About Us

Everyone is Welcome

At Umoja Community Mosaic, we believe that the foundation of a strong organization and vibrant neighborhood is built on human connection. We don’t just want to be part of a community – we want to belong.

Belonging is essential to being human. We need each other to thrive. It makes us feel safe, more trusting, and collaborative. As social beings, we are hardwired to connect with others.

Umoja is all about building relationships. These connections help combat isolation and exclusion, breaking down barriers that divide us. We strive to foster a deeper sense of belonging for families, communities, and neighbourhoods.

 

We achieve this by being a welcoming organization. In every neighbourhood we serve, we create an environment where everyone feels welcome, regardless of age, language, gender, religious belief, ethnicity, or cultural tradition. We aim to help everyone find their place and feel a sense of belonging.

 

At Umoja, providing access to opportunities to participate, engage, thrive, and contribute is our core mission. Belonging is about being recognized and appreciated by others. It makes our lives more meaningful. It’s about being understood, knowing others, and being known. Most importantly, a strong sense of belonging increases engagement and is the first step toward building psychological safety.

We are committed to creating spaces where everyone can contribute to their family, community, city, and country, ensuring that each person feels a genuine sense of belonging.We

Umoja Community Mosaic, formerly Soccer Without Boundaries, began 13 years ago as a community soccer program in the public housing neighbourhood of Glenbrook SW in Calgary. Umoja Community Mosaic began in 2010 as a drop-in soccer program called Soccer Without Boundaries. Soccer Without Boundaries operated as a small grassroots organization with a big impact on social inclusion. Through soccer, we have built healthy communities – we have created an environment that allows young people to shine, with a motto, “Everyone is welcome”. In 2020, we widened the scope of our services in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and increased our organization’s mandate. We changed our name to Umoja Community Mosaic to reflect this expansion using the word “Umoja”, meaning “unity” and “belonging” in Swahili.

 

Today, we are a grassroots multiservice agency that serves families throughout Calgary with our unique neighbourhood based approach. UMOJA’s presence and impact has increased exponentially over the past three years offering basic services to underserved Calgarians to access supports and programs not ordinarily accessible for many newcomers, racialized and vulnerable Calgarians. Our organization is now positioned to serve these communities within our 5 program areas: Soccer Without Boundaries, Mosaic Food and Nutrition Program, Thrive Education and Tutoring Support, Mosaic Wellness and Counselling and our Community Connections Program.

Our Mission

By building programs and processes led and managed by community members, UMOJA creatively fosters solutions for underserved people to build social capital that consistently facilitates a sense of belonging. 

  • Inclusive: inviting every individual to participate, engage and celebrate difference 
  • Learning organization: we learn from the community, bring people together to solve problems and build a community
  • Safe: giving every child a safe place to play, learn and grow
  • Family-centred: supporting each family’s growth and success
  • Community-minded: encouraging collective identity; accommodating diversity (40+nationalities); empowering from within the community
  • Teamwork-centred: creating meaningful, engaged and supportive opportunities for integration to serve & build community
  • Responsive: meeting community where it is at and acting on change

Our Vision

We envision caring communities across Calgary where all children and families have the supports, they need to belong, contribute, and thrive.     

 

A genuine sense of belonging is derived from the freedom to define one’s life that aligns with their values, identities, gifts and talents in mutual reciprocity with other community members. The ability to work, play, learn and create in a way that accentuates each person’s highest ideals is the goal of a loved community. Because of this, purely policy-level change cannot do the full work of emancipation. Our focus depends on the creation of spaces where freedom to self-invent in the context of community is explicitly supported, and barriers to participation are minimized.