Community Leadership and Action Project (CLAP)

What is CLAP?

This three-year project, funded by Status of Women Canada, focused on building community capacity to implement a range of culturally and linguistically appropriate responses to violence against women.

Through this project, 7 participants developed innovative ways of addressing violence with the goal of creating community sustainability.

Springtide Resources’ Community Leaders

Ashrafi Ahmed: Raise Your Voice

Ashrafi have completed her Masters in Social Science (Sociology) with Honours from Bangladesh and worked with the Disaster Management Program.   In Canada, she successfully completed training course on ‘Community Leadership’ from Centre for Community Learning & Development (CCL&D).  She has an amazing experience working with multicultural, new immigrant and low income communities.  She also speaks 3 different languages and continues to do voluntary work with various different organizations in her community like Yonge Street Mission and Regent Park Community Health Centre.  She is also active in her children's school, working with other newcomer parents on understanding the educational system.

Amada Cisternas: Women and the Baptist Church

Amada first joined Springtide as a Peer Educator to help prevent violence against women in 2007 and as a Community Leader in 2008.  She was born in Chile and came to Canada in 1996.  She is married with three children 8, 11, and 15 years old.  Amada has a diploma in the area of Administration and various Training Certificates in the areas of Health, Mediation, and Community Development.  She is currently a workshop instructor at the Center for Digital Storytelling, an Outreach and a Health Promoter Worker at Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Community Centre and an active Board Member of Delta Family Resource Centre.  She has worked in the community facilitating parenting programs and volunteering each summer in a Family Summer Camp for newcomers.   Amada enjoys working with people in so many different ways, which she finds to be a very positive and rewarding experience.

Nadia Edwards: Breaking Barriers with Food

Nadia is a single mother to three lovely children.  She came to Springtide wanting to work with women who are coming out of shelters, based on her experience navigating through the system.  ‘Breaking Barriers with Food’ is meant to help women find what information they need and how to advocate for themselves.  She was part of the Speakers Bureau from the Stop Community Food Centre, became the Information and Advocacy Coordinator, and coordinated The Stop’s Good Food Market.  She is the co-chair of the ‘Put Food in the Budget’ Campaign – asking the government to increase social assistance rates by $100 to accommodate for the rising cost of food and the need to access good, healthy, and nutritional produce.  She was also part of Survivor’s Voices and is a Community Leader for Toronto Community Housing in the Lawrence Heights area.  She is part of a hurricane relief committee from Toronto, working to provide aid to her home country of St. Lucia after the devastation of Hurricane Thomas in 2010.

Raquel Ferrer: Strengthening Life Skills for Refugee Women

In 2008, Raquel joined the Special Support Services at the Mennonite New Life Centre where she offers counselling services to refugee and immigrants who confront trauma and mental health issues.   Raquel also worked in Bloor Information and Life Skill Centre as a Training Facilitator in Women Abuse Program.   Raquel completed the Life Skills Coaching Program in George Brown College and is a member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellor, Psychometrics, and Psychotherapists (OACCPP).  She has gained valuable Canadian experience with several community organizations through her work in counselling, training, facilitation, coaching, settlement, and coordinating parenting groups.  Raquel is currently in Colombia as a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology from North University of Colombia, developing a research entitled “Stressors that could impact the mental health of Latin-American refugee women”. She wants continue working with women that face violence in different ways.

I-Chun (Fanny) Ho: Stories of Chinese-Canadian Women

Fanny emigrated from Taiwan to Canada 16 years ago.  She is a Chinese woman who speaks both Mandarin and English.  She first came to Springtide Resources as a placement student in the Immigrant and Refugee Women Connection for Change Program (IRWP).  She is currently a second year student in George Brown College’s Assaulted Women’s & Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program and doing her second year student placement in Interval House, a shelter for abused women.  She is a certified Language Interpreter and has worked in diverse fields, from retail to photography.  After completing her diploma, she would like to continue working with the immigrant and refugee communities in Toronto.  

Valeria Martinez: Women Action Now

Born in Argentina, Valeria found that life as an immigrant in Canada was difficult and faced many barriers and challenges.  A place that helped her as a new immigrant was Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Multicultural Women Against Rape, where she learned different skills and found the passion and the strength to be a crisis counsellor. Another organization that makes her feel at home is Springtide Resources (formally Education Wife Assault) as a Peer Educator and Community Leader.   Last year, she became part of the Centre for Community learning and Development (CCL&D) as a Community Leader and was a recipient of the Elizabeth Cooke Community Leadership Development Award.  In 2010, she developed a Memorial video Queer opening for The Take Back the Night in partnership with Las Perlas del Mar Noticias.  She currently works at the Women Abuse Council of Toronto (Woman ACT) as a Community Support Worker, providing outreach and administration support to the council committees.  Valeria envisions a community free of violence where people can feel happy and be able to express their ideas without fear, finding dignified jobs, and learn all together to build and maintain a community for the future generations where diversity is included.

Sugandha Nagpal: Forced Marriage Project

Sugandha is a Masters student in sociology at York University and is pursuing research in the areas of race and gender, immigration, international development and transnationalism. In fact, she is conducting her thesis on the dynamics of sex-selection and son preference in South Asian Canadian communities.  In her academic and community work, Sugandha strives to pursue community- based research and grassroots initiatives that can facilitate community development and social change. She has a special interest in developing programs and projects on community health and gender-based violence in marginalized communities.  In addition to the Young Women's Forced Marriage Advisory Committee, she has been involved with the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence against Women and Children (METRAC), Access Alliance, Gender Training Institute in the Centre for Social Research (New Delhi, India), York Institute for Health Research and has founded the South Asian Feminism Circle at York University.


Status of Women Canada