Moving Forward Family Services receives $20,000 to support women, girls & gender-diverse individuals
SurreyCares Community Foundation disbursed a $20,000 grant through the Communities for Gender Equality Fund (the Fund) to Moving Forward Family Services. This organization has been leading initiatives in Surrey to support women, girls, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse individuals working towards a future grounded in equity, inclusion, and justice.
This initiative is part of a partnership with Community Foundations of Canada, funded through the Government of Canada. SurreyCares Community Foundation is one of 21 local community foundations from coast to coast to coast that are taking part. In total, these community foundations are granting over $3.4M towards the gender equality movement.
Moving Forward Family Services used the Fund’s $20,000 grant to hire a part-time Director of Programming and Development. This Director is responsible for developing and advancing programming and community outreach specifically for women, girls, two-spirit, and gender-diverse peoples. This allows them to expand their organization internally, build capacity, accept more clients, collect important data, and partner with new organizations that focus on women and gender-diverse individuals. It also allows them to reflect, build on what they already have, and provides time to audit their processes to ensure their performance is at the level they want. Furthermore, the grant has enabled them to do more staff training, hire a female therapist, and bring women and LGBTQ2S+ identifying leadership on board.
“A staff survey has been developed and sent out to better identify the diversity of our staff as well as identify gaps. Some pressing needs identified through this survey include postpartum support, more training around emotional/narcissistic abuse, greater resources for counselors who work with LGBTQ2S+ clients, and group support for Farsi-speaking women,” explained Gary Thandi, Founder and Executive Director of Moving Forward Family Services. “The next phase of the project will be doing an audit with external partners and collaborators on our working relationships, identify gaps in programs that need to be filled, and then to move forward in building those programs.”
During and post-COVID, the amount of racialized women that needed services increased. Without this Community Gender Equity Fund grant, the organization would have had to turn people away. Overall, the grant filled in the gaps for the organization and has given them a bigger vision for the future. The Moving Forward Family Services is now able to communicate to the community about their services and how they ensure safety for those served.
“We are thrilled to support Moving Forward Family Services in their work on the ground to advance gender equality in our community,” said Christine Buttkus, Executive Director of SurreyCares Community Foundation. “Investing in their work and this movement is key to supporting women who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. We can work towards a just recovery by tackling systemic issues like racism, wage inequality, and gender-based violence. Along with the other 20 participating community foundations, we are committed to creating lasting systems-change in philanthropy, by writing gender equality into our investment practices and organizational policies.”
In 2022, with proceeds from an International Woman's Day Tea event hosted by former MLA Stephanie Cadieux, MLA Trevor Halford, City of Surrey Councillor Linda Annis, and MP Kerry-Lynne D Findlay, SurreyCares also created a Women’s Equity Fund to ensure that we build a base from which to deepen capacity for this important work in our community annually.
“Community organizations led by and dedicated to supporting women, girls, gender-diverse and Two-Spirit individuals are at the centre of the movement towards gender equality and equity,” said Andrea Dicks, Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) President. “While this can feel daunting at times, these organizations demonstrate tenacity, resiliency, and hope as they shift power. To create communities of true belonging and to recover from the pandemic, we must advance gender equality across the country. We’re grateful for the financial support from the Government of Canada and the leadership of SurreyCares Community Foundation who is taking part in these efforts.”