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deenSTRONG Foundation

4936 Rundlehorn Dr NE Calgary AB T1Y 1B9

Our vision is to see ethnocultural communities integrated, empowered, and thriving in an equitable Canadian society. deenSTRONG’s mission is to build youth leaders from marginalized communities by developing their physical, mental, and emotional capacities. Our goal is to advocate for social justice and youth leadership development. deenSTRONG offers culturally-nuanced programming, including a variety of summer camps, mental health educational programs, and leadership opportunities.

Starting off as nothing more than Friday night basketball and a summer camp for marginalized youth, The Deen Strong Foundation was established in 2009 by Mahdi Qasqas and Mohamed El-Rafih. An organization that aims to support youth, deenSTRONG holds multiple camps annually, including day camps for young children and leadership programs for teens and young adults. We achieve this by providing a safe and supportive environment for our youth to learn new skills, connect with one another, and contribute to the betterment of our community. In aims of that, deenSTRONG programming and resources have been developed in consultation with community leaders and professionals from the psychology and social work field. This ensures that all deenSTRONG programming is relatable, easily understood, and accessible to members of target ethnocultural communities. One gap that deenSTRONG is aiming to address is the underutilization of mental health services by improving accessibility among marginalized Canadians, including those from diverse ethnocultural backgrounds and rural areas. Currently, deenSTRONG is raising funds to develop an online counseling platform, as well as a community space for youth to interact with positive role models.