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Former U of C students look to address domestic violence in Calgary with non-profit

By Nikayla Goddard, October 6 2017 —

The Sat Rang Foundation — a non-profit organization with the mission of bringing light to issues of domestic violence in South Asian communities in Calgary — was created by Tonie Minhas and Amandeep Kaur Singh, Calgarians who spent time at the University of Calgary and the surrounding area working with community development and social justice. Minhas graduated from the U of C with a political science degree in 2015 and Singh spent her first two years of her natural science undergraduate degree at the U of C before finishing at the University of Alberta.

Founded in August, the non-profit organization aims primarily to provide South Asian and Middle Eastern groups in Calgary with access to culturally relevant resources that may not otherwise be available. Minhas and Singh conducted focus groups over a year ago in order to form the vision for the organization.

According to Minhas, Sat Rang — which means “seven colors” in Punjabi — serves as a “symbol for diversity and ethnicity.”

Minhas explained that she and Singh both have relevant background experience ranging from working with the Calgary Police Service to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta as well as with family violence in Calgary.

“We were able to individually, as we were working, start to recognize a lot of gaps, because there was really no safety net in place for folks that were struggling with even something as simple as a language barrier,” Minhas said. “The two of us were introduced by a mutual friend and the idea spurred from there.”

An example of the type of service Sat Rang provides is creating how-to guides in different languages, such as Arabic or Punjabi, explaining what to expect when someone calls the police, showing how and where to report domestic violence and providing information on sexual education, drugs, and alcohol.

Singh said that developing community partnerships with other relevant organizations is essential to provide a safe and inclusive space where people can learn to advocate for themselves as well as others.

“Until we start talking about topics like family violence they’re just going to stay under the covers,” Minhas added. “Everyone seems to think it’s an individual’s issue, so until we start talking about it those that need help the most are not going to be able to get it.”

More information about the Sat Rang Foundation can be found on their Facebook page, which provides updates on their services and contact information.

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