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Over 40 years in service, CIWA has supported more than 100,000 immigrant women through their transition in Canada. We empower women with various tools and resources, training and experience, to propel them to success and thereby enrich Canadian society.

CIWA has grown to become the largest women-focused settlement agency in Canada. At CIWA, we provide over 60 different programs and services to meet the diverse needs of immigrant and refugee women and their families.  Our services are offered to all those who need them regardless of eligibility criteria for government funding. All clients at CIWA have access to free childcare and first language support. To do this, we depend on the generosity of corporate sponsors and individual donors.

Explore the ways you can support immigrant women, girls and their families. Connect with us via

Toyin Oladele

Toyin Oladele arrived in Canada with her family and with a decade-long experience in the field of arts from Nigeria in 2017.  She became a CIWA Aluman in 2018 after completing a 24-week training uniquely designed to support professional young immigrant mothers pursuing a career in Canada. 

The training not only helped Toyin gain Canadian workplace experience and enhance her business communication and digital skills, but it also provided one-on-one career coaching that is individualized for Toyin’s chosen career path. After taking the program, she was immediately employed in her field. She also received an opportunity to become a consultant for public arts. Since then, Toyin has been unstoppable. With her sheer hard work, dedication and persistence – all the while taking care of a daughter with disability who underwent major surgeries – Toyin founded the Immigrant Council for Arts Innovation (ICAI) in 2019.

Today, Toyin mentors newcomers pursuing the a career in arts and cultivates arts culture in Calgary and nationwide through ICAI. She has also been delivering motivational workshops and providing practicum placements as well as employment opportunities for CIWA’s clients.

ICAI is currently one of the three Immigrant Arts Mentorship Councils throughout the whole of America and Canada.


Yan Cheng

Yan Cheng came to Canada with her 16 year old son, Brian, who is on the autism spectrum. Yan and Brian received several supports in their first language, including settlement resources, counselling and in-home services, parenting courses for parents with children with special needs as well as employment training. These services provided a sturdy scaffold that helped them successfully transition to a new country during the pandemic and during a crucial stage in Brian’s life.

Yan has been given back to the community in many ways. Through the community interpreter and translator training at CIWA, she obtained CILISAT and CISOC certifications which qualify her as a Mandarin-English Interpreter and Translator. She has been volunteering at Chinese organizations in Calgary as well as at CIWA, providing interpretation support for various situations – from medical appointments for newcomers to language training for children with special needs.

In February of 2022, Yan completed her certification as Community Support Worker. She currently provides training to help strengthen services of an emotional support hotline.

“I would highly recommend Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association to all newcomers who want to start their career in this new country. CIWA is the one stop solution to many challenges that we face as newcomers. CIWA is very supportive and will prepare you to know about Canadian workplace culture. It also provides program support that is very beneficial. If you are lost and not finding a way to settle down, contact CIWA because they will provide you with many available options.”

– Sudipta, CIWA Alumna

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September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a federal statutory holiday, that honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. 

We acknowledge that we are on the traditional territories of the peoples of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Stoney Nakoda First Nations (Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley) and the Tsuut’ina First Nation. The city of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.