The Cutting Edge: Sewing Training Program and Social Enterprise
The Canadian Muslim Women’s Sewing Training Program and Social Enterprise is made up of two components: a full time training program and the establishment of a Social Enterprise called “Cutting Edge”.
Employment Training and Services
Each month many women approach CMWI looking for employment. CMWI trains the women in one of our 3 training programs namely, Sewing Training, Culinary Training, and Cleaning Training Program. Graduates are then referred to Employers.
We run subsidized training for CPR/First Aid, Food Handlers Certification, and Non-violent conflict resolution training, etc.
Financial Empowerment Services
We run Money Management Training workshops where families learn all about managing their finances. They learn about Budgeting, saving, consumer protection, credit scores, reading bills, etc. Money Management Training is offered in Arabic and Somali also. After completing the series of workshops individuals can apply to a ‘Saving Circle’ or saving matchings program.
Free tax days are held during tax season. Assistance in understanding and applying for Federal and Provincial benefits also provided.
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.
CMWI operates a food pantry (similar to Winnipeg Harvest) for women and their families in need. The majority of the Pantry clients are families in high need circumstances. Families can register to get onto a recurring food pantry and receive the food kits through appointments. 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.
During the year we run different programs that promote wellness, physical, and mental health.
Families are welcome to all the programs that run at our centre.