Black Seniors Virtual Network
Jaku Konbit and Flo’s Seniors
Programs and services for Black seniors
The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility has reviewed and approved Jaku Konbit and Flo’s Seniors “Ottawa Black Seniors Virtual Living Network” grant application. The Ottawa Black Seniors Virtual Active Living Network project builds upon the established track record of leadership, knowledge, program excellence and good stewardship of Jaku Konbit and Flo’s Seniors. Both organizations have been actively involved in the enhanced needs of Black seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginning in mid-March 2020, both organizations participated in a trial virtual outreach project in health, wellbeing, safety and education to serve at-risk seniors in Ottawa, from the safety of their homes. With the support of Bronson Centre, a community hub, Jaku Konbit and Flo’s Seniors will focus on the unique needs of Blacks seniors in and around the Ottawa community. The project will include unique studies about experiences of other Black organizations in Ontario, a history study of successful collaborations, and the design and testing of both safe in-person social inclusion activities and digital casting to more isolated at-risk seniors.
With the support of our community partners, the Bronson Centre Rise, Black History Ottawa, and BIA Media, Jaku Konbit and Flo’s seniors will engage Black Seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic by getting them to participate in our Virtual Active Living Network, information and educational programs and services.
The project will include unique studies about experiences of other Black organizations in Ontario, a history study of successful collaborations, and the design and testing of both safe in-person social inclusion activities and digital casting to more isolated at-risk seniors.
For more information on this project please contact Jaku Konbit at 613-567-0600 and Flo’s Seniors at (613) 292-3375.
This project is funded by the Seniors Community Grant Program
Ottawa Black Senior and Virtual Living Network (OBSVLN)
The Ottawa Black Seniors Virtual Living Network Project is on track to achieve its goals and objectives within the dedicated timelines of February to April 2021. The Network continues to build upon the established track record of leadership, knowledge, program excellence and good stewardship of Jaku Konbit and Flo’s Seniors. Both organizations have been actively involved in enhancing the needs of Black seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic since mid-March 2020.
The project has reached its midway mark, accomplishing the following to date:
Video Testimonials From Black Seniors:
This video compilation initiative ran from March 15 to April 30, 2021. Seniors gave testimonials of their experiences and the services they have received via online programs over the last 12 months in Ottawa. The videos also highlighted the significance of the United Nation’s Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), the historical roles of Black seniors from Nanny of the Maroons to Harriet Tubman’s vision of creating a nursing home for the poor and old in her community, as well as local community Black organizations that provide meaningful support and services to seniors.
Name of Survey
Surveys were administered to approximately one hundred Black seniors which offered insights and reflections on pre-existing structural inequities and vulnerabilities that this demographic is facing prior to, and throughout the pandemic. To support the survey participants, a list of various services, organizations and resources in Ottawa and across Ontario were compiled and shared with the seniors to assist in addressing or managing issues that they raised.
Outreach to Social Networks
Within the scope of the project we have discovered many more organizations within Ontario that are working within the same scope to provide assistance to Black seniors and their families. By undertaking research through community networks and databases, and collaborating with community leaders, we were able to identify and compile a list of these organizations such as Jaku Konbit and Flo’s Seniors. As much as reaching out and connecting is great, it is our hope that when COVID restrictions ease, we can have in-person meetings with the other organizations and develop a larger framework. The document is evergreen and will be updated periodically.
Community Leaders’ Interviews
Our project also included interviews with members of Black History Ottawa (BHO), African Canadian Association of Ottawa (ACAO), as well as the Innovation Culture Group out of Toronto to talk about their initiatives and accomplishments in the community. Through our continued outreach, we are fortunate to have the assistance of Bronson Centre, Ottawa Black Business Alliance and the hosts of University of Ottawa’s community radio station CHUO 89.1 FM. Many of these interviews were aired on CHUO ‘s program, “Black on Black”, with the support of its co-hosts.