Better Your Business – Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto

Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto

Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto has made the decision to commit to contributing business practices and activities that respond to the Sustainable Development Goals as issued by the United Nations. The following is a list of the 17 goals outlined by the UN, and how we plan to commit to practices that best meet those goals.

Membership in our community is entirely optional, ensuring that those facing financial hardships can still join. The membership fee is flexible, either being waived or eligible for a rebate upon request.

All members are entitled to a complimentary burial plan, covering all burial expenses provided by the organization.

Our community actively engages in charitable initiatives, such as clothing, toys, and food drives organized by members. Donations are directed to organizations and outlets supporting individuals living in poverty in Vaughan.

In collaboration with various places of worship, we extend our support to the homeless during winter. This includes providing shelter, food, medical check-ups, clean clothes, and more, ensuring a warm environment and hot meals seven days a week throughout the winter season.

Financial assistance is readily available for anyone in need, covering essential necessities such as food, shelter, and medical assistance. We strive to foster a compassionate and supportive environment within the larger community.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger - United Nations Sustainable Development

We operate two food banks, namely the Masumeen Muslim Food Bank and the Jaffari Muslim Food Bank, serving the entire greater Toronto region. Those in need receive a monthly ration, along with financial assistance for other necessities such as medical or hygiene products.

Additionally, we offer hot meals once a month throughout the year to the homeless and shelters. These meals are freshly prepared in-house by our dedicated volunteers and then delivered by the same volunteers.

During the holy month of Ramadan, our commitment intensifies, with over 4000 meals prepared in-house daily for a span of 30 days. These meals are provided to individuals who wish to break their fasts.

Regularly, following our services, we extend the provision of meals to our community members, totaling over 75 additional meals each year.

To ensure inclusivity, special takeout containers are prepared during Ramadan and our services, which are then delivered to those unable to attend, as well as to nearby shelters and orphanages. We aim to share the spirit of community and support beyond our immediate membership.

Health - United Nations Sustainable Development

We have implemented mask mandates and set up sterilizing stations throughout the center, actively promoting social distancing during our services. To further support our members’ well-being, we organize various sporting events and health camps.

For our senior members, we conduct yoga and fitness sessions three times a week throughout the year. Following these sessions, participants are treated to healthy snacks and hot tea, fostering both physical and social well-being.

Annually, we host a three-day sporting competition, welcoming teams from across North America. This event not only includes healthy meals but also features workshops on healthy living throughout the duration.

Our fully equipped, full-size gymnasium operates seven days a week, offering a variety of sporting activities suitable for all age groups. Additionally, we boast two in-house fitness centers, providing comprehensive facilities for our members’ fitness needs. We are dedicated to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle within our community.

Education - United Nations Sustainable Development

We operate a full-time secular school with an enrollment of over 800 students. Our school delivers a secular education while incorporating a religious environment to enrich the overall learning experience.

In addition to the full-time school, we manage four religious weekend schools, boasting a combined student body of over 1500. These weekend schools are entirely run by dedicated volunteers committed to providing religious education.

Our commitment to education extends to regular workshops designed for youth, covering a spectrum of educational programs that include both secular and religious topics.

To support our senior community members, we host regular educational workshops focusing on computer literacy, health education, aging with grace, and more. These workshops are designed to enhance the well-being and knowledge of our seniors, promoting lifelong learning within our community.

United Nations: Gender equality and women's empowerment

Our bylaws include a dedicated board position exclusively for women, ensuring their active representation and involvement in decision-making processes.

We organize special events exclusively for women, encompassing a range of activities such as services, bazaars, educational forums, and discussions on women’s rights.

Within our community, we offer opportunities for women to hold high-ranking positions, fostering gender inclusivity and recognizing their valuable contributions.

To promote physical well-being and community engagement, specific days in the week are designated for women’s sporting events, providing a dedicated space for active participation and enjoyment. We are committed to creating an inclusive and empowering environment for women within our community

Water and Sanitation - United Nations Sustainable Development

We not only offer free, clean drinking water for our staff and community members but also provide convenient access through numerous drinking fountains and refilling stations located throughout our community buildings.

During major events, dedicated cleaners are stationed at all our washrooms to ensure continuous cleanliness and hygiene throughout the programs.

To uphold water quality, regular testing procedures are in place, underscoring our commitment to maintaining high standards.

Furthermore, all our washrooms are equipped with detachable hose bidet sprayers, contributing to enhanced cleanliness and personal hygiene for the comfort of our community members and visitors.

Affordable and Clean Energy - Wellesley Institute

As part of our corporate commitment to achieving carbon neutrality, we are transitioning to energy-efficient lighting and implementing light sensors throughout our facilities.

To minimize energy consumption, our facilities are fully automated, incorporating light and movement sensors to prevent unnecessary usage.

In line with our sustainability goals, solar panels have been installed on our roofs, reducing our dependence on hydroelectricity power and further contributing to our efforts to operate in an environmentally responsible manner.

Goal 8 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

We organize Career Days to provide our community in Vaughan with valuable access to employment opportunities, facilitating connections between job seekers and potential employers.

For our youth, we offer specialized programs that equip them with essential skills, guiding them on how to apply for jobs and successfully navigate the job market in Vaughan.

In addition, our community actively utilizes various social media groups, serving as platforms to connect employers with individuals seeking employment, businesses offering services, people selling personal items, and professionals providing their expertise. These digital spaces foster a dynamic exchange of opportunities and services within our community

Sustainable Development Goal 9 - Wikipedia

Our community is dedicated to pioneering environmentally-friendly technologies, exemplified by the installation of recharging stations for electric vehicles in our parking lots, promoting sustainable practices.

To enhance accessibility and efficiency, we simplify registration for our food events by providing online forms. Additionally, communication within our various groups is facilitated through WhatsApp, fostering quick and direct interactions.

We keep our community well-informed about events, workshops, training sessions, and educational camps through diverse social media platforms, ensuring widespread and timely dissemination of information. This approach aligns with our commitment to embracing innovation and modern communication methods.

Sustainable Development Goal 10 - Wikipedia

We are dedicated to diminishing inequalities in our community by fostering inclusivity for individuals with disabilities. This commitment is reflected in the installation of access ramps and elevators to make our facilities more accessible.

In recognition of the challenges faced by some community members in commuting, we offer transportation services to ensure that everyone can participate in our programs.

To support the deaf and hard of hearing, our programs feature American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, promoting an inclusive environment for all.

Additionally, we ensure that our programs are accessible online, providing a platform for those who may be unable to attend in person. This approach underscores our commitment to inclusivity and ensuring that our community activities are accessible to everyone.

Sustainable Development Goal 11 - Wikipedia

Our community is deeply committed to sustainable initiatives, exemplified by the establishment of a community garden for our members. Additionally, we have initiated a Gardening from Home program, providing 80 enrolled members with compostable pots and seeds, encouraging sustainable gardening practices.

To further promote environmental consciousness, we actively support the use of rain barrels. This not only helps reduce runoff and pollution but also contributes to water conservation, aiding in the health of creeks and rivers. This initiative also serves to raise awareness about stormwater management within our community.

Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

We actively promote responsible consumption and production through a comprehensive food waste disposal program. This includes the use of green stickers to indicate compostable waste. Through this initiative, we have successfully reduced food waste at our events from 20 bags of garbage to only two, showcasing our commitment to sustainable practices.

To further minimize environmental impact, we discourage the use of plastics and strictly prohibit plastic water bottles within our community. Instead, we strongly advocate for the use of reusable bottles and even offer them to the community at subsidized costs.

In an effort to reduce single-use items at our events, we provide reusable dinnerware at subsidized prices. Attendees using these items benefit from express service, and we additionally promote their use by making donations towards worthy causes on their behalf. This approach aligns with our commitment to sustainable practices and community well-being.

Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action

We actively encourage the community to adopt sustainable practices such as carpooling, recycling, reusing, saving energy, and reducing food waste. Our commitment to this cause is reinforced through video announcements at our events and the consistent delivery of educational messages.

Furthermore, we pledge our support to climate action groups, including the UNFCCC and its Youth Climate Report programs. Through our social media subscriptions, website links, and information postings, we aim to keep the community well-informed about global climate initiatives. Additionally, we contribute to climate documentary film production for the United Nations, exemplified by our support for the film “A Faithful Commitment to Sustainability” (2023).

To ensure our community stays informed about climate change, both locally in Vaughan and on a global scale, we actively share relevant information and updates. This comprehensive approach reflects our dedication to fostering awareness and action on climate issues within our community.

Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water

We are dedicated to reducing the impact of plastic waste from our community on rivers, lakes, and oceans. Our ultimate goal is to transition exclusively to sustainably produced alternatives. To achieve this, we actively provide information and resources that empower our community members to minimize their reliance on traditional plastics. Through education and awareness, we strive to foster a collective commitment to sustainable choices and contribute to the well-being of our environment.

Sustainable Development Goal 15 - Wikipedia

We are committed to recycling and have set the objective of using only environmentally-friendly materials whenever possible. To reduce our paper consumption, we are actively planning to transition to a 100% digital approach.

Annually, on Earth Day, we organize a community-wide litter pickup event, inviting everyone to join in walking through the neighborhood and participating in the cleanup effort.

Furthermore, we actively promote tree planting initiatives within our community. Special events have been organized to facilitate the planting of trees at our centers, encouraging environmental stewardship and contributing to the well-being of our surroundings.

Sustainable Development Goal 16 - Wikipedia


We actively support rehabilitation programs in Vaughan and contribute to initiatives that promote community policing. Additionally, we open our doors to local law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, schools, and universities, hosting their staff and students to provide insights into our practices and beliefs, fostering understanding and positive relations.

To ensure the safety of our students, our schools are equipped with extensive security measures, including onsite security patrols.

Collaborating with other faiths and communities, we engage in charitable activities that uplift our broader community.

An annual interfaith meal serves as a platform for fostering unity and understanding. We extend invitations to neighbors, politicians, various community groups of different faiths, organizations including the police, fire department, and city officials. This event reinforces our commitment to building strong, inclusive relationships with all segments of our community.

Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

We are dedicated to partnering with groups, organizations, and suppliers who share our commitment to sustainable business practices. Presently, some of our valued partners include Enviro Muslims, Holy Trinity Church (collaborating on our food waste program), and SMILE Canada, an organization dedicated to supporting children with disabilities.

Through these collaborations, we aim to advance our commitment to adhering to all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, reinforcing our dedication to sustainability and making a positive impact in various aspects of our community and beyond.