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Programs We Fund

Since 1991, the Foundation has funded programs that work to change the lives of women and girls in more than 1,900 communities across Canada. You can view our most recent grantee programs below, searching by province and program type. Learn more about our approach to moving women and girls out of violence, out of poverty, into confidence, and leadership.

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The Young Women of Wisdom Program

Skookum Jim Friendship Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon

This weekly program provides a safe space for girls aged 9 to 13 to learn from Aboriginal teachings and develop a stronger connection to the land and to connect with women mentors from the community. The Circle of Courage medicine wheel serves as a teaching guide, and specific activities include traditional craft-making, facilitated discussions, sharing circles, traditional teachings, fishing, and canoeing. Facilitators and Elders work with the girls to address barriers in the community, and how to use personal strengths to overcome them. During the winter, the program runs in the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre hall; during the summer, the focus is on outdoor traditional First Nation activities.
Grant amount: $144,692 over 4 years

Location: Yukon
Program Focus: Indigenous Culture and Teaching, Leadership, Mentorship
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Girl Power

Sturgeon Lake Central School, Sturgeon Lake, Saskatchewan

This innovative after-school program helps Sturgeon Lake First Nation girls navigate risk factors including sexual violence and abuse, parental neglect, and teenage pregnancy. This program aims to break this cycle and help girls aged 9-13 to achieve their full potential. The girls’ self-esteem is promoted through a variety of cultural, educational, and recreational activities. These activities build on participants’ individual and collective strengths and help them find their voices. The program creates safe spaces, promotes healthy lifestyle choices, and offers role-modeling in critical areas. The goal is to empower girls to think positively about themselves, their community, and their future.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: Saskatchewan
Program Focus: Indigenous Culture and Teaching, Leadership
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Girls’ Group

Cornerstone Family and Youth, Carlyle, Saskatchewan

Girls’ Group is a group mentoring program that offers weekly meetings, events, field trips, community-service projects, and confidence-building activities over the course of the school year. The program begins by bringing mentors and mentees together in a large group for guided activities with facilitators. Later, the facilitators divide the group into smaller peer-led mentoring groups. These groups meet weekly until June with the guidance of the facilitator. The smaller mentoring groups begin to develop relationships that last many years. The groups participate in team-building activities and group projects. The goal of the program is to ensure each girl feels supported by her peers, has strong self-esteem, and a sense of belonging within her community.
Grant amount: $140,000 over 4 years

Location: Saskatchewan
Program Focus: Leadership, Mentorship
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Activités scientifiques pour filles

Les Scientifines, Montreal, Quebec

This after-school program offers girls aged 8 to 12 a fun, engaging way to learn about science and technology. Through group activities, projects, and events, girls learn about STEM and practice research and problem-solving skills. Throughout the program, girls learn to work together, develop confidence, debunk gender stereotypes, and celebrate the opportunities for women and girls in STEM fields. The program is offered five times a week.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: Quebec
Program Focus: Leadership, STEM
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

The Girls’ Program

Action jeunesse St-Pie X de Longueuil, Longueuil, Quebec

The Girls’ Program helps girls to develop media-literacy skills through activities and discussion. It aims to address the fact that girls are bombarded with messages that negatively influence their emotional, social, and physical well-being. Girls are encouraged to envision a world that is positive and inclusive by using various tools to create their own media. In group activities, girls critically analyze media and learn how to use it to share their own messages with the world.
Grant amount: $124,000 over 4 years

Location: Quebec
Program Focus: Leadership, Media Literacy
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

The Empowering Girls Project

The Boys and Girls Club of Summerside, Summerside, Prince Edward Island

In a safe, supportive space, girls aged 12 to 13 build healthy relationships, develop confidence, and learn how to identify and pursue their dreams. Through this 16-week interactive program, girls are encouraged to discover their strengths and abilities. There is a strong focus on helping each girl to find her voice and become comfortable sharing her ideas. The girls are empowered to put their visions into action and make a difference in their community through girl-led leadership projects. The program includes workshops/discussions, guest speakers, social activities, field trips, as well as creative activities like art, music, and dance.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: Prince Edward Island
Program Focus: Leadership, Physical Literacy
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

CRC Girls Program

Community Resource Centre (Killaloe) Inc., Killaloe, Ontario

Through weekly sessions, this program empowers girls in rural Renfrew County to explore new skills, take on challenges, and celebrate their strengths. Girls aged 9 to 13 will have the opportunity to participate in physical activities, games, media-awareness activities, and art projects. The programming, which is grounded in a feminist framework, consists of three 14-week sessions, as well as summer activities.
Grant amount: $132,260 over 4 years

Location: Ontario
Program Focus: Leadership, Media Literacy, Physical Literacy
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

The Speak Up Arts Program

Community Arts and Heritage Education Program (CAHEP), Thunder Bay, Ontario

This program engages girls in weekly artist-led projects in both school and community settings in Thunder Bay. The goal is to empower girls who face social barriers through activities including dance, drama, literary arts, music, new media, urban art, and visual art. The program approach honours Northern Ontario and First Nations views of leadership, which celebrate those whose voices may not always be heard. The program will involve 7th- and 8th-grade students from one school for the first two years, with the long-term goal of expanding to a second school.
Grant amount: $144,000 over 4 years

Location: Ontario
Program Focus: Indigenous Culture and Teaching, Leadership, Media Literacy
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

TechGyrls, TechGyrls 2.0, STEAM Pilot, and STEM Mentoring

YWCA Cambridge, Cambridge, Ontario

TechGyrls is a girl-led, hands-on, exploratory, and experiential STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program that is designed to foster an enduring interest in STEM. It opens girls’ eyes to the opportunities available to them in the STEM fields. The goals of the mentoring program are to increase girls’ and mentors’ sense of self-worth; to broaden girls’ understanding of the STEM field; and to inspire girls to be self-motivated in a supportive and encouraging environment. With their mentors, girls undertake experiments and field trips, as well as long-term projects.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: Ontario
Program Focus: Leadership, Mentorship, STEM
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

The Girls’ Mentoring Program

Sarnia Lambton Rebound, Sarnia, Ontario

This mentoring program matches girls aged 9 to 13 with adult mentors, creating relationships that foster positive life skills. The program aims to reach girls living in rural county areas, as well as immigrants and newcomers. In three-hour sessions held every other week, the girls learn to find their voices, advocate for themselves, and address equality and inclusion. Participants are encouraged to dream big, to work together to accomplish their goals, and to pursue their visions of success. There is also an opportunity for older girls to act as mentors to support new program participants.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: Ontario
Program Focus: Leadership, Mentorship
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

The Bloggurls

North York Community House, Toronto, Ontario

The Bloggurls mentoring program builds on the success of the Village Bloggurls Program, a weekly girls’ leadership and media literacy/media production program in Lotherton Village and Westminster-Branson. The core program provides girls in two communities with creative opportunities to address issues including systemic violence, representation of women in the media, and societal expectations.

The program also helps girls develop skills in leadership, media literacy, and critical thinking. Activities like writing blog, ’zine, and social media posts provide a platform for expression, reflection, connection, and support. Using this approach and model, North York Community House plans to replicate this program at Charles H. Best Middle School in the Bathurst-Finch community. The program mentors provide additional support and technological expertise, and inspire the participants to go further with their ideas and innovative projects.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: Ontario
Program Focus: Leadership, Media Literacy, Mentorship
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Divas Young Women’s Media Group

Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Divas Media Group increases girls’ media literacy by exploring representations of femininity, the gender binary, and the limitations of gender stereotypes. In weekly meetings, participants discuss feminism, sexism and other social justice issues, and create radio and TV productions that are aired in the local community. These activities give participants the opportunity to improve their public-speaking skills, and learn about digital audio engineering. The program also incorporates creativity through spoken word and arts and crafts workshops. Along with boosting media literacy, the program aims to increase girls’ confidence overall, enhance their understanding of consent in sexual relationships, and of LGBTQ+ identities.
Grant amount: $114,128 over 4 years

Location: Ontario
Program Focus: Leadership, Media Literacy
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Northern Lights Girls’ Club

YWCA Agvvik Iqaluit, Nunavut, Ontario

In the Northern Lights Girls’ Club, girls age 9 to 13 can explore their culture, embrace their identities, address gender stereotypes, and celebrate what it means to be a girl. In the program, girls learn about gender equality and culture with the help of mentors in their community. By engaging in traditional activities and learning from Elders, participants celebrate Inuit language, culture, history, and tradition.
Grant amount: $159,944 over 4 years

Location: Nunavut
Program Focus: Indigenous Culture and Teaching, Leadership
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Express Our Diversity

Second Story Women’s Centre, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Express Our Diversity empowers girls and students who identify as female to develop a healthy sense of themselves as individuals, and as members of diverse communities. The first part of the program is Express Yourself, a weekly session that focuses on confidence-building and self-expression for participants age 9 to 13. It is offered in four schools to students in Grades 4-7. These sessions help participants to identify themselves within their communities, and to determine the strengths they can contribute. Both programs focus on issues including social expectations, self-esteem, body image and sexuality, social media and pornography, healthy relationships, and decision-making.
Grant amount: $120,000 over 4 years

Location: Nova Scotia
Program Focus: Leadership, Media Literacy, Mentorship
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saint John, Inc., Saint John, New Brunswick

This school-based group mentoring program encourages girls aged 10 to 14 to develop positive habits around physical activity, balanced eating, and self-esteem. In the program, eight girls are matched with two mentors for 14 weeks. Each of the weekly sessions has a topic focus, such as goal-setting, dealing with bullying, decision-making, and leadership. These topics are all related to the key themes of active living, balanced eating, and feeling good about oneself. The goal is to help girls develop a positive sense of self and set them on a path to reach their full potential. After the 14-week Go Girls! Program, an enhanced mentoring component continues weekly for the rest of the school year. The groups participate in less structured activities that build on the initial themes. The goal is to keep building the girls’ resilience, knowledge, skills, relationships, and confidence. Monthly outings complement the weekly sessions.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: New Brunswick
Program Focus: Leadership, Media Literacy, Mentorship, Physical Literacy
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

SADI Girls’ Group Mentoring

Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre with Sagkeeng First Nation, Pinawa, Manitoba

In two rural communities, this mentorship program offers girls age 10 and 11 a safe and supervised space to build healthy relationships with older peers. Through partnerships with local schools, the program runs groups that organize discussions, events, and other activities. In Pine Falls, activities focus on issues like gender equality, empowerment, and leadership, with the goal of enhancing the girls’ social skills and self-esteem. In Sagkeeng First Nation, activities draw on similar themes and explore and celebrate the role of history and cultural teachings through the involvement of Elders. Small mentoring groups are led by girls aged 15 and up.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: Manitoba
Program Focus: Indigenous Culture and Teaching, Leadership, Mentorship
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Girls Got Game

Options Community Services Society, Surrey, British Columbia

Faced with cultural and language barriers, newcomer and refugee girls may be unable to access community activities that promote physical activity. Girls Got Game reduces these barriers, providing guided weekly activities in an inclusive, non-competitive environment. The girls can try different sports and physical activities, strengthen their personal and social skills, and develop awareness of the long-term benefits of exercise and play. The program aims to improve the health and well-being of immigrant and refugee girls, boosting their sense of empowerment, and helping to ease their transition into Canadian culture.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: British Columbia
Program Focus: Leadership, Physical Literacy
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Strong Girls of Inlailawatash

Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, Community Development Dept., North Vancouver, British Columbia

The Strong Girls of Inlailawatash program provides a vital safe space within the communities for girls to foster healthy relationships among themselves and with others through weekly gatherings. Activities are tailored to the girls’ interests, with a focus on building resilience, skills development, mentorship, and sacred teachings on the gifts and roles of being a woman. Historically, Coast Salish women have been the leaders, knowledge-keepers, and life-givers within their communities. By strengthening women and girls, this program is helping to strengthen whole communities.
Grant amount: $80,000 over 4 years

Location: British Columbia
Program Focus: Indigenous Culture and Teaching, Leadership, Mentorship
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Circles of Care – Circles of Courage

Canadian Mental Health Association – Cowichan Valley Branch with Malahat First Nation, Duncan, British Columbia

This program encourages Malahat Nation girls to grow up as strong, culturally proud, and active community members. Through the guidance of Coast Salish Elders and through creative arts, the girls learn how to apply traditional teachings to their own lives. Building on the strength of First Nation communities to care for one another, First Nation women play a key role as mentors, helping the girls to develop their self-esteem, resilience, and inner strength.
Grant amount: $100,000 over 4 years

Location: British Columbia
Program Focus: Indigenous Culture and Teaching, Leadership, Mentorship
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Girls’ Club for Immigrant and Refugee Girls

Multicultural Family Resource Society, Edmonton, Alberta

This weekly girls’ club offers immigrant and refugee girls the chance to explore identity and belonging in a safe and culturally-sensitive environment. The goal is for the girls to develop self-confidence and tools they can use to navigate growing up in two cultures. Participants will strengthen their critical-thinking skills, have leadership opportunities, and benefit from a community of support. Building on girls’ personal strengths and participation, youth leaders will guide activities that examine racialization, decolonization, body image, sexual health, media representation, and cultural and gender stereotypes. The program incorporates these topics in activities including theatre, photo-voice, a collective kitchen, as well as physical activities. Throughout the year, the girls will work on a project that expresses their story of identity and belonging using film, photo/art exhibits, spoken word poetry, ’zines, or theatre skits. These will be presented at the year-end celebration.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: Alberta
Program Focus: Leadership, Media Literacy, Systemic Change
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Project Footprint

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, Calgary, Alberta

This project empowers immigrant girls aged 9 to 13 through environmental and outdoor activities. With the help of community partners, the project will raise girls’ awareness of environmental issues, women’s leadership and how they can get involved in making a difference. Girls will develop confidence and leadership skills through weekly girls’ group sessions held at two schools, as well as mentoring activities twice a month. The mentorship component will help girls to apply their skills and lead mini-projects in their schools. An annual field trip will offer participants the opportunity to experience the Canadian wilderness.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: Alberta
Program Focus: Leadership, Mentorship, STEM
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund

Girls’ Fund Network

Disabled Women’s Network / Réseau d’action des femmes handicapées with Y des femmes Montréal, Montreal, Quebec

DAWN-RAFH Canada and Y des femmes Montréal are collaborating to create accessible programming for girls with disabilities and Deaf girls. This approach combines DAWN-RAFH Canada’s expertise in disability inclusion with the intersectional, feminist, and girls’ programming practiced by the Y des femmes. The Y des femmes will apply an inclusive model to its programs, then share it with organizations across Canada, in both French and English. A key part of this project is documenting the Y des femmes change process, sharing best practices with other organizations, and mentoring them through the process.
Grant amount: $160,000 over 4 years

Location: National
Program Focus: Leadership, Systemic Change
Grant Streams: Girls’ Fund