When you support the Canadian Women’s Foundation, you’re helping to change lives. The stories of the people who participate in our funded programs speak volumes about the potential for transformation. Keep reading for a selection of the stories we’ve shared through the Foundation’s publications and videos.
“I graduated from the program with more self-confidence and a great foundation in coding.”
Tolulope is one of many participants in Economic Development programs founded by the Foundation that support women on their journeys toward financial stability and independence. Watch their video stories.
“I feel like I have a new life now. One that will be free from abuse.”
With the support of a women’s shelter, Jennifer* was able to leave an abusive relationship, begin healing from the trauma and move forward with new hope.
“I left the program with so much more confidence than when I started. That was a huge part of my healing journey as an Indigenous woman going into business.”
With the help of a business program that honours Indigenous entrepreneurs’ cultural ways of knowing, being and doing, Vashti Etzel was able to take her wearable art business to the next level.
Safer + Stronger Grant
Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association
In the wake of the pandemic, calls to the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association rose by 50 per cent. In addition to many more women needing support related to gender-based violence, counsellors spent much more time helping them deal with job loss, isolation, and family stress and tension. Check out how a Safer + Stronger grant, funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada, helped.
Safer + Stronger Grant
Beauséjour Family Crisis Resource Centre
When the pandemic hit, emergency shelter beds filled at Beauséjour Family Crisis Resource Centre in Shediac, New Brunswick, and staff struggled to keep up with the need for housing support. Check out how a Safer And Stronger grant, funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada, helped.
“It motivates you to do better for yourself.”
After struggling to find work, Stephanie now thrives at Operation Grow, a hydroponic farm that receives funding from the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Through this social enterprise program, women who have experienced poverty, abuse, and trauma cultivate new skills and build stronger financial futures.
“It’s so important to have these programs for newcomers, just to explore the possibilities and to make connections in a new country.”
After growing up as a refugee, Sylvie came to Canada for a better future. The TechWomen program helped her build on her skills and secure a job. “It gave me exactly what I needed.”
“I carry myself much stronger as a woman than I did before … I don’t know where I would be without the programs at the girls’ centre.”
Summer started attending girls’ programs funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation when she was nine — and just kept going back. Now that she’s 19, she’s helping younger girls connect with Indigenous history and culture.
“The program truly changed my life and this is just the beginning of a new road ahead.”
Ineha left behind everything she knew for a better life in Canada. While struggling with homesickness and self-doubt, she applied to a Women in Technology program funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
“I didn’t want my son growing up in this environment.”
After leaving an abusive relationship, Sofia* didn’t know how she and her young son would move forward. With the support of a women’s shelter, she began taking the first steps toward a brighter future.
“The program gives girls opportunities that are hard to find anywhere else.”
In the Juste Pour Elles program, Lea* learned about many social issues facing girls in her community; then she learned how girls could work together to help change them.
“Not only did the program help me to get a job, it improved my quality of life and totally changed the way I see things.”
As a newcomer to Canada, Jolie faced many barriers to finding work. But through a Women in Technology program, she got the training she needed to start a new career in IT.
“I got to a place where I said: ‘I don’t want this kind of life anymore.’ ”
By enrolling in a self-employment program funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Nicole developed the skills she needed to realize her dream of starting a business.
“These programs need to be available to everyone”
In high school Ben Lord attended “Making Waves,” a violence prevention program that continues to reverberate through his life. As told to Diane Hill in the Spring 2015 issue of SHE magazine.
“My mom is the reason I speak out against domestic abuse.”
In honour of his mother, Christopher Rout speaks out to help stop the violence. As told to Diane Hill in the Spring 2014 issue of SHE magazine. WARNING: This story contains details that may be upsetting to some readers.
“I learned a lot about standing up for myself.”
In high school, Shaneen Cotterell signed up for ReAct: Respect in Action, a violence prevention program that stoked her interest in social justice. As told to Jessica Howard in the Spring 2016 issue of SHE magazine.
“I graduated feeling like I could fly.”
Starting in her teens, Elizabeth Correia experienced severe abuse. Now she’s helping to empower other women and girls. As told to Anqi Shen in the Spring 2015 issue of SHE magazine.
Darlene experienced a number of setbacks that made it difficult for her to earn a living. But a skilled trades program helped her get back on track and work toward her vision.
After finishing a skilled trades program in carpentry, Elizabeth Small is building a new future as the owner of a renovation company and paving the way for other women in skilled trades. As told to Jessica Howard in the fall 2015 issue of SHE magazine.
“To raise awareness, I decided to be open about mental illness.”
After taking a self-employment program, Elizabeth Anderson is turning her passion for public speaking and writing into a business that helps people flourish in spite of mental illness. As told to Jessica Howard in the Spring 2016 issue of SHE magazine.
“Now I’m proud to be a girl.”
When she was 12, Amar lacked confidence and felt like she was “just a girl.” Then she discovered a program that would change her life forever. As told to Diane Hill in the Fall 2014 issue of SHE magazine.
“‘Confident’ is the word we really need to get out there.”
Yoyo Benchetrit thought the messages on many T-shirts for girls were disempowering. So she created her own. As told to Jessica Howard in the fall 2015 issue of SHE magazine.
“A new way of thinking about leadership.”
As a graduate of the Canadian Women’s Foundation Leadership Institute, Sylvia Wootten strives to empower the women who she works with and serves at the Newcomer Centre of Peel. By Sylvia Wootten.