Women's Initiative Committee Annual Report 2013-2014
I am pleased to submit this report as the Chair of the Women’s Initiatives Committee. The Committee had a very productive year. During the year 2013-2014, the Committee worked on three projects.
First, the committee decided to work on the theme of Domestic Violence for the year 2013-2014.  The Committee contacted agencies dealing with the issue. We put together some criteria to ensure an equitable review of the projects. Three agencies were invited to present their project. Elizabeth Fry presented a community program that was identified as Healing from Abuse.  This organization has been in existence since 1952 and has a 5-10% success rate which is considered very good for the profile of women they work with. The Committee was impressed with the work this organization does for women in the community and decided to sponsor the project presented by Elizabeth Fry ($12,000).
Second, the Committee has continued to work on the safe house project, under the leadership of Marg Stanowski and with the exceptional collaboration of Wendy Leaver. Last year the Committee identified Covenant House as a key collaborator in the design and hopeful operation of a safe house and we enhanced our working relationship with this agency.  We learned through public committee proceedings, that the Toronto City Council approved, on June 11, 2014, transfer of funds to Toronto Community Housing Corporation to restore one of their units to serve as a Safe House for girls/young women who are victims of the domestic human trafficking. We understand that Toronto Community Housing will consider an operator for the home in the near future. When announcements are made on a Safe House for Toronto the role of the Rotary Club of Toronto’s Women’s Initiative Committee will be acknowledged for building awareness and support for the need for such a facility.   
In addition to the above, WIC sponsored the purchase of software and hard drives for 32 used computers ($3,000). Heather Findlay, a member of the Committee, took charge of the coordination of the project and the installation of the software and hardware. Sylvie got a connection with Microsoft who donated some programs. The installation was performed during the summer 2014 and delivery will occur in October 2014. The Committee will select the agencies who will receive the computers. The Committee approved to distribute two computers to Elizabeth Fry, the recipient of our annual grant. The other computers will be given to agencies serving women and their family, with the objective to help women in the community trying to upgrade their education and move toward employment and for their children. 
I wish to thank all the dedicated members of this committee for their work during the year.
Sylvie Leger, Chair