SewFair: Sewing Training Program and Social Enterprise
Employment Referral Service
Each month about women approach CMWI looking for employment. CMWI refers these clients to various employment services and has established a Sewing Training Program and plans to create a social enterprise (SewFair) that will hire a number of the sewing program graduates.
While immigrant and refugee women often attend a once a week English as an Additional Language class, they very often remain isolated in their homes for the balance of the week. Hence they are unable to practice their new language skills and progress is very slow.
Twice a month, CMWI operates a food pantry (similar to Winnipeg Harvest) for women and their families in need. The majority of the Pantry clients are widows in high need circumstances. The Halal Food Pantry not only serves the women and their families by providing nutritious and Halal food, but also provides the opportunity to connect refugee newcomers with programs and services, specifically designed to meet their needs.
This weekly program brings mothers and their preschoolers together at CMWI in downtown Winnipeg. The program provides both informal playtime and structured theme related activities for the preschoolers. Information and speakers are provided for the “Moms” portion of the program. Topics covered include parenting issues, school readiness, immigration and the law, nutrition and a variety of health-related topics.
Peer Support Group, Home Visits, Sharing Circle
Through peer support and home visits, CMWI is able to provide immigrant and refugee women with a sense of sisterhood and friendship. In a friendly, non-threatening way, staff can assess a client’s personal needs and make referrals as required. For example, a CMWI staff member recently visited a newcomer who had just gone through the trauma of a stillborn birth.We were able to refer her to grief counselling and initiate a continuing one on one follow up plan. CMWI also facilitates a “Sharing Circle” once a week.
Women’s Exercise Class
These classes encourages women to live a healthy lifestyle and provide a fun, private and welcoming environment for activities such as aerobics. These classes are offered on a weekly basis and are a time for the women to focus on their personal development.