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Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) $20,000 Grant

Mercy Lawluvi,
Executive Director
(613) 729-3145 

Canadian Women’s Foundation
Rebecca Aird,
Strategic and Community Initiatives
(416) 365-1444

Ottawa Community Foundation Supports Digital Literacy

$20,000 from The Ottawa Community Foundation Granted to Assists Immigrant and Racialized Women Improve Computer Skills

Ottawa, ON – May 17, 2022.  Immigrant Women Services Ottawa (IWSO), has announced receipt of a grant of $20,000 from the Ottawa Community Foundation, a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa.  This grant will go directly to providing extra time required for Level 1 students to grasp the fundamentals of computer skills, thus enabling the students to move forward with confidence to the next level of computer training provided by IWSO. This is the second grant from the Ottawa Community Foundation specifically for basic computer training thus making them a major supporter of the much-needed digital literacy programming for immigrant and racialized women in Ottawa.

The Ottawa Community Foundation’s Director of Strategic and Community Initiatives, Rebecca Aird said, “When IWSO approached us, explaining that many Immigrant Women, never being exposed to computers before, were finding it very difficult to grasp the basics, we knew OCF could help.  We realized that because all training was completed online, during the Pandemic, that acquiring basic computer skills must have been extremely challenging.   The Ottawa Community Foundation agreed that giving these women more time to grasp the basic concepts would be imperative for them to progress to the next levels of computer training with confidence.  We know from experience that immigrants’ lack of computer skills limits their employment opportunities, and often their ability to meet their personal and family responsibilities now that most tasks like paying bills and making appointments are completed on-line. IWSO has extensive experience in this kind of training, and we are pleased to have another opportunity to support them in extending the time needed for Level One students.”

Thanking the Ottawa Community Foundation for the grant, the Executive Director of IWSO Mercy Lawluvi said: “In an era where digital literacy has become a necessity, training women on computer basics was exceptionally difficult during the Covid 19 pandemic. Immigrant women, many of whom face language and other challenges, struggled to grasp the basics in an online format.  This funding will facilitate Level One training and provide more time to help the women to grasp the fundamentals and move on confidently to more complex training thereby increasing their chances of gainful employment and active participation in the community”.

The IWSO computer instructor Iskrena Puhleva, said “Often, these women come to us with little knowledge of the simplest of computer basics.  Thanks to this Grant from the Ottawa Community Foundation, we will be able to offer more time to Level One students to become familiar with the basics.”

About The Ottawa Community Foundation:
The Ottawa Community Foundation is a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. It connects donors who care with causes that matter and serves as a trusted resource for addressing issues and leveraging opportunities in the community. It attracts and manages a growing endowment, the invested earnings of which provide grants to charitable organizations.

The Foundation’s role is as a neutral broker in support of all charitable causes that contribute to the community’s quality of life. With a growing profile, the Ottawa Community Foundation has built an enviable reputation for astute financial management, high-quality donor services, strategic grantmaking and innovative partnerships. For more information, visit

The Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) is one of Ottawa’s most highly regarded philanthropic organizations, working with donors and the community at large to bring about positive, systemic and sustainable change in our city and beyond. The Foundation has built an enviable reputation for astute financial management, high quality donor services, strategic grant making and innovative partnerships across the city.

About Immigrant Women Services Ottawa:

The mandate of IWSO is to empower immigrant and racialized women in the City of Ottawa and surrounding areas to participate in the elimination of all forms of abuse against women; to provide culturally responsive services which will facilitate their access to community and mainstream services and provide other services/programs which will assist immigrant women in their journey to attain their full potential.  Immigrant Women Services Ottawa is a community-based agency serving immigrant and racialized women. We create opportunities for women as they integrate into a new society, rebuild their lives free of violence, and achieve their personal goals.

IWSO includes a multi-disciplinary team (crisis counsellors, professional translators, settlement and integration counsellors, and volunteers) offering comfort and support to Immigrant and Racialized women in Ottawa and the surrounding areas.

Immigrant Women Services Ottawa
219 Argyle Avenue, Suite 400
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 2H4
Tel: 613-729-3145
Fax: 613-729-9308