You are cordially invited to our CMCCF Annual General Meeting

Date and Time: October 28, 2021 @ 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

This is our second Annual General Meeting.

There are two sections to this event:

A) The Annual General Meeting of CMCCF from 6:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. C.S.T.

B) The Learning Event, from 7:20 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. C.S.T.

We are inviting you to join us for our quick business meeting and then our interactive session on the topic of “What We Owe Each Other”. This is an introduction to the topic of what are our expectations between individuals, their families, their cultural communities, and our societal institutions.

This is the first of six more interactive mutual learning sessions (December 2021- June 2022) where we will be exploring the life cycle of a person and how they expect support in terms of these themes: health, education, preparing for employment, ageing, and intergenerational dimensions of life.

Questions to consider:

1. To whom do we need to take care of?

2. Will cultural communities continue to have a role in this mutual obligation to its families and individuals?

3. To whom do we feel a mutual obligation?

4. How has the pandemic changed our culture of ‘owing each other,’ and other previous expectations?

These questions have a direct influence on how our family life and community life is organized and is required to answer the following question: Can we meet our life aspirations of education, child care, health care and employment which impact the life we want?

Our Learning Event:“What We Owe Each Other”

Are we, WE?

Our Panel:

Moderator: Nadia Kidwai


Nadia is currently seconded as the Executive Producer for Diversity and Inclusion at CBC Manitoba.

Prior to her secondment, she hosted the Weekend Morning Show at CBC Manitoba. Nadia is originally from Cardiff, Wales. She came to Canada in 2004 after graduating from Oxford University with a B.A. in Politics and History.

Before joining CBC Manitoba, Nadia spent over a decade working on issues related to diversity, inclusion, community development, and capacity building. Her experience ranges from working with newcomers in non-profit organisations and community groups; advisory and advocacy work for marginalised populations on provincial councils; research and consulting for the Government of Manitoba; and more recently in designing, developing, and coordinating two different leadership programs: the Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute which she co-founded and Next Up Winnipeg which is part of a national progressive leadership program. She has been with CBC Manitoba since 2016.

Panel Members:

Marwa Fadol


Marwa Fadol is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta and holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. She is a Mental Health Therapist with Alberta Health Services, providing triage and assessment to people struggling with addiction and mental health concerns. Marwa has over a decade of experience in school-based and community mental health. She has a private practice where she works with individuals and families around various issues including anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, and attachment and family relationships.

Marwa is also a Training and Development Specialist with the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI) where she authors, edits, and facilitates trainings on a variety of topics related to mental health, trauma, and crisis response. Additionally, Marwa consults with community and faith-based organizations on topics related to mental health. As a clinician she believes that people are the experts in their own lives and have within them the strength and capacity to enact change. Marwa approaches her work through an attachment and developmental lens and sees that her role as a therapist is to help empower people to write their own life stories, explore their own values and beliefs about how the world works, and develop authentic, fulfilling relationships.

Dr. Berhanu Balcha


He was born and raised in Central Ethiopia, now called, Oromia. He completed primary school and secondary school in Ethiopia. He was admitted to the Haile Selassie I university, now called, Addis Ababa, University. Berhanu completed freshman, then enrolled in the pre-med stream. Due to the political situation, he had to leave Ethiopia and went to Hungary. There he completed his medical education; graduated in 1981. He had taken further training in Winnipeg, completed a rotating internship, and wrote a few qualifying examinations. Due to the military, oppressive and dictatorial regime in Ethiopia, Berhanu opted to stay abroad. He became a refugee in Italy from where he immigrated to Canada. He has been in Canada for over 35 years now and has made Winnipeg his home. He works as a general practitioner/ Family physician at St. James Primacy Clinic and Deer Lodge Centre. He is one of the founders and board members of CMCCF. He volunteered in many community organizations. He speaks, reads, and writes well in Afaan Oromo, Amharic, English and Hungarian. He is married and has four children. Berhanu is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Coalition of Manitoba Cultural Communities for Families Inc.

Chat Moderator

Alka Kumar, PhD, Peace and Conflict Studies (University of Manitoba) and Research Fellow, CERC in Migration and Integration, at Ryerson University.

Over the past 10 months, Alka along with other members of cultural communities have been discussing and testing ideas to establish a CMCCF Community Engagement Facilitator’s Program. This program will explore and develop capacities to convene and engage with others to ensure that Cultural Community voices are heard, respected and understood as it relates to public policy development in our communities.


‘What we owe each other’ is based on the expectations society has placed on each of us and this is known as a social contract. Usually these are negotiated in times of great upheaval and significant change. In essence, a social contract are the expectations we construct and are reflective of our values; and how we want to live them within ourselves, our families, and our communities. There are many assumptions that give direction to the development of social contracts, for example the following areas of our life cycle 1) raising and educating children; 2) dealing with poverty and inequities in human services; 3) helping people adjust to new and emerging economic realities; 4) how we care for the elderly; and 5) how we balance the interests of different generations.

Here are examples of previous assumptions certain societies have assumed are true: families are led by a sole male who is the bread winner; women should be responsible to take care of children and the old; people would stay married until they died; and there will be steady employment for all.

Also, traditionally there are three guiding principles which inform the development of any social contract. They are: 1) ‘Security for All’, where everyone should be guaranteed a minimum required to live a decent life; 2) ‘Maximum Investment in Capabilities’, where everyone should be expected to contribute as much as they can and then other aspects of our society must take over; and 3) ‘Sharing of Risks’, where everyone should be protected from risks of sickness, unemployment and old age.

We will have a number of questions which the panel and our audienmay consider, including:

1- What has changed before and during this pandemic which demonstrates that the current social contract and what we owe each other has changed?

2 – How different are our expectations now between the individual and their cultural community?

3 – What can we expect from our governmental institutions?

4- How fair and reasonable is it for cultural communities to remain as recipients of social services rather than becoming leaders, co-creators, mentors, and teachers of cultural context and developers of relevant community services in partnership with diverse service providers and policymakers?

Please note that we were inspired by the book written by Minouche Shafik, ‘We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract For A Better Society’

To Register:

Notion website link: