Woman holding little baby up

YWCA Employment Navigator: Martha's Story

Abuse does not discriminate based on class, race and financial status. Take Martha for example. She came from an influential high-class family and after years of facing abuse from her partner, she decided enough was enough when these issues started to involve her children. She then decided to flee her country in hopes of finding a better career and future for herself and her children. 

When referred to the YWCA Employment Navigator program, Martha was able to create a plan that integrated her into the Canadian environment and helped her move forward with her academic training, while managing the financial demands of solo parenting three school-age children.  


“The YWCA has been tremendously helpful in my integration into Canadian culture, orchestrating a number of supports for my family, and making a scholarship available for my retraining. Through the YWCA, I have been connected to other single moms who share their insights and strengths in single parenting and give each other the power and positivity to keep going. The single moms’ support groups occasionally bless my family with gifts like grocery gift certificates, Mother’s Day gifts, and Holiday hampers. While this generosity helps meet our immediate physical needs, the value those packages provide in terms of emotional reassurance far exceeds their financial cost. 

The YWCA has facilitated my connection to community support mechanisms; for example, writing referrals for my family to Food Banks, children’s sport funding agencies, and material assistance programs. Most noteworthy, though, is their encouragement and facilitation in scholarship application processes. Via YWCA networks and the YWCA bursary program, I was able to secure funding for 2/3 of my tuition and an additional $1000/month to help meet my children’s needs during the first year of my studies. I am entirely grateful for this support as it would have been impossible for me to continue to work nearly full time to support my family and meet tuition fees while attending school full-time concurrently.”  



The YWCA Employment Navigator is a program that connects women to employment and financial or educational opportunities, giving women a more sustainable future for themselves and their families. We offer support from pre-employment stages through one-to-one meetings with career advisors and the Sister Circle Café Series - a series of workshops on various topics designed to restore women's confidence and self-esteem. The program also offers events that create a network for moms to offer emotional support to each other through their development paths. 

This and many other success stories wouldn't be possible without the incredible support of Scotiabank. In March 2022, Scotiabank committed $250,000 over the next five years to support the Employment Navigator program and seek a better and safer future for these families. 

To learn more, visit ywcavan.org/employment-navigator or contact employmentnavigator@ywcavan.org | 604 312 0483 .