Ujima House at the corner of Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. holds a treasure-trove of resources for young and potential fathers. Ujima is a Kwanzaa principle that means Collective Work & Responsibility (To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together).
Officially opened on June 21, 2011, Ujima House is a non-profit organization that focuses on meeting the needs of African-Canadian men. However, the centre warmly welcomes men of all ethnic backgrounds.
The only father-focused centre in Canada, services include one-on-one mentorship, parenting courses, supervised visitation areas, cooking lessons and help with legal matters.
I spoke to Ed Gough Jr., Program Coordinator at the centre about why the centre was created and the impact it has had on members of the community. “A lot of fathers feel like they are not being listened to or heard,” he said. “Many of the men who come here did not have stable, supportive father figures in their lives. Ujima House provides a safe environment for men to talk, share experiences, and learn from one another on how to become a better father for their children. When men feel safe, they are bound to open up.”
As social stereotypes surrounding the roles men and women play in raising children continue to erode, it is encouraging to know that a place like Ujima House exists.
Quickly approaching their 10 year anniversary, the centre is focused on expanding the services it provides to men beyond the Weston community. One initiative the centre hopes to have up and running by September 2018 is a series of free webinars and talks. Not only will this help to young and potential fathers outside the Weston community, it will also allow people who are not able to visit the centre access resources anytime they need it.
This Sunday, June 17th, 2018, Ujima House is hosting a Fathers’ Day Celebration. The event will take place from 11 AM-5 PM. Activities include an Annual General Meeting (11 AM-12 PM), drumming, and a Daddy Olympics which include a diaper changing competition. All are welcome!
Ujima House is located at 1901 Weston Road #18, York, ON, M9N 3P5.
I’m sweating about summer. I’ll be running the daddy daycare, and there is no more churlish wretch that a descreened tween, so I am dreading the hard hot launch of summer in a few days.
If my kids end up bored, though, I have only myself to blame. There’s lots to do in Weston and Mount Dennis: daily swimming, twice-weekly programming at the Weston library, coding classes on the weekend in Mount Dennis, and regular events around town.
I’ve made a calendar (I left off their planned morning calisthenics and algebra drills), and I’ll try to keep it updated.
All the events are free or cheap, for kids, and within the neighbourhood. If you want to add it to your phone, go for it, and if you have any fun things to do, please god, let me know!
Laura Albanese’s office will be having a meeting tomorrow to discuss child care in the province. The province is committed to “help create 100,000 additional licensed child care spaces for infants, toddlers and preschoolers within the next five years, starting in 2017″—about 25% more spaces than exist right now.
The Mount Dennis Community Association has an idea: more subsidized spaces in schools. They say the city’s current plan is a bad one, which would increase fees on many parents to subsidize a few: the city wants to cut a general rent-reduction plan and redirect the money for subsidized spots.
That subsidy reduces the cost of daycare at day cares located in schools. Schools are the most convenient location for most parents. When the new plan goes into effect, each day care will have a handful more subsidized spaces, but the increased rent will likely either drive up the price [in school daycares], or force closures.