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Our Organization


Gashanti Unity is a group of young Somali women in Toronto. Our mission is to provide girls and young women a safe atmosphere to develop their gifts, abilities, and positive relationships. We do this through the provision of leadership and mentoring programs, consultation and information services; and through community capacity building and training and education.


We believe in providing opportunities to enhance personal growth, autonomy and empowerment of girls and young women so that they can achieve fulfillment and maximize their potential.


DIGNITY: We affirm the dignity and self worth of each individual and honour and respect their rights.

LEARNING: We believe in and encourage continual learning and growth for ourselves and for young women and girls.

COURAGE: We affirm and value the courage and determination of young women to persevere and gain control over their own lives.

COMMITMENT & DEDICATION: We are focused on our strategic direction and achievement of positive outcomes for girls and young women.

RESPECT: We believe in everyone’s right to be respected regardless of differences.

INTEGRITY: We aim to exemplify integrity in our work.

UNITY: We strive to eliminate the barriers that divide us.

PARTNERSHIPS: We believe in collaboration and bringing people together to achieve a common goal.

Our Goals

Gashanti UNITY represents a voice for racialized, young women.  We aim to enhance the ability for girls and young women’s to gain control over their lives by:

  • Promoting social, emotional and behavioural competencies.
  • Enhancing girls and young women’s resiliency by building their self esteem.
  • Building life-skills, values and ethics, family involvement, mentor relationships and community attachments.
  • Provide alternative activities and opportunities for law-abiding, drug-free behaviors, such as basketball activities, creative art, and more.
  • Address underlying precursors of drug abuse and delinquency.
  • Providing education and job skills training by linking to appropriate agencies.

We prevent peer pressure and isolation by:

  • Organizing activities for girls and young women including, role playing, group discussions, and observing videotapes to help girls and young women to develop resistance skills and problem-solving skills.
  • Fostering interpersonal and decision making skills which will help them choose alternatives to high risk behaviours by creating an atmosphere that helps with expressive, creative ways, including dialogue, poetry, singing, “Write a Story” contest, shah and sheeko, and more.

We enhance positive development for girls and young women through:

  • Workshops and education sessions.
  • Forums and conferences, and mentorship.
  • Organizing activities to promote self-esteem and team building.

We promote connectedness and belonging by:

  • Enhancing girls and young women’s positive sense of being part of a school, family unit, support networks, and a larger community.

What we do

Through our relevant and innovative programs we address important issues that young Somaili women face every day.  These include: racism, sexism, self teem, cultural alienation, issues leading to school drop out, Islamphopia, anger management, career planning, positive role models, family communication, developing self-control, stress-management, responsible decision-making, social problem-solving, and communication skills.  Please visit ‘Initiatives’ to see what programs and projects we are involved in to date.