants and refugees, these services include Language Instructions for Newcomers (LINC) Program with childminding care, settlement adaptation and integrations service, individual and family counseling, workshops, anti-racism programs for youth, health and cultural issues, Somali Community Development programs and volunteer co-ordination. The SIAO has 26 years of track records in the provision of social and other services to its clients. SIAO has become increasingly aware of the need to assist its clients and their community with local economic as well as social services. Our service offerings have expanded as the character of the newcomer population has shifted, so that more of our current work focuses on building community capacity.

Mission Statement

SIAO is a non-profit community based organization that is committed to addressing the integration, education, health, housing, social services, culture, and economic development needs of Somali Canadians and other immigrants in Canada, through programs services and advocacy.

Aims & Objectives

  • To provide education, counseling and other support services for immigrants and refugees in need, including language instruction, employment training, job search programs on Canadians Culture and life.
  • To establish, maintain and operate an employment training centre for unemployed individuals and low skilled workers.
  • To provide assistance to needy persons in drafting resumes, searching for employment and preparing for jobs and job interviews.
  • To provide counseling to individuals experiencing long-term unemployment.
  • To develop employment training and education programs.

History

The Somali Immigrant Aid Organization (SIAO) was founded in April 1986 as a non-profit organization committed to addressing the immigration, education, health, social, cultural, and economics development needs of Somali-Canadians and other immigrants in Canada, through its program and services. We were incorporated in 1987 and hired our first staff in 1988 to bridge need for information and referral in the Somali language for newcomers predominantly responding to the escalation of civil war in Somalia.

In 2012 we will mark 26 years of service provision in northwest Toronto, From relatively limited information and referral services, we have expanded to assist in settlement and social service provision not only for newcomers from the Horn of Africa, but increasingly for more recent immigrants who have located to northwest Toronto. Moreover, as the character of the newcomer population has shifted, so have community demands for capacity building, and so in 2012, we provided the following to any resident who seeks our support (some services in partnership)

  • Language Instructions for Newcomers (LINC) Program
  • Health and Community Programs (i.e.: PWW, HIV/AIDS Education/Awareness)
  • Family Support programs
  • Pre-Employment Development and Employment counseling / Workshops
  • Information and referral services on Immigration, and Housing
  • Community Development & Community economics Development programs
  • Translation/interpretation services
  • Youth programs