Mahad Yusuf came to Canada as a refugee from Somalia in 1988. Since then, he’s been dedicated to helping newcomers cope with the bureaucratic requirements of citizenship and facilitating their integration into Canadian society. He's doing so with Midaynta Community Services.
The brutal conflicts in Somalia in the 1990s caused an influx of refugees and immigrants fleeing to Canada, many of whom settled in the GTA area. Mahad was instrumental in helping set up nine Somali agencies to provide language, employment, housing, and settlement issues support and services for newcomers. In 2008, he took part in the complicated process of amalgamating those nine groups into what will become one multi-service agency.
To guide the transition and development, Mahad is using his Vital People grant to take courses at the Schulich Executive Education Centre on leading strategic change, as well as professional management courses at the University of Toronto.