Celebrating Women who are Moms with Alberta Status of Women Grant

A group of dedicated, hard-working mothers supported by Connections had an amazing experience in a workshop, thanks to a grant from Alberta Government’s Status of Women Ministry, and incredible expertise and partnership with Making Changes and the Calgary Sexual Health Centre.

These are women who have cognitive challenges that they’ve lived with all of their lives. That challenge often causes vulnerability to abuse, and a life of hiding the disability and living in isolation. It is those difficulties that often result in living in poverty and then having difficulty managing successfully as a parent. Connections focuses on the parenting skills piece. Through our 27-year history, we have learned that to support successful parenting, we have to address the underlying confidence, overcome the isolation, and address the poverty if families are to manage well. 

Here’s where the grant from the Status of Women came in. Through this specific grant, Connections partnered with Making Changes and Calgary Sexual Health Centre to create a workshop where a group of mothers could work on their confidence as independent women — through content about healthy relationships and consent, self-awareness about public image and being in community, and interpersonal skill development. 

The camaraderie among the women in the workshop was a joy to see and the highlight for many! But the workshop led to a truly exciting outing to Making Changes, where volunteer stylists helped each of the women select a number of clothing items that would help them be fashionable ‘moms on the go’ and go to interviews, for volunteering, or the workplace. The transformation was incredible, worthy of a “What Not to Wear” episode. 

And finally, we were able to celebrate the journey with a fancy tea, where the women could wear their new outfits and demonstrate their new skills. We are grateful for the financial support to put together our most successful workshop ever, and for the profound impact made by Making Changes and Calgary Sexual Health Centre

With the grant, we will run the workshop two more times so that more of the 110 mothers that Connections supports can experience this unique and life-changing opportunity.