Nisa Foundation: Creating Safe Havens and Promoting Inclusive Communities at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

Bringing the community together is at the heart of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Every year, thousands of people gather together to participate in their way and be part of larger causes by supporting one of the many fundraising charity teams. One of these teams is the Nisa Foundation, an organization just as committed to the community as it supports women and children fleeing dangerous situations. 

Established in 2014, the NISA Foundation first started in the Greater Toronto Area arising from the need for culturally sensitive transitional homes. Compared to regular shelters which accommodate for shorter stays,  a transitional home allows for more stability as marginalized women needing safety and support create a better life for themselves and their children. 

Nisa Foundation is a national organization composed of Nisa Homes, Nisa Helpline, and Nisa Learning. Their resources include various in-depth services, including food and shelter with ten homes across the country to help clients get through difficult and dangerous situations. They also provide an anonymous helpline where women across North America can request remote services to offer them mental health support and peer counselling. Nisa Learning offers workshops on how to provide culturally sensitive care and work with members and organizations to support women in domestic violence situations. 

Faduma Abdirahman, the Ottawa Outreach Coordinator for Nisa Foundation, explains, “Our mission is to transform communities by engaging, equipping, and enriching the lives of women and children to reach their full potential. We work to achieve a world in which all women and families live with dignity and justice, and where women’s empowerment fuels thriving communities.”

Nisa has had a presence in Ottawa since 2021 and their local chapter is looking forward to being involved in this year’s Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Faduma shares her excitement saying, “As someone raised in Ottawa, I have seen the wonderful vibes of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and I want our organization to be a part of that. This race will give us the platform to officially cement our place in the thriving philanthropic community that the city has to offer.”

Nisa Foundation’s team comprises approximately 15 runners, including some first-time racers, who will be participating in the 2K, 5K, and 10K races. “Running with my family and friends in a community I grew up in for this cause means so much to me. A healthy living style is promoted and encouraged for clients currently using our services so we thought it was best to exhibit the same healthy lifestyle we advocate for,” Faduma says.

The Nisa Foundation sees Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend as a reflection of its core values. The event promotes community engagement, health, and inclusivity, which are all fundamental pillars of the organization’s mission. Faduma notes, “Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is a powerful platform for promoting community engagement, health, and inclusivity, which are all core pillars of the Nisa Foundation’s mission.” 

Like many organizations participating in Race Weekend, Nisa Foundation’s participation is not just about running; it’s about making a meaningful impact in the community. 

Support the Nisa Foundation by donating to their Desjardins Charity Challenge team and your donation will help provide food, shelter, and services to women and children in need. Additionally, join their team this May at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and be a part of their mission to empower communities and transform lives.