Clare Yazganoglu

Clare Yazganoglu

Women in Need expands services in Greater Victoria

Victoria group hopes to put 100 women through programs this year

Self-sufficiency is one of life’s privileges paid little attention to unless it is lost or under threat.

Climbing back from the psychological abyss of an abusive relationship, job loss or drug use is often a shielded journey shared by only those closest to the process.

For the past 20 years, Women in Need and its volunteers have quietly celebrated those successes, helping more than 18,000 women in the Capital Region work through trauma and transition.

But organizers need community support to expand two successful programs that help women rebuild their lives.

“Our goal in 2013 is for 100 women to participate in our programs, and that means raising $100,000 over the next year,” said Clare Yazganoglu, WIN executive director.

WIN recently launched its new Transitions program and revamped Self-Sufficiency program. Most of the women who attend the programs are living in transitional housing, Yazganoglu said.

Transitions teaches effective communication skills and how to set personal boundaries in relationships, while Self-Sufficiency provides one-on-one support and financial assistance to women looking to build a career or return to school.

“These are women who want to make shifts towards becoming vibrant members in the community,” Yazganoglu said.

While WIN maintains strict confidentiality with its clients, “respect,” “integrity” and “grateful” pepper the anonymous comments made by graduates of the programs.

“It is one thing to have dreams, but feeling supported and accountable to the generosity of donors in actualizing those dreams is immeasurable,” said one participant.

WIN provides gift certificates to women in transitional housing for any of its three thrift stores around Greater Victoria. Their operations are funded through private and business donations.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Coming up

• On May 11, Women in Need holds its annual fundraiser, Fashion With Passion, at BMW Victoria, 95 Esquimalt Rd.

• For more information and tickets, visit winfashionwithpassion.com.