Skills for Change is pleased to announce the launching of the Women and Girls Circle Program. There will be a series of workshops and drop-in sessions including mental health and counselling support, wellness programs, crisis intervention support, and wrap around services including employment and referral support on topics impacting the mental health and wellbeing including:

  • Self Esteem
  • Managing Stress
  • Nonviolent Communication
  • Anger Management
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Grief and Loss
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Codependency
  • Intimate partner violence

Please see below for our sessions and register today:

Laughter sessions (part of the Women and Girls Circle series) December 15th & 29th, January 12th & 26th from 12:00pm -12:45pm.

We laugh together through laughter exercises to reduce our stress & anxiety and have fun together. This is a part of our new project: Safe & Stronger, Women & Girls Circle at Skills for
Change. Join us for this free laughter group.

In this group, we laugh together through laughter exercises known as laughter therapy/laughter yoga. Many research shows that Laughter Yoga is beneficial to reduce stress and anxiety, alleviate
depressive symptoms, relax the muscles, and reduce the pain, and improve physical & psychological well-being and quality of life. After the 30 minutes laughter session, we’ll have a short chat time. You can leave after the laughter session or stay for chatting. No experience or equipment are needed. Just come as you are and just be as you are.

These sessions will be run by a Clinical Counsellor who is also a certified Laughter Yoga Instructor.

Anti-Human Trafficking – January 11 – 3 PM – 4 PM

According to the RCMP’s Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre, over 96% of identified cases in Canada since 2005 were domestic trafficking cases. Most police-reported cases in Ontario are girls and women who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Indigenous women and girls are especially vulnerable to being targeted by traffickers.

In this workshop, Women & Girls Circle at Skills for Change is happy to have our guest speaker, Teresa Dremetsikas, Program Manager at Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. She will be talking about types of human trafficking, risk factors, barriers, prevention of human trafficking, and its resources.

Teresa Dremetsikas

Teresa is a program manager at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT). She graduated as a Medical Doctor from the Faculty of Medicine in Monterrey Nuevo Leon in Mexico and has worked for the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture since the late 80’s . She has worked at the CCVT in different positions including starting as a volunteer and thereafter hired in 1987 to do frontline work including one on one assessment and counselling of clients she also worked with survivors organizing support groups. Other activities along the years have included: facilitation of training sessions for staff, internally and externally for other settlement service providing organizations. She has also provided training sessions to Immigration Department (Refugee Board, enforcement branch and even External Affairs and Visa officers.) She has been active doing presentations at conferences locally, Nationally and Internationally on the issue of Torture.

Presently she oversees the Anti-human trafficking Program at the CCVT. In collaboration with staff and other managers as well as network of professionals and volunteers, she has been involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of several Services at the Centre throughout the years.

Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture

The Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) aids survivors to overcome the lasting effects of torture and war. In partnership with the community, the CCVT supports survivors in the process of successful integration into Canadian society, works for their protection and integrity, and raises awareness of the continuing effects of torture and war on survivors and their families. The CCVT gives hope after the horror.

Disrupting & Reconstructing our understanding of femicide: Centring Black women, girls, and gender diverse people’s experiences

The killings of women, girls, and gender diverse people, BECAUSE of their gender is a global epidemic but is not given the attention it deserves. When systems or public and media attention is paid to it, the focus, outrage, and calls for action are most often on femicides where the victims are White. Systemic anti-Black racism and misogyny lead to Black women, girls, and gender diverse (B-WGGD) victims of femicide being erased from the conversations and policies aimed at addressing and preventing gender-based violence. It is time to shine a light on Black Femicides in Canada, by centering B-WGGD people, as we call for community action and national accountability that truly demonstrates a societal commitment to all citizens.

In this workshop, Skills for Change is happy to have our guest speaker, Nneka Macgregor who is the co-founder and Executive Director at WomenatthecentrE.

Nneka MacGregor, LL.B.

Nneka MacGregor is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Centre for Social Justice, better known as WomenatthecentrE, a unique non-profit organization created by and for women and trans survivors of gender-based violence globally. Nneka is an advocate who works with governments, organizations, and individuals to transform lives and build violence-free communities. She sits on several Advisory Boards and Committees, including the federal government’s Advisory Council on the Federal Strategy Against Gender-Based Violence, the Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee, and is an Expert Advisory Panel Member of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability.An international speaker and trainer, her research focus is on sexual violence, and on the intersection of strangulation, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Inter-Personal Violence. She was a recipient of the 2019 PINK Concussions Awards and is also the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction 2020 award for Social Justice.An entrepreneur with over three decades of business experience, Nneka is the founder and Managing Partner at Nneka & Co, a consulting firm that focuses on Stakeholder-Centric EDI © – a unique and comprehensive framework to engage organizations in equity, diversity & inclusion work. Her expertise is on nurturing women’s leadership at the intersection of gender, race and ability.

Women’s Centre for Social Justice, o/a WomenatthecentrE

Women’s Centre for Social Justice, better known as WomenatthecentrE, was established in 2008, to facilitate supportive action, advocacy and research, and education in the field of gender-based violence (GBV). WomenatthecentrE is a unique non-profit organization that works to eradicate violence against women, women-identified, gender queer, 2-spirit, and trans-identified people, through personal, political, and social advocacy. WomenatthecentrE is the first pan-Canadian non-profit organization that was created by and for survivors of GBV. Through our Personal Advocacy programs, our members participate in skills-building training and other workshops that help them to develop their voice, connect with other women survivors of gendered violence, engage in peer support, and acquire practical skills to help navigate the various systems including family courts and child welfare. Through our Political Advocacy, our members provide expert insight directly to governments, service agencies, and other organizations by engaging in research initiatives, focus groups, and participating in steering committees, in order to ensure that the voices of survivors are informing policies and programs so that these agencies can respond better to the needs of women experiencing violence. Through our Social Advocacy, our members and staff work on initiatives to raise public awareness, influence public opinion and change public perceptions of woman abuse by developing community outreach initiatives and engaging with the media, schools, and the private sector. We bring valuable insight from women who have experienced gendered violence as a way to inform society and dispel the myths. WomenatthecentrE’s mission is to ensure that the voices of those with the lived experience are central in the development and implementation of policies and programs aimed at eradicating GBV while promoting gender equity and advancing gender equality.

The Culture of Silence in Gender Based Violence

According to Statistics Canada (2021), more than 4 in 10 women have experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetimes in Canada. More than 1 in 10 women victims experience violence or abuse almost daily.

In this workshop, we’re happy to have our guest speaker, Blessing Timidi Digha, the Violence against Women Program Facilitator at Family Service Toronto. She will talk about how our cultures, religion, social conditioning/upbringing, shame, personal bias, and lack of knowledge of Laws make women silent in their experiences of Gender Based Violence.

Blessing Timidi Digha

Blessing Timidi Digha is a Black woman who identifies as a Feminist. She is also an Advocate, Storyteller and Community Based Researcher who brings all her intersections and ideologies to the work she does on Gender Based Violence and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. She likes to Kickstart very uncomfortable conversations on issues that concern, affect, and impact girls and women.

Family Service Toronto

Family Service Toronto (FST) helps people face a wide variety of life challenges. For 100 years we have been assisting families and individuals through counselling, community development, advocacy, and public education programs. Our services are available to everyone who lives or works in Toronto.

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