Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre is committed to supporting Asian and South Asian women, children, youth and their families in taking greater control of their lives. Our main focus is to provide culturally appropriate and linguistically specific settlement and counselling support services with the use of community- determined strategies, that are developed and delivered by women.
Over the years, RIWC has expanded its services to support other minority groups who are marginalized by poverty, sexual orientation, ageism, etc., and isolated, having limited resources and adequate access to services.
RIWC provides a broad range of services essential to the integration of refugee communities. We also assist under-served groups such as youth, seniors, lesbians, refugees and other vulnerable women who are isolated and have limited access to services.
Currently, RIWC offers services in 19 languages. Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, English, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Hunan, Hindi, Katchi, Mandarin, Marathi, Punjabi, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Tagalog, Turkish and Urdu are some of the languages you may hear at RIWC.
We are located in the Riverdale Hub
Riverdale Immigrant Women's Centre
1326 Gerrard St. E
Toronto, Ontario M4L 1Z1
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Riverdale Immigrant Women's Centre. Please click on the link below to download the Membership Application form. Please submit a completed application along with the membership fee by mail or in person.
Membership and Information Requests
- Settlement support and Integration
- Essential Pathways to Employment Program (EPE)
- Violence Against Women (VAW)
- Anti-Violence Youth Program
- Volunteer and Student Placement Program
- Anti-violence assistance for Women and their families
- Pre-Employment Support
- Conversational English and Child Minding
- Youth leadership development
- Employment & Community Economic Initiatives
- Hands-on training in Social Enterprises
- Volunteer & Student Placement Services
Health and Recreation Programs Include:
- Fit For Life
- Women For Health
- Women in the Garden
See Programs, Services & Initiatives for more information]
Settlement and Integration Programs
Programs promote the settlement and integration of newcomer and refugee communities to Canada while further addressing their psychological needs and the structural barriers affecting the lives of newcomers and their families in the process of settlement.
Services that are offered through RIWC's settlement programs include:
- Community Outreach and Advocacy
- Information and Referrals to other community programs and services
- Reception and assessment services
- Orientation for newcomers to Canada
- Translation and interpretation on immigration, housing, health, employment, financial, legal and other relevant issues
- Employment Supports
- Community Service Bridging
- Supportive and Solution focused Counselling in the areas of cultural dislocation, family conflict and racism
Violence Against Women and Children
Supports women and children in choosing a life free from abuse
Services that are offered through the VAW program include:
- Crisis, sexual assault and long-term therapeutic counselling for women, children and youth
- Individual and Group counselling
- Assistance in finding safe housing or shelter
- Long-term housing support
- Translation and interpretation services for a range of services that include legal and healthcare
- Referrals to internal programs and services such as internal employment support program, hands-on food services training, customer service and office procedures training
- Referals to other community programs and services
- Safety Planning
- Life Plan of Action that includes employment
Essential Pathways to Employment (EPE)
EPE is an 8-week program free of cost for women and men receiving Ontario Works.
Provides skills training and tools to build assets and abilities to enter the labour market.
Also includes a 2-week, hands on, in-house skills training and 6-month, post-program support.
Post-hiring supports include gaining successful employment, job maintenance and retention.
Anti-Violence Youth Program
A youth centred program that focuses on youth leadership development, anti-violence education and non-violent relationships. Improves the health and safety of girls, young women and their children who are victims of physical and emotional abuse and/or sexual assault. Improves access to information, promoting healthy relationships and supportive services for those affected by violence.
Services that are offered through the Youth Program includes:
- Individual and Group Counseling
- Referrals, Information, Employment and Housing services
- Workshops for Youth, Development of Leadership Skills
- Outreach work with other community agencies and schools within the City of Toronto
Employment & Community Economic Development (CED)
Offers women and youth, made vulnerable through poverty and migration, opportunities to build on existing skills and experiences in order to achieve economic self-sufficiency
Training opportunities provided through CED initiatives include:
- Customer service, hospitality, and food service training
- Computer training and retail experience
- Marketing and outreach placements
- Tutoring opportunities
- Events Planning
Volunteer & Student Placement Program
Offers community members and students the chance to build marketable skills through skill development and job-placement opportunities
Student Placement and Volunteer Opportunities include:
- Placements with Settlement and VAW counselors as well as Employment Counsellors
- Reception/administrative and organization skills
- PowerPoint presentations
- Applying theory to anti-oppression practice