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Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) Press Release

Mercy Lawluvi,
Executive Director
(613) 729-3145 

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

Local Community Foundation Supports Digital Literacy

The Ottawa Community Foundation Directs $10,000 to IWSO in support of digital literacy for Immigrant and Racialized Women

Ottawa, ONMay 10, 2021… Immigrant Women Services Ottawa (IWSO), today
announced that they have received funding from The Ottawa Community Foundation,
a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. The Foundation
!s grant of $9999 will establish them as a leading supporter of Digital Literacy
programming for immigrant and racialized women in the city. Funding will go directly
to providing computer training for immigrant women who are excluded from programming
because of eligibility criteria.

The Ottawa Community Foundation!s Director of Strategic and Community Initiatives,
Rebecca Aird said, “It!s clearly essential to provide quality digital literacy training to all
immigrant women whose current skill levels limit their employment opportunities, and
often also their ability to meet their personal and family needs. IWSO has extensive
experience in this kind of training, and the Ottawa Community Foundation is really
pleased to have an opportunity to support them in extending this training to non-status
immigrant women who are not eligible for other funded programs.”

“Newcomer women who are excluded from our program because of eligibility criteria,
lack computer skills.#$This is a huge barrier to their social and economic integration.#$
Now, more than ever, digital literacy is a must for newcomer women to access services
and employment opportunities. Current funding mandates that we only provide
computer training to permanent residents, convention refugees and caregivers. Immigrant
women who are now citizens or refugee claimants are excluded. These
women must acquire computer skills irrespective of their immigration status,%$said
Mercy Lawluvi, Executive Director of IWSO

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

“Often, these women come to us with little knowledge of the simplest of computer
basics,” said Iskrena Puhleva, Computer Instructor for IWSO. “Thanks to today’s
grant, we will be able to offer computer training courses for immigrant women who
are excluded from our programs because they do not meet eligibility criteria.”

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.

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

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