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A Word from the Executive Director

This last year has flown by unbelievably fast. I was recently asked “What are you proudest about in this last year?” That really made me think, and I concluded that pride is probably the common denominator of all the people involved with the Centre. Participants, employees, volunteers, donors, members, funders: we are all proud of our association with the Centre.

Whether it is this participant from the incest support group, who tells us in her testimony that “I see how far I have come and I am proud of myself,” or the mom from the Mother-Child Intervention Program who is proud of being able to leave her child at the daycare without dissolving into tears. The pride that can be read on the face of a woman who gets a much-coveted job or a woman who signs her first lease after being homeless for months. Business people, co-chairs, event patrons and representatives of our funders who say they are proud contribute to “helping people who help others”… Pride can also be seen in the eyes of the members of our team who regularly see the impact of our actions on the lives of these women and these families.

This past year has been challenging from a social perspective and we have had our share of internal challenges, but we have also had many moments which we view with pride.

We succeeded in responding to over 45,000 requests for help, thanks to the extraordinary commitment of our team of 49 employees and the dedication of over 600 volunteers!

Over 90% of our participants reported in our annual survey their satisfaction with the services offered to them, and the two annual fundraising events held by our Foundation brought in record-breaking sums!

Finally, we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of our Mother-Child Intervention Program, having secured full funding for 2015-2016.

I want to express all my pride in the people I see every day in my job: participants, employees, institutional partners, private partners, community partners, donors and members who, each in your own way and capacity, are helping to build a better society.

I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the outgoing president of the Board of Directors of the Centre, Leslie Molko, who is leaving us after more than 12 years of commitment. It is another source of pride to be able to count on a contribution that continues for so long! Thank you for your support, your unconditional dedication to the cause, your sense of humour, your efficiency and your openness toward others.

My thanks, also, to Renée Turcotte and Louise Leboeuf, two directors who are leaving us this year. Your in-depth knowledge of the community sector and your expertise have lent us invaluable insight.

In closing, I want to say to each and every one of you, be proud to be part of this wonderful chain of solidarity with its ultimate goal of helping to build a future that is more fair and more equal for the women of today, tomorrow and all the generations to come.

Thank you for helping us help women help themselves and join together to reinvent themselves! 

Johanne Bélisle, s.w.
Executive Director
Women’s Centre of Montréal