Impact Stories

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.

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.

Plants cultivated at Operation Grow

Stephanie’s Story

“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.

Techwomen is a program funded by the Canadian Women's Foundation

Sylvie’s Story

“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.”

Girls programs across Canada are funded by the Canadian Women's Foundation

Summer’s Story

“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.

Ineha found work after participating in a program funded by the Canadian Women's Foundation

Ineha’s Story

“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.

Mother and child walking

Sofia’s Story

“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.

Image of girl sitting with friends

Lea’s Story

“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.

Image of Jolie

Jolie’s Story

“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.

Image of Nicole

Nicole’s Story

“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.

Ben Lord

Ben’s Story

“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.

Christopher Rout

Christopher’s Story

“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.

Shaneen Cotterell

Shaneen’s Story

“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.

Elizabeth Correia

Elizabeth’s Story

“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’s Story

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.

Elizabeth Small

Elizabeth’s Story

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.

Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth’s Story

“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.

Amar’s Story

“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.

Yoyo’s Story

“‘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.

Sylvia’s Story

“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.