In response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, CAWA transformed its existing programs and designed a series of new projects to provide needed support to help the local community through this difficult times. CAWA'S response to COVID-19 includes:
1. Shifting all of its English language classes to the online world. These classes have been conducted on weekly basis ever since the beginning of the pandemic.
2. Organizing informative sessions on COVID-19 vaccines as well as government benefits.
3. Organizing virtual community gatherings to celebrate or address public occasions or social events, such as graduation parties, birthday celebrations and others.
4. Establishing brand-new initiatives and projects that directly address the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on the community. These initiatives include: Mothers to mother project and the Together Stronger project.
For more information on CAWA's COVID response, please check the links below:
Together, Stronger: Supporting Arab Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic (2021)
The initiative aims at supporting Arab Women during the pandemic through creating a sense of community and the continuation of services disrupted by the pandemic. The project is currently running, and is generously funded by KW Community Foundation and supported by the Volunteer Action Centre.
Mother to Mother (2020)
Mother to Mother is a two-month project, funded by the Canadian Red Cross and the Government of Canada - Employment and Social Development Canada. The project connected Arabic-speaking mothers, who gave birth or were expecting during the COVID-19 pandemic, with other volunteering Arabic-speaking mothers. The aim of the project is to build connections and support the new mothers socially and emotionally, and connect them with available resources that would help them in their motherhood journey.
The project gave priority to mothers with immigrant or refugee status who usually face social isolation as newcomers, even pre COVID-19. The support that the project provided for mothers at risk was mainly in Arabic. In that, it was culturally sensitive and helped on various levels. For example, it encouraged mothers to build social connections and relationships with their peers; raised mental health awareness and addressed food security through providing new and expecting mothers with nutritious meals.