On May 26, 2015, Laurie Carlson provided us with an overview of CAIWA.

On May 26, 2015, Laurie Carlson provided us with an overview of CAIWA. It was established in 1991 as a resource centre for the immigrant community. In 2007 they hired an executive director and now have 17 staff. Most of their clients come from CARE (Central Alberta Refugee Effort) after they have achieved basic proficiency in English.

CAIWA helps with:
– language classes,
– financial literacy,
– preschool education program (for 3-5 year olds) including a training program for mothers
– youth employment program,
– newcomer employment program,
– women’s health programs,
– leadership programs,
– research into economic barriers for immigrant women.

They plan to host skills training program for immigrant adults.

CAIWA provides a food bank Monday and Friday (bread is donated by Sobey’s.) The freezer is full of items for the food bank.

The kitchen that Rotary helped fund has been used for:
– Alberta Culture Days
– Graduations
– Baby Showers
– Cooking classes to teach immigrant women how to cook with Canadian foods (held once per week).

The kitchen has increased the walk-in clients. (25 people come in each week just to use the kitchen facilities.) Clients use the kitchen Monday through Friday to prepare their breakfast and lunch.

Thank you, Laurie, for sharing the story of this important organization. The transition to a new life in Canada must be daunting. Thanks to the great programs offered by your organization, your clients have the opportunity to achieve their full potential!
– See more at: http://portal.clubrunner.ca/562/Stories/guest-speaker-laurie-carlson-of-central-alberta-immigrant-women-s-association#sthash.hkgIyFFZ.dpuf