On June 22, 2019 at the Westin Hotel in Calgary, Noha Elhakim was the proud recipient of the 2019 Arab Women of Excellence Awards - Community Services in North America. The award ceremony is the 1st initiative of its kind in North America to recognize, honor, award, and celebrate the achievements of 50 Arab Women in 10 different categories, namely: Art & Media, Academia, Research, Community Service, Politics & Government, Inspiration, Business & Entrepreneurs , Sports, Youth Achievements & Talents, and Motherhood. This award will inspire all Arab women across the world as well as Arab youth, but also, sends a clear strong international message about the abilities and capabilities of Arab Women.

Cecilia Awoyemi and Maria Ana Corazon Espiritu were awarded the 2019 University of Calgary Continuing Education Scholarship on June 12th.

Cecilia Awoyemi moved to Canada with her family in 2018. She is a professional administrator with 7+ years’ experience in providing administrative and customer service support including 4 years as an HR professional specializing in recruitment. Cecilia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos Akoka, Nigeria, and a Master of Arts degree in HR Management from the De Montfort University Leicester, UK. She is a participant of the Bridge to Success for Professional Immigrant Women program and has secured an HR practicum placement with Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP Law Firm. As part of her 5 year career plan, Cecilia would like to take the Human Resource Management Certificate at the University of Calgary.

Maria Ana Corazon Espiritu is a Filipino immigrant who arrived in Canada in June 2018. Prior to her arrival in Canada, Maria Ana graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor’s degree in Library and Information Science and worked as a college librarian at the University of the Philippines for five years. She recently finished the Labour Market Bridging for Volunteers: Interpretation and Translation program and is currently a certified Tagalog community interpreter for the Filipino community in Calgary. Maria Ana is an active volunteer in the community and a lifelong learner in her own right. Her personal and professional interest is focused on social services, family reunification and adult education.

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.   

 On Saturday, June 15th, HIPPY ( Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) program celebrated the graduation for their 10th intake! 91 people attended the event at the Bow Valley Christian Church. HIPPY mothers and children were presented with certificates for their efforts and commitment to the program. 29 Age 5 children graduated the program and are on their way to a successful school career, while their parents now have the tools to continue to support their children’s education. Congratulations HIPPY participants!


On January 30, 2019, The City of Calgary announced $3 million funding for Mental Health and Addictions Programs.

For the third year in a row, CIWA partnered with The Shoe Project to provide immigrant women the opportunity to share their immigration stories. The Shoe Project was founded by Katherine Govier eight years ago in Toronto to provide a platform where immigrant and refugee women can share their stories of their arrival in Canada – through a pair of shoes.  The women are coached by Canadian writers and theatre professionals. As of today, The Shoe Project holds performances in Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, Canmore, and Vancouver. 

CIWA is pleased to announce a new project! Supporting the Economic Security of Unpaid Caregivers is a project that focuses on supporting immigrant women who are providing informal/unpaid care for a family member (child, spouse, aging parent or grandparent, etc.).

CIWA is pleased to announce a new project! Employment Security Alliance for Vulnerable Immigrant Women is a project that plans to increase the economic security of immigrant and refugee women who are fleeing domestic abuse.

Bridge to Success for Professional Immigrant Women

Program Description

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

Program Description 

The program equips immigrant women with skills and knowledge to work in restaurant kitchens and institutional kitchens. 

Food Service Training

Program Description

This program equips immigrant and refugee women with the tools and knowledge to work in the Food Service sector. 


Keep Up-to-Date With CIWA, Sign-Up For Our Newsletter

Contact Us

Please let us know your name.
Please let us know your email address.
Please let us know your message.
Invalid Input