HAYAT Canada Family Support was founded in 2014 by Canada’s Christianne Boudreau after her eldest son left home to fight and die for ISIS in Syria. Christianne’s pain motivated her to help other families whose kids are being recruited by violent extremist groups. Since then, HAYAT Canada has provided: educational programming to raise awareness of the signs of violent extremism; assistance to community and university organizations; councelling and support to dozens of families whose sons and daughters have been caught up in the violence.
HAYAT works one individual at a time, fighting extremist ideologies primarily through family engagement. When HAYAT Canada receives a call or message from an individual concerned about a family member, volunteers from a number of communities across Canada are able to access local resources. In addition to families being encouraged to help other families, volunteers who work for HAYAT CANADA are often social workers, lawyers, psychologists, and academics who work to intervene, educate and help prevent the spread of violent extremism.