Canada and Somalia: The Somali organization Dejinta Beesha [Dejinta Beesha Multi-Service Centre] in Toronto, including their history, activities, services offered and affiliation with Somalia; letter issued to establish the identity of Somalis and the methods used for this purpose (2015-March 2019)
According to a page of the Dejinta Beesha website, as captured in 2015 by the Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the Internet, the organization was founded in 1994 and incorporated in 1999 (Dejinta Beesha n.d.a). The source indicates that Canadians of Somali origin and Canadians interested in Somali culture can become members of the organization (Dejinta Beesha n.d.a).
As captured in 2014, another page from the same website states that the organization offers the following programs and services:
- A newcomer assistance and integration program;
- Community development programs and services;
- Community information services;
- Support services for women;
- Support services for seniors;
- "Community bail out programs";
- Anti-racism and community safety programs and services;
- A crime prevention program (Dejinta Beesha n.d.b).
An undated page from the website of WelcomeOntario - Syrian Refugee Assistance Information, which is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and administered by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), lists Dejinta Beesha Multi Service Center as a service provider (WelcomeOntario n.d.a) located on Kipling Avenue in Toronto, Ontario (WelcomeOntario n.d.b). A 2011 Toronto Star article describes Dejinta Beesha as "a Rexdale-based organization that helps Somali-Canadians" (Toronto Star 1 Apr. 2011). A 2012 Globe and Mail article similarly describes it as an "Etobicoke-based Somali settlement organization" (The Globe and Mail 9 Sept. 2012). The same sources from 2011 and 2012 name Mohamed Gilao as associated with (Toronto Star 1 Apr. 2011) or the executive director of Dejinta Beesha (The Globe and Mail 9 Sept. 2012).
The Rexdale Community Hub, a community centre providing various social services, lists the organization as one of their partners (Rexdale Community Hub n.d.).
In 2012, Dejinta Beesha received a grant for two fiscal years (2011/2012 and 2012/2013) from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in order to provide services to newcomers in Canada (Canada 8 Oct. 2013).
Further information on Dejinta Beesha activities, including its connection to Somalia and its capacity to issue letters in order to establish the identity of Somali individuals, could not be found for the 2015-2019 time period among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. Information on whether the organization is currently active could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Canada. N.d. 8 October 2013. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). "Disclosure of Grant and Contribution Award Over $25,000 - Detailed Report." [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019]
Dejinta Beesha. N.d.a. "Organization Background: History/Experience." [Accessed 27 Feb. 2019]
Dejinta Beesha. N.d.b. "Programs & Services." [Accessed 27 Feb. 2019]
The Globe and Mail. 9 September 2012 (updated 8 May 2018). Timothy Appleby. "City's Homicide Toll Rises over Weekend." [Accessed 8 Mar. 2019]
Rexdale Community Hub. N.d. "Our Services." [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019]
Toronto Star. 1 April 2011. Raveena Aulakh and Isabel Teotonio. "Somali Terrorists Lure Toronto Women." [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019]
WelcomeOntario - Syrian Refugee Assistance Information. N.d.a. "Find Local Help." [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019]
WelcomeOntario - Syrian Refugee Assistance Information. N.d.b. "Dejinta Beesha Multi-Service Centre." [Accessed 8 Mar. 2019]
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: Dejinta Beesha; Rexdale Community Hub.
Internet sites, including: CBC; ecoi.net; Ontario – Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, Trillium Foundation.