Our Stories

Markets Unlimited

The Markets Unlimited project aims to increase the economic opportunities for women in Cooksville especially those engaged in or wishing to start a small-scale business. The project provides women with skills training; access to community markets to sell clothing, crafts and food; and an opportunity to explore the creation of a cooperative.

Recently, the women also were given opportunities to participate in workshops on How to Make Greetings Cards. Many of the over 300 cards the women made were sold at the bazaar. Those interested in finding a job in food industry participated in the Food Handling Training to improve their employability skills. The next level of training for these women is the Culinary Arts training that will be offered next year.

Before the project started, these women have rarely given the chance to participate in bazaars or markets. Most of them are stay at home mothers who do most of the household chores. All of the women participating in the project gained self-confidence and independence because of the skills they learned from the training sessions. They met new friends from the community whom they continue to socialize with. Many of the women claimed that their self-esteemed improved a great deal because they were given hands-on training to plan and organize meetings and events and oversee the implementation of the project. They learned how to make sound decisions in order to address challenges and issues.

The Holiday Market/Bazaar on Tuesday December 15th, 2015 held at Studio 89 at 1065 Canadian Pl #104, Mississauga from 10am to 3 pm through the Afghan Women’s Organization’s project Markets Unlimited with funding support from Community Mississauga Foundation.

Local vendors, mostly women and newcomers, arrived early to set up their tables. Along with beautiful scarves and dresses with traditional designs, the women also sold jewellery, greetings cards, books, toys, and other items. This was the 4th bazaar organized by these women since the project started in May 2014. The project also provided business support and skills training. A manual on How to Start a Community Bazaar was developed to help them plan and organize bazaars successfully and in a participatory and empowering process. The women learned not only about valuable marketing skills but also how to do effective outreach work to promote the event, how to facilitate and take minutes of the meetings, etc.

AWO Manual for Organizing Bazaar

Wellness CaféWoman - Healthy Living

The Wellness Café project was one of our successful projects. In this project, we worked with a team of peer leaders to raise awareness about mental health issues in newcomer communities and reduce their stigma. Our trained peer leaders organized their Wellness Cafés around town, in their communities natural hang-outs. In these Wellness Cafés, the peer leaders facilitated lively conversations about wellness, mental health, self-compassion, and ways to increase compassion among communities about those who suffer from mental health challenges. As a result, the wellness Café continues by the community.

This project was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Ontario Trillium Foundation


Syrian Refugees and AWO

Report: How Are We Doing Report?

Syrian Refugees, Sponsoring Groups, and Service Providers.

Reimagining Life on the Canadian Canvas: Digital Stories

As part of Canada 150 celebrations, the AWO, with generous funding from the Government of Canada, created a series of digital stories highlighting the lives and experiences of people who have come to Canada as refugees. The storytellers were asked what they felt Canada has given to them and what they have given to Canada. The resulting stories illuminate the diversity of experiences and challenges this group of Canadians have faced and the possibilities for love, growth, and happiness in a new country.

We invite you to view the stories for yourself. To watch the All play version of the stories, click To watch the All play version of the stories, click here. To watch individual stories, click To watch individual stories, click here..

If you would like the storytellers to be part of your event, please contact us at: awo.storytellers@gmail.com.

These digital stories were produced by StoryCentre Canada

Funded by the Government of Canada. Financé par le gouvernement du Canada.

Government of Canada