Women's Initiative Committee Annual Report 2012-2013

I, Sylvia Milne am pleased to submit this report on behalf of the Committee Chair, Caroline Sneath.  Under Caroline’s leadership, the Committee has had a busy and productive year.  There were 3 particular projects undertaken during the year.
First, the Centennial Project:  $100,000.00 was allocated to the Working Women’s Community Centre (WWCC) to upgrade the kitchen in this facility.  This Centre serves the local community by providing many services to New Canadian women living in the Parkdale area.  Services provided include language training, parenting, advice and employment support. With great support from the Executive Director of the Centre (Marcie), Sylvie Leger that this grant was implemented and celebrated upon it’s completion.  WWCC was most grateful for our support and are making good use of our funds.  In addition, Rotarian Alex Brown was able to provide kitchen appliances at a most reasonable cost.
With the leadership of Agnes Walkinshaw members of our committee made a presentation to the Rotary District Conference, explaining the need and nature of our project to support our Domestic Human Trafficking initiative (see below).  This raised the visibility of this problem and encouraged other Rotary Clubs to support similar initiatives.
Under the able leadership of Marg Stanowski, an able sub-committee has been established to ultimately provide a safe house for young women trying to flee from brutal pimps.  An enthusiastic and energetic Advisory Committee has been formed, with about 20 representatives from the community participating.  This group is preparing a) the budget and business plan for the safe house b) the public relations and fundraising related to this project and c) the  Program materials that will be associated with this home.  Much progress has been made, thanks in large part to some Rotary funds that enabled an honorarium to Wendy Leaver, our content expert, and to employ some help in preparing the business plan.  Much progress has been made on this project during this year.  The fundraising materials and budget will be ready shortly and then we can go to the community for fundraising assistance.  This group is close to having secured a home, and has welcomed the approach by Covenant House to work with us. 
In addition to the above, WIC was pleased to be able to provide some computers (with thanks to KPMG) to young women (and thereby helping their school age children have access to a computer as well) in the community trying to upgrade their education and move toward employment. 
I wish to thank the dedicated members of this committee – Sylvie Leger, Saleem Kassum, Lucy Rasmussen, Joyce Westlake, June Brown, David Libby, Marg Stanowski and Nick Larter (as our Board Liaison Director).
Caroline Sneath, Chair