Jun 16

New Hope for Trafficked Women

GSC logo_primaryWith the generous support of the Green Shield Canada Foundation, we have been able to help more than 50 young women, ages 15-18, get off the streets and begin to recover from the trauma of being sexually exploited and trafficked.

The many concerns of these young women include access to necessary health care and the support to make changes in their lives. Aligning with Green Shield Canada’s mission of Front Line Health Care, CCWED set up one-on-one counseling, a weekly drop-in, and other supports to help the young women obtain testing and treatment that would not have been possible given their status in society. Our program was conducted by a “Navigator” — a person who connects individuals to other services that are appropriate for their situation.

Coming from the South Asian, African, Caribbean, and Latin American communities, the young women were delighted to learn that they could also get back into the education system so that they could pursue their dreams of making a better life for themselves.

A number of the young women did not have legal immigration status, and were afraid to visit government-sponsored uninsured health clinics for fear that they would become known to the authorities and that this would lead to their deportation or incarceration. Others had concerns about the confidentiality of their health situations. CCWED’s Navigator was able to find alternatives that allowed the women to obtain the health care they needed and put them on a pathway to resolving their immigration status.

These young women now have hope for the first time since coming to Canada, and are excited about the possibilities of pursuing their education in the areas of law, social work, and psychology.

CCWED is grateful for the support of the Green Shield Canada Foundation, which made this initiative possible. We will continue to offer this program for other trafficked and sexually-exploited women with the assistance of our volunteers and our community partners. We applaud the courage of these young women in coming forward and we are confident they will reach their goals.

Nov 05

How Poverty Affects the Brain

In a recent Scientific American article, researchers found that growing up in poverty can hinder childhood achievement and affect life trajectory. While this may not be surprising, since it is less likely that children from poor families can afford higher education or job training leading to more successful careers, there are neurological changes that occur making it even more difficult for young people to achieve lofty goals.

Poor children often face a combination of deficits in language and selective attention skills, which is the ability to tune out unwanted distractions and focus on classroom activities.

What researchers need to discover is how to take advantage of the characteristics of the brain to counteract any negative effects from poverty. Eric Pakulak of the University of Oregon cites neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change as it is exposed to new experiences, as a key factor.  The brain is vulnerable to harmful influences like poverty early in development, but it is also amenable to being molded to develop along one developmental pathway or another beyond the first five years of life.

The ever-growing ability of neuroscience to monitor the brains of even the youngest children can help tease out the still-elusive effects of poverty and perhaps lead to evidence-based interventions to ameliorate its effects.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/how-does-poverty-affect-the-brain/

Oct 24

Study Shows Effects on Children of a Small Income Increase

A recent US study has revealed surprising consequences of a small increase to family income — children experience life-changing improvements. The remarkable findings noted that there was a fairly large positive impact on the development of the children in families that received extra income.

Their analysis showed that children whose parents had received the income boost were less likely to have behavioural and emotional disorders compared to their peers.

But it wasn’t just mood and mental health that was improved – the researchers also found that the extra cash boosted two personality traits in children that are linked to long-term positive life outcomes, as Ferdman reports:

“The first is conscientiousness. People who lack it tend to lie, break rules and have trouble paying attention. The second is agreeableness, which leads to a comfort around people and aptness for teamwork. And both are strongly correlated with various forms of later life success and happiness.”

Interestingly, the children who benefitted the most from the extra money were those who were the most behind for their age group when the study first began.

“This actually reduces inequality with respect to personality traits,” said Akee. “On average, everyone is benefiting, but in particular it’s helping the people who need it the most.”

http://www.sciencealert.com/a-study-has-accidentally-shown-the-incredible-effect-a-little-extra-money-has-on-the-poorest-families

Oct 15

Poverty Increases for Children and Seniors

A recent CTV news report notes that Toronto has the highest percentage of youth living in poverty of Canada’s 14 largest urban areas, according to a newly released report.

The report was released by the Toronto Children’s Aid Society Tuesday, and was compiled using tax filer data from Statistics Canada for 2013.

 

“Children of colour, Indigenous children, children from single-parent or newcomer families, and children with disabilities are more likely to experience poverty in Toronto,” it said.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/toronto-is-the-child-poverty-capital-of-canada-report-1.2607087

Oct 14

Helping Women Succeed

Our aim is to enable low-income immigrant women and their families of all cultural backgrounds in our community to have equal access to education and training, affording both increased self-sufficiency as well as healthier lifestyles.

The Canadian Centre for Women’s Education and Development (CCWED) was established in April 1987 following the development of a Sexual Abuse Program at George Brown College. It was here where low-income immigrant women revealed their life experiences and stories, accounts that subsequently motivated CCWED to take an active role and become involved in the lives of these and other similar women who face extreme hardships, including, among other things, abuse and welfare harassment

The Canadian Centre for Women’s Education and Development is committed to ensuring that its policies, procedures and programs are made accessible to all immigrant women and children regardless of age, race, culture and religion.

Objectives:

  1. To improve the quality of life and status of women in Canada;
  2. To develop sustainable women’s organizations at the community level;
  3. To encourage and improve the socio-economic position of women;
  4. To encourage initiative and creativity in women;
  5. To improve the health of women, particularly prenatal, natal and postnatal care through education;
  6. To integrate women into the local, national and global economic and social environments;
  7. To establish a development network and develop ties with other local, national and international women’s groups.

Oct 11

Programs for Girls

We have programs that provide support and outreach to young girls in community on financial literacy, health promotion and education, including the provision of information on girls violence and gender equity.  Such information is designed to address violence in the lives of the girls in the community who are new comers, as well as providing culturally-specific counselling services and advice.  Educational workshops and seminars on girls violence, health issues, and education build a strong sense of self-worth, respect, rights and responsibilities  are conducted. The focus lies on identifying violence in all its forms, and informing the girls of their rights and available resources.

Workshops:

  • Build a strong sense of self-worth
  • Individual or group workshops
  • Respect, rights, and responsibilities amongst newcomer girls
  • Provide girls with the tools and space they need to create healthy equal, non-violent relationships in their own lives, and empower the girls, as well as facilitate activities to promote resiliency, mental, emotional, and physical health
  • Provide mentoring/assistance in: science, technology, engineering and math

Goals

To provide individual support and to enhance the growth and well-being of girls so that they can reach their full potential and assist them to avoid any violence against themselves. Techniques include mentoring, role-playing, addressing girls’ pressures, and managing challenging issues within their limits.

Oct 08

Programs for Seniors

seniorsOur seniors programs offer the opportunity for seniors to participate in a variety of recreational activities and pursue common interests. The group meets at the Centre two days a week from 2:00pm until 4:00pm. Depending on the group size, guest speakers are invited to provide information on a variety of topics and issues pertaining to seniors’ rights and interests.

Program

Tuesdays: Movie night
Thursdays: Day trips during summer months
Other activities: Knitting, crafts, social outings, old-time stories & card games.

Services

Special trips, picnics and day-trips to interesting places
Workshops and seminars with special guest speakers
Knitting, crafts, social outings, movie nights
Education on available resources
Information and discussions on policing, fire safety measures, as well as health and income-tax clinics.

Goal

To provide seniors with the ability to maintain active healthy lives.

Oct 01

Youth / Family Services

A Middle Eastern family sitting in a parkA wide range of specially-designed and individualized services are provided through our organization to youth as well as to families in need of support, outreach, advocacy and counseling services. Youth from 13 to 26 years of age who are having adjustment and/or school problems or other social challenges are eligible for these services.

Program

Provide outreach and support to clients including the provision of culturally-specific programs in partnership situations.

Services

  •  Individual and group counseling to youth and family
  •  Consultation and research on current issues and trends related to youth
  •  Network with other agencies in order to develop and provide culturally-sensitive programs and services
  •  Education and counseling on health issues

Goals

  •  Provide individual client support to youth and family members
  •  Maintaining outreach in the client’s community and providing peer support and education
  •  Educating and empowering youth with leadership skills, positive social attitudes and the ability to access other services.

Sep 30

Seniors Outnumber Kids

A recent article in the Financial Post notes that there are more seniors in Canada than there are children.

The figures show a fundamental shift in Canada’s composition and signal that the time to confront looming challenges is at hand, said Amanda Grenier, director of McMaster University’s Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging.

“We haven’t necessarily had the national debates we should be having around aging,” Grenier said in a telephone interview. “That could be on dementia, that could be on care, that could be on cities. We have a bit of catching up to do as a country.”

http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/seniors-outnumber-kids-under-14-for-first-time-ever-in-canada