An update on our 2021 grant recipients

In 2021, Project Change Foundation was able to provide grants and mentorship to two Canadian non-profits.

One recipient was Inspire Community Outreach, which provides evidence and culturally informed, family-centered education and programming to meet the needs of those living with mental health issues and neurological/cognitive differences.

Financial support from Project Change Foundation allowed Inspire Community Outreach to provide additional subsidies for families to get care when they needed it most, according to Lisa van den Hoven, the organization’s chief operating officer.

The mentorship Project Change Foundation offered went a long way too.

“The mentorship really showed us how to focus on current goals and recent accomplishments and communicate them to governance in a succinct way; how to be strategic when asking questions to public policy makers, or when recruiting new talent for the board, and how to identify which positions are essential to have experienced staff, and which positions are resilient to turnover,” van den Hoven says.

“We were able to help provide training and lend our experience about board governance,” says John Nicholson, a Project Change Foundation board member. “A solid, skilled board is critical for any not-for-profit, so we shared what we know, what works, what doesn’t, to help Inspire Community Outreach round out and build a team that can help it take the next step forward in the community.”

Inspire Community Outreach remains focused on its community, and what it needs.

“As we move forward in supporting community, we continue to learn,” says van den Hoven. “The continuation of providing education, programing and therapeutic stabilization for families that include children with neurological differences and sensitives is integral to the wellness of community, and it is our honour to do that work.”

Our other partner in 2021 was Refugee Women’s Network.

Refugee Women’s Network was founded in 2016 by Zein Dhanidina to provide education, advocacy and support programs for women refugees who were coming to Ontario. She saw that nearly half the 12,000 newcomers didn’t speak English and had limited education, so she stepped up to help.

Now, Refugee Women’s Network offers three primary programs: Learning Lab, Women Helping Women, along with Education and Training & Development. COVID-19 made it more urgent for RWN to connect with refugee women, who faced increasing domestic abuse and food security.

“Through all of the challenges of the COVID-19 world, Zein was able to adapt her organization to continue to be there for the women she supports,” said Emily-anne King, a Project Change Foundation board member. “We supported her by providing some guidance around email campaigns and fundraising strategies, as well as providing some thoughts on how to engage with her board in a more active way.”

Like Inspire Community Outreach, the financial support made a difference for Refugee Women’s Network.

“The support Project Change Foundation provided helped direct our focus on professional development, as well as our programs,” says Dhanidina. “Being able to support professional development helped build my resources and gave me tools that I would otherwise not have. The financial support towards our programs helped provide much needed material and supplies to our clients. The in-kind support was priceless.”

There is more work ahead: Refugee Women’s Network has 157 new clients that want to register and it is moving forward to support them.

Project Change Foundation is so proud of the work both these organizations have done over such a challenging period and wish them the best as they continue to grow and evolve.