April 16, 2020

1$ million contribution from Mastercard Foundation to help Friendship Centres serve urban Indigenous community

The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) and the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre (MNFC) would like to acknowledge the generous contribution of $1 million from the Mastercard Foundation to support Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations (PTAs) across the country as they navigate the COVID-19 response.

“Friendship Centres have been on the front lines, doing the best they can, with limited resources to support urban Indigenous communities from the start of the pandemic and these funds will help them continue that work. We appreciate Mastercard Foundation’s recognition of our unique role in supporting the urban Indigenous community now, and are very grateful for their support,” says NAFC president Christopher Sheppard Buote.

The contribution is part of the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program announced earlier this month. The program aims to assist institutions and communities in Africa and within Indigenous communities in Canada to withstand and respond to the impacts of COVID-19, while strengthening their resilience.

“The financial support from the Mastercard Foundation will go a long way to ensure that we, at the MNFC, are meeting the needs of our community here in Halifax. We are happy to work in partnership with the NAFC to ensure this support reaches across the country,” says MNFC executive director Pam Glode Desrochers.

The Friendship Centre Movement employs over 3,600 people and serves over 1.7 million clients (Indigenous and non) annually. Friendship Centres provide essential services in urban areas (including health care, housing, justice and crisis support, daily meals, cultural programming, etc.) and during this pandemic, are picking up the slack as other local services close their doors; meaning their communities rely on them for consistent public health updates and support during this pandemic.

"There is no blueprint for navigating this crisis. However, the actions we take now will shape the post-COVID-19 world. This crisis is teaching us how interdependent we are as well as how powerful collective action can be,” says Reeta Roy, President and CEO, Mastercard Foundation.

Funding the work of the Friendship Centre Movement is important now, more than ever, so Friendship Centres can continue to support their communities when they need it most. The support from the Mastercard Foundation will help our Centres continue to carry out their essential work.

If you’re able to at this time, please consider donating to your local Friendship Centre.

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