Skip to content


Each One Teach One

Gashanti UNITY partnered with Lost Lyrics, a hip hop education program to run the pilot project, Each One Teach One. This project worked with young women of colour between the ages of 18-30 from all over the city (Lawrence Heights, Teesdale, Chester Le, Malvern, Weston Mount Dennis, Jane-Finch and Parkdale) and provided spaces for them to share their experiences of exclusion from formal systems of education, employment, politics, and more. The collective of young women met once a week to engage and talk about these experiences of alienation and to develop collective strategies of resistance that takes the “Knowledge to the Streets.” While using creative methods such as, creative writing, poetry and reciting, art therapy and creative storytelling through, film, photography and theatre, these women were able to expose their realities and find ways of sharing their stories in an interactive way.  The learnings from this pilot program are now being used to inform the curriculum of future Gashanti programs.

Iftiin Magazine

Iftiin Magazine was started by two Somali young women who got together and wanted to contribute to their community in a positive way. The main concept of the magazine was centered on positive cultural representation which manifested itself into the launching of a magazine geared towards young Somali girls living in the Jamestown Community. In our experience Somali girls were seldom given the opportunities to express themselves creatively especially in the form of creative writing.  The writer’s group was organized in order to address this gap. Throughout the project the young women involved invited selected writers and patrons of Somali art and literature from their community to engage in creative and informative discussions on various aspects of Somali arts and culture. It was through this collaborative learning process that The Iftiin girls invited Gashanti Unity to one of their workshops. Both groups identified key areas where support and collaboration were needed and decided to merge in order to reach a wider audience. The recent development and presentation of the Iftiin magazine celebrates the partnership and solidarity of all the young women who have contributed to the Gashanti UNITY movement.

Working with Girls in Islington

This leadership program is located in a recreation center in the Islington area for young Somali girls 14 to18. The program has a core group of 10 girls with a flow of 25 girls and focuses on healthy relationships, life-skills training, identity, and healthy life-styles.

“Inni Wa Hoyadeed” ( A Girl is her Mother)

Inni Wa Hoyadeed was an intergenerational event that took place May 2009 at the Learning Enrichment Foundation youth hub.  This Event addressed barriers and celebrated our culture. It was a chance for members of Gashanti to have an open dialogue with their mothers as well introduce the aims of Gashanti while documenting this historic event.

Gashanti UNITY Programs in the Future

For the past few years, Gashanti UNITY has invested in building up the strengths and resources of the organization, building the capacities of its coordinators and staff and also being involved in projects and programs that have served as pilots for initiatives moving forward.  Gashanti is now ready to start assessing the extensive research that has been conducted both formally and informally, incorporating this knowledge into next steps and moving forward on programs that have proven to be impactful on our communities. Gashanti’s upcoming forum, ‘Igniting the Flame: A Forum to Engage Young Minds’ aims to continue this community research and input and will be will be a valuable resource in reporting back Gashanti’s learnings during the fall of 2010.

The Steeles L’Amoreaux Youth Working Group is a collaboration of youth groups such as Gashanti UNITY, Youth in Power, and the Bay Mills Youth Council.  Through the use of capacity building initiatives, we come together to support and strengthen youth in the neighbourhood and around the City by building healthy and vibrant communities.  Our goal is to work together to support youth that live in the underserviced and racialized communities in Steeles L’Amoreaux.

Over the past year, we approached Toronto Community Housing and the Youth Challenge Fund about supporting us.  We proposed creating a youth-governed, youth-led space for young people to access from across the Steeles L’Amoreaux area.  So far, we have been committed a TCHC space at 365 Bay Mills Blvd. and $1.8 million from the YCF.  By shaping and designing the space to become more relevant and adaptable to youth, the group hopes to target community problems, generate innovation and create opportunities for the youth who will utilize it.