Member Feature #3: Regina Immigrant Women Centre (RIWC)

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Regina Immigrant Women Centre

A closer look

What are your mission and vision?
Regina Immigrant Women Centre (RIWC) provides support services and programs geared to the development of immigrant women and their families by promoting equity and diversity in Regina. We aim to EDUCATE through Stage One English and Conversation Literacy classes, EMPOWER through Family Support, ENRICH through workshops and employment referrals, and help immigrants INTEGRATE with our Settlement Program.

What are the programs and services offered by your organization?
RIWC offers Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) English Classes through the Stage 1 English Training program; Conversation Literacy classes; Culturally Sensitive Family Support Services; and Pre-Employment, Financial, and Computer Essentials; Settlement Advising and Referrals.

Regina Immigrant Women Centre

Nature Conservancy of Canada – Activity Day 5: Students from the Conversation Literacy Classes take part in Conservation activities and enjoy the nice weather.

Whom do you serve/target with your programs and services?
Immigrant and refugee women and their families.

What are you working on right now (project, fundraiser, special event, etc.)?
RIWC will be celebrating International Women’s Day at the MacKenzie Art Gallery on March 8, 2014 featuring Bridging from Isolation to Community. At this event we will view the Shirin Neshat film installation and a recent music video and have a discussion about them before heading to the Albert Street Bridge to join hands and hold scarves in a symbol of solidarity and community. More info here>>> Bridging from Isolation to Community Event

Do you have a call for volunteers, fundraising, employees, resource and/or submissions?
Regina Immigrant Women Centre is always looking for volunteers to help at our centre.There are two volunteer programs that we currently offer. 1) Literacy Volunteers: Requires morning/early afternoon availability (9:30am – 11:00am and/or 11:15am – 12:30pm); there is an opportunity here to volunteer as a private tutor. 2) Outreach Volunteers: Requires that you be able to volunteer for 2-3 hours consecutively (minimum once a week); this would primarily be small group or one-on-one settings.Please be aware that when you volunteer you are required to sign a contract specifying your involvement in the volunteer program for a minimum of 3 months. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering with Regina Immigrant Women Centre please contact Amanda at (306) 359-6614 or amanda@reginaiwc.ca.

What is one thing people may not know about your organization?
RIWC also provides services in  our ESL classes for both women and men, we also have a family support service which supports new immigrants and their families in any family issues.

Please share a story that illustrates your organization’s impact in the community. 
An older widow came to our centre seeking help as she only had part time work and this was not enough to make ends meet. With a low English level and little in the way of supports, she was very isolated and having difficulties on her own. By attending the Conversation Literacy classes, receiving pre-employment counselling, and attending computer classes she was able to improve her skill set and self-confidence remarkably. With her new sense of empowerment, she was able to apply for better work opportunities and integrate into the community more. Finding employment soothed many of her worries about the future.

What types of challenges does your organization face?
Our main challenge is finding the space we need for all of the programs we want to offer as we are in a small house in downtown Regina.

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