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Success Stories

Home Safe

The Centre helped a single parent of 2 children, to own her own home through Habitat For Humanity. Over a decade this woman encountered domestic violence and was using the food bank, on social assistance, running back and forth to court on domestic violence issues, then experienced separation ad divorce. She was helped by Bibi Zaman personally and was able to gain custody of her two children and live in her own home.

Exit Abuse

This program provided support for women who have experienced any form of abuse at any point in their lives.  This group provided women with a safe and supportive environment to discuss issues related to abuse. The group continues to  provide women with the opportunity to discuss the impacts and efforts of abuse and explore different coping skills. A total of 60 women enrolled in the program and were helped to better their situations.

Working for Change

  • Through our Ontario Works Program we recruited women with formal degrees from their country of origin in areas of Law and Social Work to accompany women to court regarding child custody hearings, domestic violence hearings, separation and divorce proceedings. To date, we have helped more than 520 women through this program.
  • We provided counselling to women who were separated so that they could gain meaningful volunteer work as Administrative Assistants, In-Take Workers, Family Counsellors, Housing Workers, and Court Interpreters. To date, this program has served more than 380 women.

Dealing with Diabetes

The Centre launched a program for diabetic women who were living with domestic violenceThe primary objective of this project was to reduce the high incidence and prevalence of diabetes and provide on-going support to them.  The target groups were  South Asian and Middle Eastern women  living in Scarborough.. Specifically, those women who were abused had no support and no place to get assistance regarding their diabetes.

CCWED conducted a diabetes screening outreach program for the women to identify those who were at risk for diabetes or had pre-existing diabetes but were not receiving care due to significant social, language, and cultural barriers that made them unable to access the available health care services. CCWED:

  • Facilitated access for the most vulnerable groups in the immigrant community to receive diabetes health care delivery services;
  • Developed language-appropriate information resources that helped them recognize the symptoms of diabetes and know what other people do to deter the onset of diabetes and/or keep it under control;
  • Developed a community-based and culturally-sensitive education program to create a greater awareness about diabetes, the risk factors involved, and the motivation to follow diabetes self-management interventions known to produce outcomes that allow people with diabetes live a healthy life.
  • Built local capacity to sustain health-promoting interventions; and
  • Facilitated more effective interactions between people with diabetes and their health care providers.

A total of 280 women were in involved in this program.

New Baby — Now What?

CCWED  worked with young parents who were single mothers to establish a support group and a buddy program.  There were 32 young parents who had no support and no one to provide any guidance, nor up-lift their spirits. They were all depressed, isolated and confused – with no experience as new mothers, and no family to help them learn how to be a parent.

Taking home a newborn baby can be a very stressful thing for new moms, as they learn how to breastfeed, soothe their crying newborn, all while running on little sleep and maintaining their prior responsibilities. These young single mothers were deprived of having husbands or partners who could lend support, and were cut off from any family members who could be of assistance. During this adjustment phase of dealing with a new baby for the first time, the moms needed a lot of external help from friends, as well as professionals.

The new mothers were surprised to learn that the so-called maternal instinct doesn’t teach you everything you need to know about caring for a newborn. That’s why being around other moms (both first-time moms and more experienced ones) is a great source of support – not only because they can provide helpful parenting tips, but more importantly, because they understand what the new parent is going through.

Through Centre’s initiative, we were able to provide all of the above by bringing women together to teach the new moms about every aspect of baby and child care so that they could feel confident to continue without fear or distraction.

Uninsured Health Clinic

The Centre worked collaboratively with Scarborough General Hospital to launch an uninsured health clinic for homeless people, and especially the new immigrant and refugee communities in Scarborough. All new immigrants have to wait a period of 6  months before they can receive an OHIP Card to access healthcare. Most of the immigrants remain very vulnerable: pregnant women were at risk, children’s lives were unprotected, necessary vaccines not delivered, childhood illnesses not monitored, and the general health of those stressed from immigration was not being supported. The Centre worked with a panel of volunteer doctors from Scarborough General Hospital to provide medical assistance free-of-cost to those who were in need. The Centre was instrumental in establishing this initiative and is one of the co-founders. This project started from the Church basement of the Church of The Epiphany. The clinic has grown over the years serving 1800 – 2000 clients per year and is now housed at the Scarborough Hospital General Division because of growing demand.

Food Bank

The Centre developed a food bank in partnership with the Church of The Epiphany to feed the poor in the community after seeing the desperation of the women who come to the Centre seeking help for domestic violence and abuse. Our Centre was compelled to do something for the women who were finding everything “too much to bear”Over 1100 women per year use the food bank.

A Safe Place

The Centre ran a program to create a safe place for 85 young Indo-Caribbean immigrant women, ages 18-24, to meet and engage in small group discussions to address issues relevant to them. They initially present with domestic violence issues, running away from  home — made worse by substance abuse as a means of coping  and easing pain. The young women fear that seeking help for substance abuse will cost them custody of their children, expose them to legal action, and further strain family connections.

These women frequently describe losing the support and care of their families, and being subject to degrading judgments about their behaviour and character. This estrangement creates negative self-worth, further intensifying their substance abuse and shoplifting. It also affects their resiliency and ability to cope with life. Family connection and support is a critical aspect of resiliency, especially for young people in this culture.

The Centre provided activities for the them which included life skills building, group discussions, social bonding, and building self-confidence to help the women gain a better understanding of themselves and their community, making them feel more connected and therefore less vulnerable to substance abuse. They learned how to adjust their behaviour and reconnect with their families, and re-enter school to complete their education.