Calgary Immigrant Women's Association's Bi-monthly Newsletter
New Board of Directors 2019-2020
At CIWA’s 37th Annual General Meeting, the 2019-2020 Board of Directors were elected by CIWA members. We are proud to introduce you to the new Board: Shairoze Damji, Alice Lam, Ray Wong, Zabeda Yaqoob, Elmien Wingert, Ranju Shergill, Elena Kim, James Lee and Monah Gichuyia.
We would like to express our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to the departing Board members for their service to CIWA. Thank you Sarah J. King D’Souza, Q.C., Ursula Ducatel, Praneeta Kumar, Shirley Turnbull and Jade Duong for your remarkable dedication and hard work.
CIWA’s AGM was held on June 18th, with over 150 people in attendance, at Royal India Cuisine. The event was jam packed with acknowledgements. First, Amal Umar was presented the prestigious Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers administered by the Office of the Governor General. Then, Amarpreet Kaur Malhi and Assia Mohamed Chehem shared their integration stories into Canada with us. Outstanding volunteers, Heather Jones, Gaea Louise Buenaventura and Kavitha Bandila Sundarraj were recognized for their commitment to CIWA. Finally, staff were acknowledged for their 3, 5 and 10 years of hard work and service to CIWA. Janeth Alonso’s 30 years of service was also celebrated. Her commitment is above and beyond her line of duty. Thank you Janeth for your kindness, support, patience and warmth!
Special thanks to our Board of Directors, community and business partners, staff, volunteers and clients for their continuous support. Many thanks to CIWA’s Senior Arts and Craft group and children of CIWA’s SMILES program for the exceptional handmade envelope used for the AGM.
Gerda R. Bloemraad Educational Scholarship
Karma Youdon and Mary Althea Valenzuela were the recipients of this year’s Gerda R. Bloemraad Educational Scholarship. Gerda R. Bloemraad Educational Scholarship aims to provide monetary assistance to CIWA clients or volunteers who wish to further their education or commence a course at an accredited institution in a subject of their choice.
Originally from India, Karma Youdon arrived in Canada in February 2015. She joined CIWA as a mentee with the Youth Mentorship Program and continued on in a volunteer mentor capacity with multiple programs through CIWA’s Youth Collaborative. After graduating from high school in 2017, Karma has been working hard to save money for her college education as she is committed to pursuing her Social Work Diploma through Bow Valley College. The Gerda R. Bloemraad Scholarship will enable Karma to make her dream become reality by becoming a registered social worker while being an inspiration for her younger twin brothers.
Currently a volunteer with CIWA’s Youth Mentorship Program, Mary Althea Valenzuela has at one point been a youth participant and mentee in the same program. As a newcomer from the Philippines, Mary dedicates herself to the pursuit of supporting the vulnerable and is fully committed to pursuing a career in social services. She is currently enrolled in Mount Royal University’s Bachelor of Arts program. Mary hopes to apply the Gerda R. Bloemraad Scholarship funds towards her education and getting her closer to achieving her dream of becoming a registered social worker.
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program is a home-based education program that teaches parents to be teachers to their preschool age child and prepare them for school. On June 15th, HIPPY celebrated the completion of their 10th intake with over 100 people in attendance at Bow Valley Christian Church. HIPPY participants were presented with certificates for their efforts and commitment. Congratulations HIPPY graduates!
On April 23rd, CIWA hosted the Honourable Kent Hehr, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre. He announced funding of over $3.4 million to support the capacity of in nine women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women in Calgary and High River.
Easy Reading Business Development Tool for Women
CIWA is proud to announce a new project- Easy Reading Business Development Tool for Women. This project is funded by the Alberta Government’s Status of Women Ministry under the Systemic funding stream. This initiative aims to improve the economic security of immigrant women with mid-level literacy and essential skills by developing tools that enable them to understand and navigate the process related to achieving self-employment.
Healthy Relationships Among Immigrant Families
This project is funded by the Alberta Government’s Community and Social Services Ministry. The project is a one year collaboration with the Centre for Sexuality that aims to promote healthy relationships among immigrant families. Clients will explore the dynamics of family violence, healthy gender practices, culture and faith.
Bridge to Success for Professional Immigrant Women Training
Training is available for current or past EI clients. Bridge to Success for Professional Immigrant Women is a full-time 24-week employment training program. This program helps women with educational and professional backgrounds in administration, sales, marketing, community and social services, and other related professions to attain professional experience in their field of expertise by helping to connect them to the labour market.
Line Cook Training
Training is available to immigrant women who are permanent residents, have Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) 4-6 and require support in obtaining meaningful employment.
The program equips immigrant women with skills and knowledge to work in restaurant kitchens and institutional kitchens. Start date is July 8th.
Food Service Training Program
Training is available to immigrant women who are permanent residents, have a Canadian Language Benchmark of 3-4 and require support in obtaining meaningful employment.
This program equips immigrant and refugee women with the tools and knowledge to work in the Food Service sector. Start date is July 8th.