Nisa Homes faced many challenges last year – including higher costs, long waitlists and an increase in need for their services. 

The organization is a transitional home that provides shelter for women and families seeking asylum from domestic abuse, poverty and homelessness. It is a Muslim-based charity and a project by the National Zakat Foundation.

Leen Yaghi, the regional manager in Calgary, says that as a result of the pandemic, there has been an increase in domestic violence cases.

“This, of course, has a huge impact on transition homes and shelters with limited capacities,” Yaghi said. “We had to increase our efforts to be able to support these vulnerable communities.“ 

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Nisa Homes held a fundraiser last Sunday, March 5 at the Wainwright Hotel at Heritage Park.

Guests listen in as four speakers discuss a range of different topics regarding Muslim issues on Mar 5, 2023 at the Wainwright Hotel in Heritage Park. PHOTO BY: Lama Al-Wadeiah

Yaghi hopes that the high tea will bring the Muslim community closer to one another as this is one of two high-scale events that Nisa Homes is hosting for the year.

“We want to provide that platform for Muslim women to speak,” Yaghi said. “To be able to gather and talk about their issues, talk about the barriers they’re facing, talk about how they can support each other, how they can lift each other up.”

Mehr Javaid, a remote case worker, has worked at Nisa Homes for a year now. She loves watching her clients work their way up to a life that is sustainable for them.

“I think providing that service, it’s priceless because these women definitely need a place to stay and we are the ones that are providing that space for them,” Javaid said. 

The high tea had a turnout of around 100 guests. A range of pastries, sandwiches, cakes, finger foods and teas were served to the guests in attendance. 

A platter of pastries served for guests attending the Nisa Homes High Tea event that took place at the Wainwright Hotel in Heritage Park on Mar 5, 2023. Photo: Lama Al-Wadeiah

It was a light-hearted and fun experience but Yaghi boils the event down to its main purpose.

“At the end of the day, it is to help the most vulnerable in the community – women, kids fleeing domestic violence and homelessness.”

They have 10 homes across Canada which include Vancouver, Calgary, Mississauga and Ottawa and they held a similar fundraiser in all the other locations.

They have had a success rate of 85 per cent thus far, having helped over 1,000 women and children and 6,000 more remotely since 2015.

On April 6, Nisa Homes will have their second large-scale fundraiser which is an Iftaar during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Editor’s note; A previous version of this story misspelled Leen Yaghi’s name. We apologize for the error.

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