A Word from the Executive Director
2018 is the 45th anniversary of the Centre’s founding. Who would have thought, in 1973, that the information, accompaniment, support and empowerment needs of women grow to such a scale and last so long? This is unfortunately because the needs are great but also and especially because the formula, although many times renewed over the years, gives convincing results!
The power of mutual assistance and solidarity, combined with the expertise and dedication of all the members of our team, has helped the Centre to carve out a place of importance in the Montréal community movement.
The socio-demographic context of the last year, with the massive influx of asylum seekers (refugee status claimants), the shortage of workers and the wave of sexual assault denouncements, has had an impact on our practices and obliged us to reinvent ourselves while pursuing our awareness and collective action efforts with our various partners.
Our Foundation also faced major challenges for its fundraising events this year, but on the plus side wrapped up the year with an unprecedented financial success for the 20th annual benefit evening.
I am extremely proud of our team’s commitment – the staff, the Board and committee members – and very grateful to our volunteers, partners, members and all the contributors who helped us rise honourably to meet these challenges.
In addition to our regular activities, we were especially active in social networks and we are very pleased with our new partnership with Jobboom, which offers meaningful recognition of our expertise in employability development.
In terms of Front Line Services, in addition to answering many requests from asylum seekers (refugee status claimants), we stepped up our offer of services for adult women who have experienced incest, which will continue in 2018-2019 thanks to new one-time funding.
In our fight against poverty, we are extremely pleased with the incredible initiative by Pampers Canada, represented by Marie-Mai, which, with a donation of 50,000 diapers, allowed us to meet the glaring needs of mothers and young children.
In closing, as I mentioned at the Foundation’s last benefit evening, with its theme “The Centre and its Stars,” every year we have the privilege of seeing many stars appear in our sky, stars that brighten the lives of the women at the Centre through their support, their dedication and their generosity.
Thank you, everyone, for being stars in the sky for all the women who come to the Centre and emerge from it transformed.
Thank you for helping them shine with all their might!
Johanne Bélisle, s.w.
Women’s Centre of Montréal