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Winnipeg Youth Build Connections and Combat Social Isolation at Gaming Night

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In an effort to bridge communities and combat social isolation, the Manitoba Islamic Association (MIA), in collaboration with Islamic Relief’s Charity Week, hosted Gaming Night. Tailored for youth ages 14 to 18, Game Night was a dynamic platform for connection and camaraderie.

Zain Ansari, the organizer of Gaming Night, stated to Civic Platform the event was part of MIA’s youth program. 

“We set up events for kids under the age of 18 to engage them with the community, foster connections, and encourage their involvement. Also, providing an opportunity for kids to enjoy their time, make new friends, and be more involved in the community. It will be good for their future, and we hope to continue organizing events like this.”

Combatting social isolation and fostering a sense of community is the goal. Gaming, a universal language for today’s youth, has become the medium through which friendships are forged and networks are built. It is not just about scoring points in a game; it is about scoring points in building lasting relationships.

Ansari added it is challenging to predict the exact impact the event will have on the kids but that it brings them together and begins new friendships. 

“I want them to realize that the mosque is not just for prayer but also a place for having fun. I hope to instill the idea that coming to the mosque involves more than just praying and going back home; there are other options, such as going to the gym, playing, and enjoying their time. Whether they are playing video games, participating in activities like badminton, or engaging in other hobbies, it is an enjoyable time for the kids. If this event has a positive impact and brings them closer to the mosque, I will consider it a success.”

The night was filled with pulsating beats of gaming controllers echoing through the Waverly Grand Mosque, transcending traditional boundaries. In partnership with Islamic Relief’s Charity Week, MIA is paving the way for a Gaming Night to become the catalyst for building connections among Winnipeg’s youth.

– Zuher Almusre, U Multicultural

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