South Sudanese Canadian Community Centre

South Sudanese Canadian Community Centre

Increased Demand Results in Second Expansion

The Sudan Humanitarian Relief Organization and the South Sudanese Association of Manitoba (SAM) came together in 2006 to purchase a building located on 129 Dagmar Street. The Kinsmen Club of Manitoba gave a $100,000 grant, with the proviso that they keep the building for ten years. The building was purchased to fulfill a desire by their members to provide a safe community place for the reported 3,000 Sudanese people who live in Manitoba.

A number of programs are offered at the centre including a Women’s Counselling program and English language training; the Hassana School at the Centre offers English language training to the younger children; Social & Community gatherings take place on Saturday and Sunday; a youth Soccer team (that earned a third place title in their division this year); youth music workshops and a place members can gather when they mourn a deceased loved one.

South Sudanese Canadian Community Centre

During their initial years, several disputes within the two Boards resulted in the Sudanese Canadian Community Centre Board being dissolved and a new Board was established in 2008. The new Board members collectively work together to operate the building and assist the community. However, as new Canadians the Board members faced several challenges, not the least was our custom of paying property taxes.

It came as a surprise when they learned they were three years behind in their taxes and the City of Winnipeg stated they would commence with a tax sale if their arrears were not paid. City Councillor Mike Pagtakhan tried to assist the organization with their tax woes. With the primary revenue source of the organization being membership fees and donations (and no charitable status), raising the necessary funds quickly was not easy. Assiniboine Credit Union has approved refinancing of the existing mortgage, the Jubilee Fund guaranteed a separate loan and with funds the organization was able to raise, all amounts due on their property tax bill will be paid.

South Sudanese Canadian Community Centre

The organization has formed a fundraising committee to plan a major fundraiser later this year. They have applied for their charitable status which will greatly assist the fundraising efforts. In addition, a new revenue source has been derived through the building’s parking lot which has been zoned for commercial parking. This new revenue source will assist in providing financial stability to the organization. In speaking with Kuac Madit President of the Sudanese Association of Manitoba and Simon Marial, Finance Chair acknowledge financial resources are tight, but believe the future is looking very exciting.

On August 19th, 2014 the Jubilee Fund was thrilled to receive this letter from Beda Otwari indicating the many good things that have happened to them since we first approved our loan guarantee to them.

Dear Rita

My name is Beda Otwari and Chair of the Sudanese Community Centre. The purpose of this email is to thank Jubilee Fund for the loan guarantee and the relationship we have had with your organization over the last three years. Our community and members are very grateful for the “risk” the Jubilee Fund took to rescue us from the tax arreas and the potential of loosing our Resource and Community Centre. Today I am glad to share with you that as of September 5, 2014 we will have paid off the $30,000.00 we loaned from Jubilee Fund. We have also secured a ten years sustainable financial plan for operating our Community Centre. Once again thank you very much for your support. We will continue to learn and maintain the working relationship with Jubilee Fund and other organizations to improve our Community and City.

Sincerely

Beda Otwari

Dear Beda,

The pleasure of working with you and your members is all ours.

We are so pleased with your success.

Rita & your friends at The Jubilee Fund Inc.