Grant Stories

World Day of Prayer is a beautiful opportunity to pray alongside Canadians in 1,150 services and a million worldwide. In addition to the power of prayer, learning, and fellowship, the offerings from these services fund a range of inspiring grassroots projects.

2020 World Day of Prayer Grant Recipients plus Awakening and Emergency grants = $100,000

Location  Organization Project  Amount
Kenya

 

CAP (Canadian African Partnership) Network ON / Kijiji Cha Upendo Children’s Project Emergency COVID-19 Support for Orphan Caregivers in Kibera.

A 2020 WDP grant helped ensure that caregiver families in the Kibera slums in Kenya could continue to feed their families and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within households and the community. There were three forms of interventions:

1) Providing food baskets with basic foodstuffs to 90 families (603 individuals)

2) Providing education and sensitization on hygiene and social distancing practices to prevent COVID-19 infections (radio broadcasts reaching over 500,000; 200 informational posters).

3) Installing 22 handwashing stations throughout the community.

$5000.
Malawi

 

Change Her World, Stratford ON Pig Cooperative

The project goal was to provide an economic boost to the families of twenty poor and vulnerable women in the Chilumba area by having pigs as an income-generating activity.

The 2020 WDP grant paid for twenty pigs, their transportation & delivery, training, veterinary medicine, and a needs assessment.

Providing a stable means of income empowered women to have more buying power, raise their profile in the community as capable business people and provide a means of escaping poverty and gender-based violence while ensuring a better future for their children.  Income from the pig cooperative paid for school fees, medicine, food, and other necessities of living.

$3000.
Zimbabwe

 

Shamiso Foundation, Lancaster ON Orphanage Support for Children and their Widow Caregivers

With a 2020 WDP grant, two hundred ready-to-lay chickens at $5 per bird were purchased. They began laying eggs – 80 to 90 per day -and the foundation then sold them @$3 per two dozen for a total of $US 157.50 per week. These funds provided food, clothing, medicals, and school fees for 30 children under the supervision of four widows. As well, one of the “grannies” passed away a month after the project started, and the grant helped with her burial.

In November, Zimbabwe received torrential rains and the chickens developed a disease.  150 were slaughtered and the meat was sold for $1,200. These funds were then invested in fields for corn.  Resiliency is maintained as Shamiso continues to react to unsettling storms.

$5000.
Alberta

Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation (Jessie’s House) Family Violence Survivors & Program Supplies

Like 23,247 women, children and seniors who were turned away from Alberta shelters in 2019 (Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters), Jessica Martel was turned away from shelters operating at capacity. With the support of her mom, Jess made a safety plan, but it wasn’t realized.  She was murdered in front of her children by her common-law husband in 2009.

Shelter services are a scarcity in Alberta. Jessie’s House, the first new shelter to be constructed in Alberta in over 22 years opened in 2020. The 35 bed facility, costing 3 million from implementation to completion, supports individuals of any age or gender who are experiencing domestic violence, and has been thoughtfully designed to support even the largest of families.

The 2020 WDP grant paid for “wraparound” programming as well as a portion of emergency funding for 25 new and complex clients at Jessie’s House.

$5000.
Alberta

 

Hope Resource Centre Association Support for Victims of Gender-Based Violence

Hope Resource Centre, AB supported 111 adult clients and 80 minor children amid COVID-19 related lockdowns and restrictions.  During this time, calls to the centre increased from 25-30 per week to 45-60, often in the late weekends and evenings.  A 2020 WDP grant helped pay for food, household goods, and community garden and court filing fees.  Hope Centre partnered with cafes and community contacts, when possible, for donations of food and furniture.

The centre worked with Child and Family Services (CFS) of Alberta despite stringent COVID-19 guidelines to break down some negative stereotypes of the agency.  For example, assistance was provided for a middle-aged woman who had struggled with substance abuse and was precariously close to having her child apprehended as she had no peer supports to satisfy the safety requirements this child required and deserved. Six women who had transitioned from victim to survivor were selected to peer mentor the new client as housing was secured and emphasis on the child’s needs were kept firmly in primary position.

$5000.
Alberta

 

RESET Society of Calgary EXploitation Intervention & Transition (EXIT) Program from Sexual Exploitation

A 2020 WDP grant not only helped maintain current programming at RESET Society of Calgary but also helped with a smooth transition to virtual delivery and additional counselling that the women needed so badly during COVID-19 restrictions.

Direct housing and programming were provided to 56 women and their children between April 1 and December 31, 2020.  Six homes were set up with internet, Zoom and MS Team accounts were created, and 5 laptops were purchased. As the women had been really struggling with isolation, additional activities were started including a weekly virtual cooking.

RESET had to increase and shift staff responsibilities to operate 24/7 to provide the level of support needed. The Program Manager visited each home daily between 10 am to 2 pm to bring medications (Methadone, Suboxone, mental health prescriptions) or any items needed from the grocery store as well as meet with them individually if they need extra support.

Two women said that they would have had to return to the sex trade if RESET was not there to support them as they had no other means.

$5000.
Alberta

 

Diocese of Edmonton, Indigenous Ministries Initiative Indigenous Birth Support

Thanks to funding, including a 2020 WDP grant, Lori Calkins was able to continue in her full-time role as a birth worker, or nikâwîs (Cree for ‘auntie’) throughout 2020 and into early 2021.    The word nikâwîs actually means ‘little mother’ and comes from a sense of kinship that extends beyond immediate or direct blood relations.

Lori provided front line support to Indigenous families in their prenatal period, during birth, into the postpartum months, and also continued to provide care to families whose children were born in previous years, their older children, and teens.  These families were largely part of the urban Indigenous population in and around Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) in Treaty Six Territory, but also included birthing persons and their families from area reserves and Métis settlements, as well as birthers evacuated from their communities in the north of the province and from the Northwest Territories to birth in Edmonton (or for their babies to receive specialized and high level care in city NICUs).  Lori also provided remote support to birthing persons in more southern parts of the province.  The majority of the families supported had complex needs arising from the multi-generational impacts of colonial trauma.  She often served as a navigator, advocate, and coordinator of services across systems, working to bring together the circle of care.

$5000.
British Columbia

 

Ascension Lutheran Church (ELCIC) Rosemont Community Kitchen

A 2020 WDP grant helped support “Sharing Bread ~ A Community Together” Restaurant Certificate Program organized by the Rosemont Community Kitchen from Ascension Lutheran Church, Nelson, BC.  It offered much to the small town of Nelson, BC, as a replacement for the meal and social time due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Six committee members worked with local restaurants to provide meals to low-income people in need using a certificate program.  Housing managers, local schools, a transition house, a support house for people with mental illness, local churches, local shelters, Community Health Services, social services, and others joined together to distribute 325 certificates. Several of the committee members have had struggles themselves, and so helped ensure that the program was designed to offer dignity and choice for participants.

$4500.
British Columbia

Mennonite Central Committee End Abuse Program “When Love Hurts” (WLH)

The End Abuse, When Love Hurts, Phase 4 group at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Abbotsford, BC began in October 2020. The women who participate have experienced abuse by partners and husbands and have completed WLH Phases 1 to 3. Phase 4 is the only group that continues for eight months: Fall, Winter, and Spring.

While the women contribute financially to participate in this group, a 2020 WDP grant helped make it financially attainable for them.

$5000.
New Brunswick

 

 

Gentle Path Counselling Services Ltd. Counselling for Women Facing Challenges

During the pandemic, the number of “paying” clients was reduced while the number of those needing assistance increased for Gentle Path Counselling Services. At first, remote Zoom and ‘phone counseling was provided. As the “Atlantic Bubble” reduced infections and our province eased restrictions, offices were renovated to be COVID-19 safe.  In-person meetings resumed.

A 2020 WDP grant money was used for counselor fees for low-income women in need of professional counselling services. The grant enabled Gentle Path to provide free services to 14 female clients, for a total of 31 sessions (which varied according to need). These sessions took place between August 16 and September 14, 2020.

$2500.
Newfoundland

Single Parent Association of Newfoundland Empowering the Single Parent Woman

Online classes were provided to 15 families by the Single Parent Association of Newfoundland, coupled with virtual WHMIS and First Aid training. A 2020 WDP grant was used, in part, to purchase 10 refurbished laptops that enabled clients to partake.  For some families it was their only form of communication as financial pressures had forced them to be lapse on phone bills and other nonlife essentials.

This program has enabled participants to receive the skills and training needed to re-enter the workforce. It has also provided an invaluable tool for each of the families as it allowed them to have computer access during COVID 19 lockdown which provided them with a huge source of access to the outside world that was not available to them previously. This included everything from entertaining their children and looking up recipes to allowing for online job applications and Zoom interviews.

$5000.
Ontario

 

 

 

St. James Anglican Church, Wellington Addressing Mental Health Concerns and Food Insecurity for Women

Centre Wellington Meals to Go is an amalgamation of the Wednesday Women’s Community Lunch in Fergus, the Monday Community Lunch in Elora, the second Thursday Centre Wellington District High School community meal, and four alternating Friday dinners provided by local churches (Knox Presbyterian, Central Pentecostal Church, St. James Anglican, and Melville United).

Meals were provided for anyone who requested one, five days a week between March and September. The program restarted at Thanksgiving and continues to this day.  Since the start of the pandemic, the numbers increased from the 30 to 40 meals provided by “The Women’s Community Lunch” to over 100 meals per day. At the peak last summer, they provided close to 800 meals per week. A 2020 WDP grant helped pay for the increased food insecurity during COVID-19.

Later, two restaurants became involved.  It was a win/win situation as Meals to Go provided employment for chefs, a regular flow of income for local restaurants, more opportunity for community involvement, and (of course) more opportunities for meals.

$5000.
Ontario

 

Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) Justice Policy Advocacy

CPJ is a national organization of members inspired by faith to act for justice in Canadian public policy. Through research and analysis, public education and engagement, and political advocacy, they work to advance efforts to end poverty in Canada, support refugee rights, and advance climate justice.

The Justice Policy Advocacy project was a key component of their 2019-2020 Public Justice Internship.  A 2020 WDP grant was used to support the research, writing, and publication of the August 2020 report, “Restoring Indigenous Rights: How Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Can Advance Climate Justice in Canada” by Keira Kang.  [https://cpj.ca/restoring-indigenous-rights/]

$4000.
Ontario

 

 

 

 

 

FCJ Refugee Centre Empowering Refugee Women and Survivors of Trafficking Through a Small Business Initiative

The FCJ Refugee Centre provides a space where women can rebuild their lives and start a collective business towards self-sustainability so that they can implement skills brought from their own countries and integrate them in a Canadian context. 80% of the women move from shelters to self-sustaining living situations.

Women looked forward to weekly workshops, supported by a 2020 WDP grant, with passion and enthusiasm; they spoke in glowing terms about the opportunity to gain skills, and build their community especially in these enormously challenging times – when people are feeling more isolated than ever.

$5000.
Ontario

BridgeNorth Women’s Mentorship & Advocacy Services Squaring Up-Reflecting Hope to Victims of Human Trafficking

BridgeNorth is a registered charitable organization based in York Region, Ontario, which exists to address and prevent the unique problems faced by victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking by providing programs to assist with their departure and transition from the sex industry.

A 2020 WDP grant was used to create and distribute a “Squaring Up” booklet designed to inspire and reflect hope to transition away or exit the sex industry. The goal was to reach into hotels, massage parlours, and environment where trafficked persons exist, and to provide help in a way that is safe for them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geriBrZPrS8

$5000.
Ontario

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives Supporting Temporary Foreign Workers During COVID-19

This project was to organize four virtual workshops and capacity building training to empower 30 migrant workers, particularly caregivers and others who had fallen through the bureaucratic cracks and lost their legal status in Canada.

A WDP 2020 grant helped support seven in-person small group workshops/capacity building sessions for 70 temporary foreign workers addressing the needs and problems faced by many migrant workers, particularly the migrant caregivers.

Topics included:

• Know your rights during the pandemic

• Freedom of mobility in the context of the COVID-19 lockdown

• Open work permits for vulnerable workers

• Pandemic health and safety measures.

$5000.
Ontario

Fight4Freedom Survivor Care Program for Victims of Sex Trafficking Industry

Transformative changes were made in the lives of 18 sex trafficking survivors with a 2020 WDP grant.

These funds helped support housing, food, transportation, personal needs, and rehabilitation costs.

A story: For one survivor, a safehouse did not allow her children to visit. Her children have always been a huge motivator for her to transition out; therefore, she really wanted to be able to settle in a place where she could have her children visit and stay for times. The WDP grant assisted with her initial rent deposit.

$5000.
Ontario

 

The Gathering Food Centre (c/o Church Out Serving) – Simcoe ON COVID19 Emergency Food Services

A 2020 WDP grant helped The Gathering Food Centre respond to over 2,900 neighbours with needs. With a team of over 60 committed volunteers, The Gathering Food Center (o/a Church Out Serving) served 14,962 fresh and frozen meals, and delivered 4,141 food hampers to seniors, widows, single moms, children, and struggling families, since COVID-19 began last March. The WDP grant funds were used to purchase healthy fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, and basic grocery necessities for hampers, feeding 10 families for 10 weeks during this difficult season.

One personal story is that of Darryl. He was suffering with cancer that had spread from his lungs to his brain and liver and was living one day at a time. Unable to work, he and his family expressed grateful thanks for the weekly food box delivered to their doorstep.

$5000.
Ontario

 

St. Thomas Wesley United Church Restorative Justice Circle

A 2020 WDP grant helped St. Thomas Wesley United Church support twelve women within a circle of care -12 women who were at risk of being involved in the criminal process.

Personal support and companionship were often required every day and sometimes all day as the women dealt with the absolute grief and trauma of the death of children (three circle members lost a daughter during the months in the circle), of partner violence (one woman needed to move because of partner violence), of the lack of in-person/adequate resources related to health and issues of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. (one woman was released from the Pine Grove Correctional Centre in frigid weather without a place to stay in Saskatoon).

Personal message to WICC: “I know I appreciate you so much.  I would be six foot under if you hadn’t continued believing in me and providing all the compassion and support. Never once have you judged any of us.  You have so much goodness and strength that you give to us.  The group is a must. It allows us to share our lives and helps us learn how we can cope with all the traumatic events in our lives.  You are an angel on earth.”

$5000.
Ontario and Saskatchewan

 

CAP Canada (Christians Against Poverty) Jael Initiative (Smile Fund)

A 2020 WDP grant helped with the following Christians Against Poverty initiatives:

Groceries were provided for a single mom who had not received child support for 3 months and was missing meals herself so she could stretch her grocery budget to make sure her kids had enough.

A woman was sent to a retreat to relax and heal from her cancer treatments. Her basement apartment has no windows, so she was so happy to wakeup and see the sun.

A client needed major dental work due to her autoimmune disease that broke down her teeth. The rest of the cost that was not covered was paid for grant funds.

A taillight for a client’s car was fixed to make it roadworthy.

A client who was expecting her new baby had to flee her apartment due to a shooting that happened in the building and she no longer felt safe. This meant needing to first and last month’s rent in her new place, so she was helped with one of her trustee payments.

$5000.
Saskatchewan

 

 

 

 

Battlefords Family Health Centre Treaty 6 Territory Battlefords Family Health Centre Healthy Living Land Based Learning Community Project

A WDP 2020 grant was used to maintain community garden shrubs and trees first planted in 2018. It also supported the hiring of a coordinator and youth cultural outreach worker to oversee garden volunteers and develop culturally bridging projects.  Traditional tobacco was grown for garden blessing and sharing with elders.  Canning and blanching took place at harvest time. Recipes books were created that reflected multicultural input and specific health concerns such as diabetes.

$2000.
Awakening Grant

Ontario

 

NorthWind Family Ministries LifeBuild Restoration for Indigenous Women

A 2020 WDP grant helped support six weeks of the Women Restored program. The participants came from broken family situations, abusive relationships, and paths of addictions, which left markings on their physical bodies along with their mental, emotional, and spiritual beings. These women boldly told their stories through their beautiful and courageous vulnerability. They shared their stories through activities, which allowed them to express themselves verbally and artistically. They expressed that they felt safe with each other and with the coaches. These women chose to show up to these sessions; they were willing to learn, hungry for community connection and desiring to be affirmed and accepted just as they were. These women were also fighting for their sobriety every single day.

$2000.
Emergency Grant

Bahamas

Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands Conference (BTCIC) of Methodist Church in Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) Disaster Relief following Hurricane Dorian $2000.