An announcement from Focus for Ethnic Women


March 10, 2016


By: Jacquelyn Gerlach, President, Board of Directors: Focus for Ethnic Women


Focus for Ethnic Women (FEW) and the Kitchener Waterloo YMCA are pleased to announce the signing of a collaboration agreement. Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, the YMCA will acquire two programs offered by FEW, “Investing in Women’s Futures” (IWF) and “Healthy Lifestyles” (HLS).  The Boards of Directors of each organization have approved this direction.

The efforts and work of FEW has been critical in assisting with the settlement of immigrant women in the Waterloo region, and its key programs, namely “Investing in Women’s Futures” (IWF) and the “Healthy Lifestyles” (HLS), have responded to a unique niche.

FEW and the YMCA share a similar mission and values. Both organizations envision and work towards building a region in which newcomers are positively engaged, feel a sense of belonging in their community, and contribute to its social welfare.  The YMCA has been a community-based settlement partner with FEW since the late 1980s, sharing a solid history of working together on joint settlement issues and initiatives.

To be able to deliver its programs in a more cost efficient manner and to enhance the value of its programs, FEW has agreed to move its programs, IWF and HLS, under the umbrella of YMCA’s immigrant services.

The IWF program will be offered from the YMCA’s primary Settlement Services site, which will make it more accessible to the population we serve. The collaboration and coordination with other programs offered by the YMCA with similar goals will add to the value of the HLS program.  The HLS programs are offered at  various community centers.

The YMCA is committed to deliver the existing FEW programs in a manner that respects the uniqueness of the programs and the client base being served. The YMCA views this as an opportunity to extend programs and services that support the unique cultural needs of women in the settlement process.

FEW and the YMCA plan to carry out a seamless transition of these programs within the next few months.

Founders of FEW and the Board of Directors are working together to revisit FEW’s original vision and explore various options for the organization’s future direction after the transition of these two programs.

FEW has proudly maintained healthy relationships with all its stakeholders, and our achievements would not have been possible without their tremendous support over the years. We are committed to keep all the stakeholders informed of future  developments.

For enquiries, please contact:

Renu Bhandari

Executive Director

Focus for Ethnic Women, Waterloo Region

519-746-3411 ext. 222

March 5, 2016 Zonta K-W Celebrates International Women’s Day

Join us on the Bridge -Zonta KW Women's Day Event










International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated  around the world on March 8. Zonta KW will kick-off International Women’s Day celebrations with “Join us on the Bridge” Saturday, March 5. Supporters are invited to join in to “Say No to Violence Against Women and Girls.” This annual event enables Zontians and like-minded community members to join together in protest against violence. Participants are encouraged to wear orange as this colour has come to symbolize a bright and optimistic future free from violence against women and girls, and helps to unify this social movement.  Orange is also the official colour of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Ending violence against women is one of UN Women’s key priority areas.  Additional information is available at