Connecting People, Changing Lives

Malayali Association of Social Workers in Ontario, popularly known as MASWO is an association of professional Social Workers of Malayali dissent, which falls within the larger South Asian diaspora in Canada. The word “Malayali” means the individuals who identify themselves with the fabulous culture of Kerala, a province in India. The word “Malayali” is also associated with the word Malayalam, which is the mother lounge of the people of Kerala.

Malayali immigration to Canada begun notably in 1950’s. Though the exact number of Malayali population in Canada is unknown at this time, it has grown significantly over the decades, especially since 2000. As immigration keeps changes and our populations is spread across various provinces, tracking the numbers in deed is a challenging task.

Largely, the immigrants from Kerala are highly educated and skilled, and majority of them are frontline workers in health care or human service sector such as Nurses, Social Workers and other professionals.

Beginning and growth

  • MASWO was initiated by a group of dedicated Malayali Social Workers as an informal support group in 2003.
  • Over the years, the group provided tremendous service to the Malayali Social Workers, their families, and communities, enabling them professionally and socially to integrate into Canadian Society.
  • To meet the ever-increasing demands for ongoing support services for our community in general and Social workers in particular, in a more coordinated way, a new leadership team was formed and MASWO was registered as a not-for profit organization in 2019.
  • MASWO is community based professional organization and the membership is limited to social workers with either MSW or BSW degree.
  • MASWO offers services to its members and the community at large.

Leadership Team

  • MASWO’s team comprises a seven member executive team and a three member Advisory Council.
  • Our work is carried out by volunteers and we have no paid employees. Members involve with MASWO to support each other, building a strong community.
  • Executive Team : meets once a week and each member contributes a minimum of 40 hours per month for various programs to plan and implement programs.
  • Advisory Council : meets as needed and provides guidance to the executive team.
  • The secret of MASWO’s energy : Team work
  • “We are all working together ;that’s the secret” Sam Walto


We envision a community where Social Workers are well connected, mutually supported and effectively engaged in self-development and transforming lives.


MASWO is committed to promoting the professional and social advancement of all Social Workers of Malayali descent in Canada, providing ongoing support and services, enabling them to contribute to the empowerment of communities through their creative professional involvement.

Our Core Values

Learning and Excellence

We facilitate an environment of lifelong learning, innovation and leadership leading to lasting excellence in our actions.

Integrity and Accountability

We uphold the highest level of honesty, trust, transparency and accountability in all our engagements.

Collaboration and Partnership

We believe in the power of collaboration and solidarity in making positive differences in our lives and contribute to betterment of the community at large.

Diversity and Inclusion

We respect and value the potentials of every individual, his /her beliefs and pursue equity based engagements.



Enhancing Organizational Effectiveness

We envision that we will grow into an effective and inclusive organization that caters to the diverse needs of all our members. We will mobilize our members in different regions and establish structural linkages with the core team to facilitate programs for our members and communities at various levels.

Maximizing Ongoing Support Services

MASWO will diligently engage in connecting members with each other and to resources for their professional advancement. By 2024, MASWO will have sector wise expert teams for community mental health, child protection, hospital social work, community development and so on to provide specific need- based support to members across the province.

Expanding Community Engagements

MASWO will continue to collaborate with all like-minded organizations and individuals within the Malayali community and the Canadian society to support our members, families and communities.


Bring all Malayali social workers in Ontario together and facilitate supportive connections for their professional advancement in Canada.

Provide ongoing support to members and their families to overcome the barriers they encounter in their professional and social integration in Canada.

Work with various levels of government, social work institutions and regulatory bodies in Canada for the ongoing professional development of members and also to address the issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion of Racialized Social Workers in Ontario.

Enrich community spirit, promoting the cultural and social activities of members, their families and larger Malayali community in Canada.

Work with various levels of government and social work institutions in India to enhance ongoing advancement of social work education and Social Work Profession in India.

Develop programs and services to support newcomer families to facilitate their integration into Canadian society.

Undertake social development projects in Canada and respond proactively to the needs of communities in India as needed.