Three Ways YWCA’s International Boutique Makes a Global Impact

Did you know that YWCA Toronto is part of a global movement working to help women and girls? In over 120 countries, YWCA’s create valuable resources and fight for women’s rights. As part of this global movement, YWCA’s from around the world come together to support sister Associations by funding projects that create opportunities for women in local communities.

Through YWCA’s International Boutique, we help raise funds that go directly towards supporting important YWCA initiatives in developing countries. By shopping at the YWCA International Boutique, you can contribute to the global movement for women’s equality. “It is great to be able to do something that you know helps make a difference in women’s lives around the world,” says Anne Wood one of the International Boutique’s dedicated volunteers. “The women-led projects we help support benefit the entire community.”

Here are three ways YWCA’s International Boutique has helped empower women and girls:

We have helped YWCA Kandy in Sri Lanka create accommodation and housing for women and girls. 
YWCA Kandy wanted to expand its women’s hostel by adding second and third floors to the existing building. The hostel provides safe accommodation for girls attending high school, as well as for young women who come to the city to find work. Our grant of $15,000 helped support the expansion of YWCA Kandy’s hostel into a community hub with programs that now include a computer facility and library, a microcredit program, free English classes, and a youth club.

We have helped YWCA Jordan provide vital legal aid and social services for women who have experienced violence. YWCA Jordan identified that crucial services for women were needed, so a group of tenacious women put together a plan to establish a Women’s Empowerment Centre in Eastern Amman. Thanks in part to a grant of $10,000 raised through the International Boutique, the Women’s Empowerment Centre now provides vital resources, such as legal aid services and psychological counselling for women who have experienced violence. The Women’s Empowerment Centre also raises awareness on social and economic rights, reduces violence, and improves quality of life in the community.

asdf We have helped a young Kenyan woman advocate for her community on a global stage. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is an opportunity for women and girls to connect, mobilize, and further develop leadership skills while advocating on behalf of women and girls around the world. Our scholarships of $2,000 in 2015 and $3,000 in 2016 enabled two young women from YWCA Kenya to attend the Commission on the Status of Women in New York City. This support meant creating the opportunity for YWCA Kenya to be at the forefront of the international conversation on human rights.

Please note that in June 2018, we sadly bid farewell to the YWCA Toronto International Boutique. For over 40 years, the Boutique has worked to provide fair trade and local artisan goods, with all proceeds going to support YWCA World projects around the globe. Click here to view just a few moments of that admirable history.