Empowering Women's Summit

 Inspire, Empower, Engage
Thank you to everyone who joined us  at the Empowering Women's Summit on Saturday May 4th, supporting Refugee Women’s Network.
We were inspired by our speakers who told their story which led to their personal triumphs. Each speaker spoke of the lessons they learned through their journey to success which guided them to pursue their goals. 
Thank you to Ann Kaplan Mulholland, Anaar Dhanji, and Mahajabeen Asif, for their inspiring words which empowered us to be engaged. 

Read their stories below.

Mahjabeen's Story

Good Morning Ladies, and Gentleman,

Thank you to Refugee Women's Network for arranging such a brilliant event to honour and celebrate women at the empowering women's summit.

I must say that it is an honour to be invited to speak here tonight and to meet many familiar faces who played a pivotal role in my journey after migrating to Canada in 2016. As a professional school teacher, when I migrated to Canada, I was with full of hopes and dreams that I will able to absorb in this new society with minimal challenges.

The next challenge was to select a relevant area of study, arrange finances, and prepare for getting the admission. I was very fortunate to find Refugee Women's Network, who managed to resolved all the three issues through identifying a program which was relevant to my area of study, which was almost free, and by providing preparation classes at the Learning Lab for a smooth entrance. The preparation classes were very intense and carried out with full of dedication, and professionalism. 

With all this training, I was the first one was able to get admission in the Pre-Apprentice Early Childhood Education program at Seneca College which was not only free but also covered the transportation cost for the entire one year from Seneca. I have passed my certificate program successfully and I managed to get a permanent job in a reputed institution in the core downtown where I am working as Early Childhood Assistant.. 

With this job, I am also studying three days a week in the evening to complete my Diploma in Early Childhood Education after which I will able to grow professionally.

I would formally like to thank you and would just say that these efforts have really paid off for me and now I am a equal contributor for my family for which I am really proud. I would once again like to thank Refugee Women's Network who are really doing great work to conduct the entrance preparatory classes and to help the immigrants and refugees women to be successful in their their path for helping them in achieving their dreams.

Thank you.

Anaar Dhanji


  • Grit, resilience, perseverance is key – if you want something bad enough you      need to believe and trust in yourself and put your best foot forward to      achieve it…. 
  • You need to prove yourself to yourself first and be confident in who you are before anyone else can recognize that.  
  • Ensure you have mentors (and sponsors – and know the difference)
  • Substance (expertise, knowledge) alone is not enough, having both substance and confidence is powerful (and it seems that confidence alone too can get you far)
  • You need to push yourself outside your comfort zone to realize your full potential (I liken it to putting yourself in situations where you are sick to your      stomach as its so new and forces you to expand your thinking) and you may      surprise yourself with what you may be able to achieve.
  • Participating in civil society provides invaluable growth, professional development, opens networking opportunities and the ability to make a positive impact – giving back to society allows you to have a real sense of purpose

Kofi Annan