Dear Community Members,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread rapidly in Canada and globally, SAWRO encourages all community people to make compliance with the protective measures called for by health authorities their highest priority. People should inform themselves about and follow the pandemic guidelines provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and by Officers of Health at the national, provincial and city levels.
We encourage community people to consider any of the restrictions imposed by government in Canada as the minimum required. To ensure the health of themselves, their families, their communities and the whole society people should maximize protective measures such as social distancing, isolation of seniors and other vulnerable people and self-isolation when symptoms appear. Do more, not less!
All SAWRO workers are now focussed on making a contribution to the local, national and global effort for containment and mitigation of the pandemic. Our social service, cultural/social and advocacy program delivery capacities have been re-organized to address the pandemic crisis. Our highest priority is facilitating community people’s compliance with the necessary protective measures. See our social media or call our office to access the kind of compliance supports SAWRO can provide.
SAWRO recognizes that there is widespread anxiety among community people about the economic impact of the pandemic. Some people have already been hard hit by lost wages and most expect wages losses in the near future. Many people working for industrial temp agencies, at casual part-time jobs and in the fast-food, retail and hospitality sector have been especially hard hit and have little savings to fall back on. Families with young children have lost wages because of school and daycare closings.
But even in the face of this threat to livelihoods and increasing anxiety about economic security , we encourage community people to stay focused on the COVID-19 threat and to make health security their priority. Economic disruption is unfolding on a scale far beyond what individual workers can manage. Governments have a duty to ensure the livelihoods of workers, and in the conditions of the pandemic crisis there is no alternative to relying on government carrying out its responsibility.
A series of measures have been rolled out by the national and provincial governments which political leaders say will guarantee livelihoods of working people impacted by COVID-19. They include income supports for workers who lose wages as a result of quarantine and isolation, including school closures and an expansion of Employment Insurance sick benefits and eligibility.
Most importantly for community people, an emergency income support program for workers in precarious employment who cannot qualify for EI benefits has been announced. Low-income families will receive increased payments through the HST rebate and Child Benefit programs. Regulations have also been changed which political leaders say will increase housing security by suspending evictions of rental tenants and allowing postponement of mortgage payments by home-owners.
SAWRO staff is hard at work gathering information about the livelihood support programs being rolled out. This work has service and advocacy goals:
1) Creating services for informing community people about the benefits they can qualify for; assisting people navigate the application and expediting receipt of benefits
2) Analysing the programs to determine if they provide adequate supports and are accessible to community working people whose livelihoods are disrupted by the pandemic; developing advocacy campaigns to address any shortcomings in benefits, lack of accessibility or obstacles to rapid delivery.
Check SAWRO’s websites and social media as government livelihood support programs and regulations are rolled out. Information about the programs in accessible formats and in mother-languages of community people will be posted. Information will also be posted about services staff workers are developing to assist people apply for the programs.

Best Regards,

Sultana Jahangir
Executive Director
Phone: 647-857-9153

POSTPONED- Marginalization of Immigrant Women is not okay!

Dear Community Members,

As per the advice of Health Canada and other community groups and institutions, SAWRO will be postponing the “Marginalization of Immigrant Women is not okay!” event that was to be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020.
We are still working towards bringing the community members, activists, researchers, political representatives, and other community and policy stakeholders together to report on the community’s action and mobilization experience, as well as discuss ways to continue advocating for marginalized groups. As of now, we have a tentative date of Saturday, May 23, 2020. More information will be available in the coming weeks about the event.

Please see the attached messages for more information regarding regular service changes.

IWD 2020: Community Report Back Event!

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, South Asian Women’s Rights Organization will be hosting a community report-back event for the civic mobilization project to improve the economic security of immigrant women*. Women leaders and young women activist from the Oakridge-Taylor Massey communities continue to mobilize in on the issue of underemployment of immigrant women by advocating for labour laws and policies reforms at the national, provincial, and city political platforms. SAWRO is inviting community members, activists, academics, political representatives, and other stakeholders hear the lived experiences and recommendations of community women on:
1.Underemployment as the root cause of marginalization
Impacts of precarious work arrangements in fostering inequitable labour market conditions
2.Limited access to work-related social benefits
3.Address the different aspects of underemployment and precarious work going forward
Event will feature skits and performances by community women to demonstrate our findings. Light snacks will also be provided.
**Enhancing Democratic Participation among Immigrant Women is a SAWRO and COSTI Immigrant Services collaborative project funded by the Status of Women Canada.

ATTENTION: As we are preparing for our upcoming International Women’s Day event, we want to remain cautious of recent events related to the COVID-19/corona virus. SAWRO will be taking precautions at our upcoming event in order to protect the health and well-being of vulnerable members of our community.
As a grass-roots community-based organization, we have obligations to ensuring the health and well-being of the community. We ask that individuals who have recently travelled abroad or feel sick/have flu-like symptoms (coughing, fever, etc.) to stay home. We also ask that the elderly, immunocompromised persons, and this with underlying conditions (asthma, diabetes, etc.) to also stay home as they are at greater risk for the disease. Please exercise caution if you are parents and caregivers.
We will have a limit of 50 community members attending the event. To make the event accessible to everyone, we will be broadcasting the speeches, presentations, and panel discussions on Facebook. More information about the broadcasting will be made available on the day of the event (Saturday, March 14).
Looking forward to and wishing everyone’s good health!

Ekushey February- International Mother Language Day Celebration 2020!

Attn All Community Members:

SAWRO is organizing an Ekushey February/International Mother Language Day Celebration on Saturday February 22nd, 2020 (4:00 PM to 6:00 PM) at the Oakridge Community Center- 63 Pharmacy Avenue. The event will commemorate the history of Bangladesh and honor the sacrifices of martyrs. All community members are encouraged to attend with their friends and family and pay their respect.

SAWRO Holiday Calendar!

Dear community members,

We are sending warm wishes to everyone this holiday, and we hope you have a wonderful and restful time with your family and friends. We are very thankful for the community’s support this year and will continue doing our best to continue assisting the community in the next year! Merry Christmas and happy new year!

With the holidays approaching, our office schedule has changed for the next two weeks, please see the attached calendar for further information.

Warm wishes,


Intergenerational Bonding Sessions!

Dear community members,

SAWRO will be hosting monthly community wide, open-discussion sessions with an aim to reduce the social isolation and intergenerational gap among families in the Taylor Massey-Oakridge neighbourhood. This is a great opportunity to bond with people from other generations, by sharing and talking about cultural significances for each generqation and take part in interactive activities over a social gathering. We encourage this community’s youth-girls, mothers and grandmothers to attend these sessions that will cover a range of topics, including civic engagement, healthy living, women’s empowerment and gender roles.  The three scheduled sessions will be on October 19th, November 23rd and January 25th, at Oakridge Community Centre @ 63 Pharmacy Ave, M1L 3E7, from 4 to 7pm.
Please RSVP as soon as possible by emailing or calling SAWRO. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns. 
SAWRO Administration
416-686-9153, 647-857-9153
108-10 Teesdale Place
Scarborough, ON, M1L 1K9 

Career Exploration Workshop!

Dear community members,

SAWRO has been conducting free Summer Academic Tutoring Program for Youth in Secondary and Youth transitioning to Post-Secondary Education. This program has been focused on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). To conclude this program, we are organizing a Career Exploration Workshop on August 24, 2019 from 4pm – 6pm. We are inviting our community members, especially the youth, to attend this workshop.
Our youth coaches will be going over university and college application process during this workshop.
We will also have community’s champions at this workshop to who will share their career journeys and successes with our community’s youth to help them achieve their career goals
Please RSVP as soon as possible by emailing or calling SAWRO. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns. 
SAWRO Administration
416-686-9153, 647-857-9153
108-10 Teesdale Place
Scarborough, ON, M1L 1K9

SAWRO Annual General Meeting 2019

Dear Members,

SAWRO is a grassroots member-led non-profit community-based organization operated by community women to serve our community. Every year, our members select and decide our team of officers and board members through a member voting process. We believe in accountability and transparent leadership and request our members to participate in the process on Saturday, September 7, 2019 from 6pm-8pm at the Oakridge Community Center (63 Pharmacy Ave).
To be an eligible voter, you must have been involved with SAWRO for more than 6 months. To check your eligibility as a voter and if you are interested in voting, please contact us and speak to our Advisory Board.
If you are interested in applying for nomination as a Trustee Board m member, Advisory Board member, or other positions within the organization, please contact the nominating committee chair to review eligibility and the application process.

Thanks, and we hope to see you there!
-SAWRO Nominating Comittee

SAWRO Summer Festival!

You are invited to SAWRO’s annual Summer Festival Mela! This year we will be presenting to you a mosaic of multicultural performances bought to you by your very own community singers, dancers and artists! There will be fun-filled food, clothing and game stalls, so bring your friends and family and come witness this spectacular event on…
Saturday, July 27th @ Oakridge Community Center Parking Lot, 63 Pharmacy Ave. from 10 AM – 9 PM.
We hope to see you all there!

For interest and inquiries regarding performances, stalls, volunteering opportunities, and sponsorship please contact:

Sultana Jahangir: 647-857-9153
Shapla Syeda Yesmin: 647-472-4260

UPDATE: SAWRO Ramadan Schedule

UPDATE: SAWRO Ramadan Schedule

Dear Community,

Early Ramadan Mubarak for those who will be observing Ramadan starting next week.  We would like to notify community members of the change in our service hours for the month of May (and into June until Eid). 

Our office hours from May 5- June 4 will be as follows:

Monday-Friday:  9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
* We will remain closed on Sunday

Please call us ahead to request appointments with our peer workers.