Women on the Move Project Phase I
In 2008, The Redwood established a Women’s Advisory & Leadership Development project to help break the silence of women’s voices. The pilot project was intended to provide newcomer women, who were former resident and community clients of The Redwood, with the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills in group facilitation, community involvement and public-speaking. Additionally they would also strengthen their peer mentoring skills while increasing knowledge and awareness of violence against women and girls amongst community agencies and newcomer immigrant women. The Redwood was hopeful that women involved in the project would provide guidance with regards to developing and evaluating programs.
Many participants of the program discovered that sharing their own life experience was impactful and recommended the leadership project be expanded. It was proposed that the pilot group of graduates be provided mentoring opportunities to other women involved in the program and that it could be expanded to include new opportunities for women to learn about woman abuse and also prepare them to serve on community boards and committees.
Women on the Move Project Phase II
In Phase II, the overall goal of the WOTM Project was to establish a unique and innovative leadership/mentorship and outreach program where former service users take a strong, voluntary leadership role to support other women. To accomplish this, 10 women participants from Phase I were involved in the first year of Phase II.
In Phase II, the total number of project participants increased to 30 women. The leadership component of the project was strengthened to support and encourage women to become mentors and community leaders. Another anticipated outcome of the project was that the women would go on to serve their community on formal leadership bodies of agencies, coalitions and networks dealing with governance, policy and program/community development.