Mending a Crack in the Sky (MCIS) is a dynamic program that consists of a dedicated group of mothers who are passionate about creating safe spaces to heal, mobilize, advocate and navigate relevant systems. The group is inspired by a Somali proverb stating that “if people come together, they can even mend a crack in the sky.” This has also been the basis of the action plan to address youth radicalization to violence and the alarming rates of youth violence primarily male youth violence. The group holds community meetings in different neighborhoods and takes an active community leadership role to address youth violence.
In partnership with Midaynta Community Services, a three-phase community healing initiative was developed by women many of them survivors of acute trauma to address gun violence and its lasting impact on families in the greater Toronto area, titled Mending a Crack in the Sky (MCIS).
Mending a Crack in the Sky (MCIS) has organized a dynamic program to provide immediate support to families impacted by gun violence. The group is currently working in the community in the following ways:
- MCIS presently creates safe spaces to grieve, engage, and heal and when crisis erupts developing a community response/healing action plan
- MCIS is leading transformative community change through awareness campaigns
- MCIS is a leader in community activism and outreach
- MCIS connects with different neighbourhoods facing similar issues to provide support
Mothers Outreach Workers(MOWS)
The Mothers Outreach Workers provide range of services such as:
- Implementing a unique Crisis + Peer Support Model as first responders to incidents of trauma/violence
- Providing a healing and recovery network for youth and families who are victims of gun violence
- Acting as trusted mentors for youth, and respected community partners in resource referral
- Brokering and partnering in the implementation of policy interventions
- Acting as educators and awareness liaisons for youth and families seeking to avoid retaliatory violence, and diverting youth participation in gun and gang violence
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with TPSB
At the July 2019 Toronto Police Service Board meeting, the Mending a Crack in the Sky, Mother Outreach Workers, presented to the board, outlining challenges that the Somali-Canadian community in the north-west part of the City is facing. Moreover, the group also presented opportunities for collaboration and innovation with to Police Service Board and MCIS to work together to build trust and address key concerns and challenges. The group highlighted three core elements that they want to directly collaborate on: A) Transparency, B) Building Trust and C) Community Safety.
The board approved a motion following this meeting that prompted the development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU was established to form a formal and equal partnership between the board, TPS and Midaynta. The MOU was officially approved on December 16th, 2019 and officially signed on February 8th, 2020 at a formal ceremony hosted by Midaynta Community Services. The MOU term is in effect from January 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2022.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was a historic event for minority communities, particularly the Somali community. The MOU provides the community with an opportunity to build trust and transparency between community and Toronto Police Services (TPS)