Working Women is a charitable organization that provides a variety of programs and services, which help immigrant women adjust to living in Toronto. When asked what sets us apart from other charities in the sector, we respond: Working Women is unique in two very distinct ways- our enterprising spirit and our approach with clients.
We see possibilities and take action.
Here are recent examples of how we made a positive impact within our community:
- With the community asking for space to run programs, Working Women approached the Toronto Rotary Club to sponsor the renovation of The Women’s Meeting Place. Slated to open in Spring 2012, this special space in Bloor West will allow women to share and build upon their skills in workshops and community gatherings.
- Noticing a problem among the school children of certain immigrant populations, Working Women initiated discussions with both Toronto boards of education to address the issue of poor student performance and low post-secondary enrolment among the city’s large Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking youth. The result is the establishment of the Student Success Task Force, which is introducing changes to improve the academic performance of these disenfranchised students.
- Others saw a bare wall but we saw an art canvas! We approached Toronto Arts Council for funding to beautify a cement wall fronting a sculpture garden. The result was Mapping Our Path, a beautiful mosaic that the whole Bloorcourt community can enjoy. This art project stands as a testament to the power of art in healing, connecting and empowering immigrant women.
We see the person behind the number.
Anyone who comes to one of our locations for settlement services (eg., language instruction or housing, or job training) Working Women staff make a point of learning about each woman’s whole life: What other skills do they have besides their formal training? Have they made connections with people outside of their family? Are their children doing well in school? What are their recreational interests?
By understanding the individual as a whole, we encourage each immigrant woman to participate in a variety of programs thereby ending their isolation and dependency. This in turn, allows the women to not only help themselves and their families but also to contribute to their community.
This holistic and humane approach adopted by our staff and volunteers is what makes Working Women feel like a trusted friend, and in many cases, a lifeline for the thousands of immigrant women that visit our centres.