The Neighbourhood Organization



Settlement Equity Collective Project

The Settlement Equity Collective in partnership with the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship, Canada) focuses on sharpening the skills of grassroots groups.


Participants can expect to be part of an all encompassing, interactive curriculum that highlights topics such as:

• Identifying and refining your Mission, Vision, and values
• Project Management
• Leadership and Governance
• Grant Writing and Proposal Development
• Branding, Marketing and Design
• Networking and Membership Opportunities
• Budgeting and Financial Management
• Networking and Mentorship Opportunities

Who is Eligible?

The Settlement Equity Collective Project supports small racialized grassroots groups to elaborate on the skills they already have, and to build community capacity, network and create long term sustainability through diverse funding opportunities as newcomer settlement providers.


For more information please send email to

Contact Details

Phone: (416)-467-0126
Email: SECproject@tno-toronto.orgs

Settlement Equity Collective Project Participants

Aziza Zareh ( She/Her) 

Aziza is Afghan Canadian, a blessed mother to 5 beautiful children, and values humanity, integrity, dignity, and diversity. She holds Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and on the verge of completing Master of Adult Education (MAEd) from St. Francis Xavier University. 


She is women’s right activist, feminist, gender equality advocate, and self-made leader; has 20+ years of experience on women’s rights, gender-based issues, and business analysis fields. She had the privilege to work with some of the renowned humanitarian and development organizations such as the UN, USAID, GIZ, AKDN and OXFAM in different managerial and leadership capacities. Currently, she works as Business Analyst with YM Inc.,CEO and founder of Sisters 4 Sisters Development Organization, leads Stay Healthy grassroot group in East York neighborhood, and cohort member with S.E.C project with TNO. 

Bethelhem T. Alemu is a dynamic individual with a diverse educational background, holding both an LLB degree in law and a Masters degree in Global Studies.  


Originally from Ethiopia, she is a recent newcomer to Canada, driven by a profound passion for social justice and equitable settlement experiences for refugees and newcomers. With a keen understanding of legal principles and global perspectives, Bethelhem aspires to leverage her expertise to address systemic barriers and promote inclusivity within Canadian society.  


Her commitment to fostering smooth settlement processes is evident in her active involvement with grassroots community-led initiatives. Bethelhem’s dedication shines through her proactive efforts in organizing and facilitating events aimed at raising awareness about mental health issues within Ethiopian and Eritrean newcomer communities. By tackling stigma head-on and promoting dialogue surrounding mental health, she seeks to create a supportive environment where individuals feel empowered to seek help and support.  


 With her multidisciplinary background and unwavering dedication, Bethelhem T. Alemu is poised to make a significant impact in advancing social justice and fostering inclusive communities in her new home of Canada. 

Eshrat Meshkoti is a dedicated community leader and health ambassador who has tirelessly served Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park neighbourhoods in Toronto with passion and love for people. She was born and raised in a rural community of Northern Iran where she learned the importance of collective efforts in facing common challenges. Eshrat’s journey for community development and her passion for helping others grew while living in Iran, New Zealand and Canada. She has always been a strong advocate of human rights, public participation, democracy, and civic engagement.  


Eshrat is an experienced leader in mobilizing community resources, creating synergy and providing social support to those in need, people with family crisis, particularly newcomers facing resettlement challenges. She has been serving community through consistent volunteering with local agencies including: Flemingdon Health Centre (FHC), Flemingdon Park Ministry (FPM), and The Neighbourhood Organization (TNO) for more than five years.  

She has played major role in local consultations, projects and programs related to: community development, managing Covid-19 challenges and vaccination campaign, emergency food distribution, food security research, improving physical and mental health during Covid 19 lockdown by taking lead in running programs such as Steps Challenge, Women’s Cycling, Ramadan Free Meals, and Seniors Support program. 

In addition, Eshrat has facilitated many training workshops since 2019 for educating community and promoting healthy and cost-effective food preparation through collaboration with Flemingdon Health Center, Oriole Community Centre, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities, and Access Alliance in Toronto.  She has been recognized for her community activities and achievements throughout the years, including among others: Ambassador of Middle Eastern Women, Food Ambassador, Community Health Ambassador, and Community Leadership. Eshrat is also a member of Local Champions’ Network in Toronto.  

I am a co-founder of TechGuides, a grassroots group that provides digital literacy and online safety programs to families and youth in priority neighborhoods in Toronto. I joined the SEC program to connect with and gain insights from like minded groups, and to learn more about designing and implementing impactful and sustainable programs for the communities we wish to serve. Fun fact about me is that I like travelling and trying different cuisines.  

Michael M Admassu is an advocate for peace and equity, particularly focused on serving newcomers to Canada. Originally hailing from Ethiopia, Michael has been residing in Canada for the past five years, during which he has actively engaged with his community. 


His commitment to understanding migration dynamics and promoting arms control is evident through his involvement in research in these areas. 


Michael’s primary focus lies in advocating for the rights and well-being of newcomers to Canada. He seeks to improve services and opportunities available to them, recognizing the challenges they may face in adapting to a new country and culture. By channeling his expertise and passion, Michael aims to make a positive impact on his community and beyond. 


In line with his advocacy goals, Michael aspires to engage fully in community efforts aimed at promoting the holistic well-being of newcomers, with a specific emphasis on mental health support and ensuring resources are available for refugee claimants. 


Education-wise, Michael holds a Master’s degree in Global Studies, complemented by a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Social Anthropology. Additionally, his Certificate in Data Analytics suggests a proficiency in utilizing data-driven approaches to address complex social issues, further enhancing his ability to contribute effectively to his advocacy work. 


Razia Rashed is a passionate community advocate, holding the position of Community Ambassador at TNO and actively participating in both the Taylor Massey Residents Wellness Council and the Taylor Massey Oakridge Community Response Team. Driven by her commitment to addressing health and social equity issues, Razia joined these initiatives to provide her grassroots perspective. At the core of her beliefs lies a commitment to embracing diversity and nurturing inclusivity. She strives to create environments, where every community member feels welcomed, enabling them to unite in celebrating the richness of diversity and the importance of inclusion. An interesting fact about Razia is her enjoyment of exploring various cuisines and engaging in board games with her children, particularly chess. 

My name is Riffat Fatima and I immigrated to Canada in 2004. I possesses a Masters degree in Library information Science and I worked for 10+ years as a research Librarian. I have been involved in community outreach and support programs for over 10 years with even recognized for my contributions by the premier Kathleen Wynne. Some of the programs I have been associated with are FCSS (Flemingdon Community Support Services), Lovers of Panet Earth, Step Challenge Leader, Ravine Champion of Flemingdon, a grassroot leader of Flemingdon park.


I am enthusiastic to participate in the Settlement Equity Collective Project to further enhanced my skills as the community leader to deliver future projects more efficiently and effectively for the benefit of my community. I like to cook and walk in ravines when I get the free time. 

My name is Romy Alza, and I am a woman immigrant from Peru. I came to Canada in 2019. I work as a Community Health Ambassador and volunteer in organizations that aid vulnerable individuals, such as WHIWH-CH, CSSP, and PWA. I aim to assist newcomer families, especially those who have children with special needs. d

Safia Parveen is a proud member of the Thorncliffe community and of the Thorncliffe Wellness Group. This community organization focuses on raising awareness around mental health amongst people with South Asian background. Our priority is to bring awareness around mental health challenges and symptoms of illness among all groups (youth, seniors, women, etc.).


For years Safia has been facilitating a “Wellness Cafe” Ladies Group three times a month, related to chronic mental health issues. The goal of the group is to eliminate the stigma around mental health and provide support and resources. She also loves to help fellow community members solve problems in the community. And she is also passionate about organizing events related to mental health and well-being.


My name is Shrouq Abdulraheem. I am a dedicated community leader and advocate for health and wellness. Serving as a Community Health Ambassador at Flemingdon Health Centre since 2020, I work to promote well-being within my community. I also volunteer as a coordinator at the local food bank, addressing food insecurity issues. Since 2019, I have been an active member of Food Share with Flemingdon Ministry and Senior Home, allowing me to keep supporting vulnerable populations. As a leader of the Sisters Support Each Other group and Vice President of the French Homework Club since 2017, I demonstrate my passion for community empowerment and education. With a strong dedication to making a positive impact, I want to create a healthier and more connected community for all. 

I’m Viji Pal, the founder of E-Heroes Group and a proud baby boomer. Since 2019, we’ve been driving climate action through innovative hybrid projects, inspiring neighborhoods. Simultaneously, we’re dedicated to engaging adults aged 55+ in graceful aging initiatives. With a focus on facilitation, I believe collaboration is key to building a resilient city. 

Explore our impactful climate projects and aging initiatives. Join us on the journey toward a sustainable and empowered community! 


Deqa Nur is a recent graduate June 2022 from York University Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, Founders College, Social Science Department, Bachelors Honours Majored International Development Studies and Bachelors Honours Minor Honours African Studies; And Certificate of Refugee and Migration from York University. 


Deqa is a Social Development Officer. She has worked as Community Development Officer in public, private and social sector. Specially in social, economic, education, housing, health, research policy’s, resources, employment and law enforcement policies. 


Deqa is the founder and executive director of Hooyo Innovation Hub (iHub), a non-profit organization in Canada. An organization that is focused on serving marginalized women and communities in the Greater Toronto Area. 


Deqa is a strong advocate for social change, social justice, economic inclusion, equity, diversity, local decision-making, representation, women in development, and community capacity building for disadvantage individuals and communities to identify barriers, biases and obstacles which hinders access to resources, supports, services and opportunities. 


In June 2023, Deqa was invited to join the Board of Director for Central Etobicoke Community Hub Initiative (CECHI), an organization focuses on advocating and addressing significant of community Space or Hub services residents in Central Etobicoke and Toronto. 

Contact Information:  Deqa Nur, Mobile: 416-320-0711  

Yodit Teklehimanot, a Public Health and Community Development professional, dedicates herself to enhancing community well-being and social equity.


With a focus on health equity, Yodit excels in program development and engagement strategies, notably contributing to diabetes prevention initiatives at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Center. Collaborating with grassroots organizations like ET Pharma, she extends her reach to Ethiopian and Eritrean newcomers, addressing social disparities in healthcare access.


Passionate about community advocacy, Yodit actively participates in projects like the Settlement Equity Collective, continuously refining her skills and embracing new cultural experiences 

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