Creating Affordable Housing Solutions for Afri-Canadians

In June 2022, the Rwandan Canadian Healing Center (RCHC) and its African Canadian Affordable Housing Solutions Lab partners launched a project which was funded by CMCH’s Solutions Lab.

After a year of research and community engagement, the African Canadian Affordable Housing Village Model (ACAH VM) was born.

Background

There is a strong emphasis on intergenerational living among African Canadians.

Family and community play a fundamental role in the health and wellbeing of our community. Therefore a multigenerational, culturally appropriate and affordable housing solution tailored to the holistic needs of this community is crucially needed.

STAKEHOLDERS

The project is strongly supported by a wide range of stake holders including but not limited to:

  • African Canadian community member; All genders, Newcomers, New mothers, Seniors, Marginalized individuals.
  • African Canadian Community leaders and representatives.
  • People with housing experience and knowledge
  • Experts and
  • Government officials

The stakeholders play a significant role in molding the ACAH model at every stage. The project team met with the stakeholders to discuss the lab products so as to tailor the project to the specific needs of the community.

OBJECTIVE

The team is working to design an African Canadian Affordable Housing Solution/model using lab methods and tools to refine, test and solve problems in the lab and deliver a solution that addresses overall African Canadian affordable housing challenges.

PROJECT TEAM

Kizito Musabimana, 

RCHC Founder & Executive Director

Kizito Musabimana is the founder and Executive Director of the Rwandan Canadian Healing Centre. Mr Kizito founded RCHC in 2018 after overcoming PTSD (caused by the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda). He walked from Toronto to Montreal to raise awareness about PTSD challenges within the Rwandan-Canadian community. His walk took place from November 24 to December 11, 2016.

By taking a holistic approach to life, Kizito was able to overcome the worst of PTSD (severe depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts). He has since worked tirelessly to understand issues in his (African Canadian) community, partnering with youth and leaders and leading organisations to develop programs designed to solve these challenges collaboratively for current and future generations.

Jacqueline-face

Jacqueline Nyiramukwende,

Vice Chair of RCHC Board

Jacqueline Nyiramukwende is a highly resourceful team player and a motivated problem solver. She is dedicated to social rights promotion and is renowned for engaging in conversations focused on strategies to improve community experiences. Guided by principles of justice, ethics, and feminism intersectional analysis, she holds a Master of Public Ethics from St. Paul University, & a Bachelor of Social Work from Carleton University (both Degrees in Ottawa, Ontario).

Juliet Opoku,

BScN, RN, CDE, BCE. Health & Wellness Educator

Juliet Opoku is a registered nurse with many years of experience. A full-time certified diabetic educator and certified bariatric educator at Unison health and community services, and a health promoter specializing in chronic illness management through her health and wellness company, Living A Balance Life Inc.

Juliet is also The Health lead and Vice President of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Ontario (GCAO). She oversees and coordinates operations with community leaders and members to provide resources for the Ghanaian community in Ontario and beyond. Humanitarian work is her passion and superpower; she has received many awards of recognition for her excellent work from The Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board (CDECB) and the University of Toronto, to name a few.

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