Another Year Has Come and Gone

Congratulations to all members of Women on the Move! Cannot believe it has come to an end. Feels as if it was only yesterday when we met these remarkable women! At the beginning of the program the women set personal goals for themselves. Over the past year, it has been wonderful to watch these women work hard to accomplish these goals. The women have also been active in their community by speaking about the issue of violence against women. We know they will continue to be amazing advocates.

grad steph, nat and fam

A special thanks to our guest speaker, Amy, a former WOTM youth member. We are so grateful that she has stayed connected over the years! She also gave an inspiring speech at the graduation party.

Amy WOTM graduation

Last but not least – we are filled with gratitude for the generous support we receive from The Lillian and Don Wright Foundation for the WOTM program. The Foundation’s passion and dedication to end violence against women is truly inspiring. Priscilla Wright and Mary Louise Dickson were both in attendance on Saturday for the celebration.

GRAD Priscilla- Mary Louise, and Alma with her vision board

“Mary Louise and I are so delighted to be a part of this excellent program, and Saturdays’ reception proved the effectiveness of what you are accomplishing. We are so proud of all of the graduates, and were so impressed by their self-assuredness and confidence for the future. Congratulations!!”  – Priscilla

A special heartfelt thank you also goes to The Bras Family Foundation and we were delighted that Leah Lambrakis was in attendance this year.

Thank you for having me today at the WOTM ceremony. The smiles, positivity and pride felt from these women pulled at my heart. What a wonderful program and what awesome accomplishments!” – Leah

Grad Alma and Leah Lambrakis

Although we are sad to see these inspiring women and their children go; we wish them well in their future endeavors. Do not be strangers- keep in contact with Redwood!

Seeing is Believing!

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’: an old but very powerful statement which is why every year the WOTM members make vision boards. And this year, the WOTM members made some beautiful ones! A vision board focuses on how you feel and what you want for your future. The women chose photos and images to represent their dreams, goals and ideal life. The more you see the vision board, the more it encourages you to actively pursue your goals.

Here are some of the wonderful vision boards the ladies have created:

Alma`s Ann-Marie's Betty's Irina's Narwin's Emma

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! On behalf of everyone from The Redwood and WOTM, we wish you joy and happiness in 2016! This past holiday season, the Redwood hosted their annual holiday party. It was quite the night: full of reunions, dancing, laughter, games, giveaways and delicious food.

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Holiday snowman pic

Although 2015 has come to an end, let’s not forget the joys and sorrows we experienced. The New Year is a time to reflect and learn from our previous experiences. Let’s keep our memories with us as we continue our life’s journey into 2016. This is a new year- so make it a new you! Get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

This January, I challenge you to take time for some self-care and self-reflection. Take the time to figure out what you want and what makes you happy so 2016 will be the best year for you!

Remember: life is 10% what actually happens and 90% of how you react to it. Let this be the year that positivity guides your life decisions. Do your best to try to find positivity in everything life throws at you!

Humber College Students Envisioning Ways to End Violence Against Women

We want to hear your thoughts on violence against women.

The Redwood community outreach team visited Humber College to complete a workshop on WOTM and gender based violence. In this workshop, the WOTM documentary was shown, and we touched on topics such self-perception, leadership and the impacts of community based organizations on women experiencing violence. We also had a special guest speaker, current WOTM member Alma, who spoke about her personal journey.

Now it’s your turn!

As future social workers, how will you use what you learned in today’s workshop to support women in your upcoming careers?

Please click on the “leave a comment” at the top of this post.

The Women on the Move Graduation

The Women on the Move Graduation marks the end of the women’s one year journey. It highlighted their accomplishments and gave them an opportunity to share all they learned from the program with The Redwood staff, board members, donors, family and friends.

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This year’s ceremony was especially memorable. The WOTM Youth performed an original play they created alongside Genevieve Weigel who is the WOTM Youth Counsellor.  The play addressed the issue of family violence, trauma, identity, drug induced sexual assault and street harassment. The play provided audience members with a glimpse into the challenges teenage girls face while growing up. It also highlighted the strength and resilience of women and girls.  Audience members left the play with an understanding that it’s important for us as women to stand together and speak out against all forms of violence. 

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The WOTM participants also created vision boards, which highlighted their goals for the future. Throughout the program women worked on developing their skills through personal development and community activism. 
Sadia's Vision Board 2015
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As the program comes to a close we’re entering into the 6th year of the Women on the Move Program. This year we’ll be focusing on supporting women with developing their entrepreneurial capacity, gaining employment and pursuing post-secondary studies.

We invite you to continue to follow us as we embark on this new journey.

Women on the Move is Now Recruiting

 We’re now recruiting for the 2015 Women on the Move (WOTM) Leadership Program. The focus of the program is Starting a Small Business, Employment Readiness and Post-Secondary Education. We’re also looking for women who are interested in developing leadership skills and raising awareness about gender-based violence.

 The WOTM Program starts on Saturday April 25th, 2015 and runs for 12 months. Sessions are held twice a month on Saturday’s from 12:00pm-2:30pm.  We provide tokens, child-minding & refreshments for all the participants.

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For more information contact Stephanie or Avon at 416-533-4540 ext. 223 or email:

The End of a Journey, The Start of New Journeys

The women in the Women on the Move (WOTM) program have come to the end of their one year journey. Throughout the year the women spent time challenging  themselves. Many of the women stepped out of their comfort zone and tried new things. This experience has shaped the way women think about themselves and what their capable of accomplishing.

Here are some testimonials from the WOTM members:

“The most defining moment in this program was the Financial Literacy workshop by Christine (previous WOTM member). It was an awakening to me. I have money, but I do not know how to manage it. She spent a good amount of time with each one of us. I lerned a lot but most importantly, I applied the skills and stuck to it.” Kiden

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“This program has helped me to find myself and understand that I have a great deal to give and in giving, I will find happiness and my true self.” Daniella


“This program helped me to find my inner strength and see things logically. It also helped me face difficulties and crisis situations. I believe all of us have the ability to solve any problems that come into our lives. Women on the Move gave me the courage to find a solution to overcome my problems.” Ishrat


The staff at The Redwood would like to thank the women for their commitment to this journey. We know it wasn’t easy but we’re thrilled to see their ongoing passion and dedication to making positive changes within themselves and their community.

Creating Visions for the Future

For the last 9 months the Women on the Move participants have been working on creating their goals for the future. This has been a long and sometimes challenging process as the participants are still coping with a number of life challenges. Regardless, the women have found time to reflect on the things they want to accomplish in the New Year. Many of them are working on addressing past trauma, going back to school and starting new careers.

There is a renewed sense of hope within the group and it’s apparent when looking at the vision boards they’ve created. These vision boards will be unveiled at our upcoming WOTM Graduation in April 2015. Here’s a sneak peek at one of the vision boards.

Vision Board Image for WOTM Blog

Students Speak Up! How would you use the WOTM Discussion guide?

 Students we want to hear from you!

WOTM is beginning an exciting round of train the trainer workshops in local colleges and universities.   We will be screening our documentary and featuring the discussion guide developed to accompany it.

For those of you who have already had a workshop with us, tell us how you could use what you have learned in your placement or future practice, don’t forget to tell us which school you attend.

Click on the Leave A Comment tab at the top of this post to add your comment.


WOTM Women Take Back the Night

On September 20th, Take Back the Night held it’s annual march, raising awareness around gender based violence. The event is organized for and by the community. The vision for the event is to eradicate all forms of violence and systemic oppression.

This year, The Redwood outreach team along with a WOTM member participated in organizing the event.  Throughout the event, one of our WOTM members, Sadia played an important  role in organizing, facilitating and raising awareness about gender-based violence.

Check out Sadia’s Take Back the Night speech below!



A Redwood Program