Soroptimist Live Your Dream Award

Since 1972, Soroptimist International has been helping women the world over reclaim their dreams through the Live Your Dream Award (formerly Women’s Opportunity program). The Live Your Dream Award is a grant awarded to female heads of households who need additional skills, training and education to enable them to upgrade their employment status to re-enter the workforce so they can provide adequately for themselves and their families.

The deadline to apply this year is November 15, 2015 and the value is $2,500.

For information about applying, view our information poster »

Fit Active Beautiful (FAB) 5k race

SIDAF were again involved in this year’s FAB 5k run at Confederation Park, Hamilton. It was a beautiful morning in June – some of our members helped man the water station, some of us ran the race and some gave their time over the last few months as coaches training and preparing the girls for the 5k race.

FAB’s Passion statement :

  • Our passion is helping young girls become strong women.
  • Our focus is reaching youth girls in lower income communities.
  • Our goal is to inspire youth girls to dream big, live big.
  • Our strategy is to build their self confidence and goal setting skills.
  • Our vehicle is our FAB Girls 5 KM Challenge.

We look forward to seeing you next year at the FAB 5K COMMUNITY CHALLENGE on June 18, 2016. Details are on their website:

Bullying Awareness

Come and listen to the highly respected social worker, Gary Direnfeld MSW RSW, who will talk us all through how to deal with child/teen bullying and violence, including cyber bullying. Come also with your questions for Gary – he loves to interact with his audience and gear the evening around what you want to discuss rather than what he wants to discuss.

So whether you are a woman working with young people, a concerned mother or in fact a concerned child/teen then you are most welcome to come along to this free information evening. Coffee will be served.

Thursday, 18 September 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)

Amica at Dundas, 50 Hatt Street, Dundas, ON

Register online (no cost):


Sally Armstrong: May 8, 7:30p.m.

Soroptimist International of Hamilton-Burlington in partnership with Grandmothers of Steel present: Sally Armstrong, A Voice of Hope.

Three time winner of the Amnesty International Media Award, Sally’s eyewitness reports from areas of conflict bring insights into human tragedy and survival that few others have covered so intimately.

Sally Armstrong, Human Rights Activist, Journalist & Author will be speaking. Book sale and signing of her latest book: Ascent of Women to follow.

Time: Thursday May 8, 2014 starting at 7:30 pm

Tickets: $30.00. Students: $15.00

Proceeds go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, CW4WA and Bursaries, Midwifery Programme, McMaster University

Location: Winterberry Heights Church, 300 Winterberry Dr., Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada

For ticket information:

Violet Richardson Award 2014 application

Are you a young woman between the ages of 14 and 17 who volunteers in your community or school? Do you see challenges instead of obstacles? Hope instead of despair? If you are a young woman who believes in the power of volunteer action, then you may be eligible to win a Violet Richardson Award.

The Violet Richardson award recognizes young women ages 14-17 engaged in volunteer action within their communities or schools. This award recognizes young women who make the community and world a better place through volunteer efforts such as: fighting drugs, crime and violence; cleaning up the environment; and working to end discrimination and poverty. Volunteer actions that benefit women or girls are particularly encouraged. The deadline to apply is December 1st and the award is for $300, matched by a $200 for their charity of choice.

or information about applying to the Violet Richardson Awards program, please view our flyer »

Amarok Society

On Thursday November 7th, the SIDAF group was honoured to meet Dr. Tanyss Munro of the Amarok Society, and to hear her truly inspiring presentation on the work she and her family have done, and continue to do, in the slums of Bangladesh.

The Amarok Society is a registered Canadian charity that “teaches very poor mothers to be neighbourhood teachers”. As it’s website states, “Teach a Mother, Change the World”. Amarok’s approach to education is based on a simple but effective principle – if you educate mothers, and ask each of them to educate 5 other mothers and children, learning spreads and brings with it social change. As Dr. Munro says, Bangladesh is at the top or bottom of all the lists countries don’t want to be on, for example the most crowded, the poorest, the most corrupt etc. It is a country where women and girls are tightly controlled and isolated by a male-dominated society, an Islamic country where girls are bound in marriage at very young ages, e.g. 11 or 12, because of the social conventions of a society that demands a higher marriage dowry to be paid the older the girl is. These young brides are then isolated within their husbands’ families, are treated like slaves, and begin to have children when they are still children themselves.

Dr. Munro shared with us stories of creativity and courage, of women who suffered physical and emotional abuse to do what they believed to be right – to educate girls and women, and by doing so, to improve the lot of entire families and villages. Her story is ultimately one of hope and celebration, of mothers struggling to provide a better future for their children, of husbands and fathers learning the value of happy and educated wives and children, of the possibility of cultural change.

Learn more about this wonderful organization by visiting their website at, and support them by purchasing Tanyss’ husband G.E.M. Munro’s book, South Asian Adventures with the Active Poor.

Women’s Opportunity Award 2014 application

Are you a woman who is trying to improve life for yourself and your family? Are you going back to school? Do you need financial assistance to complete your education?

Since 1972, Soroptimist International has been helping women the world over reclaim their dreams through the Women’s Opportunity Awards program. This program provides cash grants to women who are working to better their lives through additional skills training and education. You are eligible to apply for this $2,000.00 award if you are:

  • a woman with primary financial responsibility for yourself and your dependants
  • attending an undergraduate degree program or a vocational skills training program
  • have financial need

For information about applying to the Women’s Opportunity Awards program, please contact Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough (SI-DAF) c/o Heather Sullivan and Navneet Bains at

The deadline to apply is December 31, 2013.

2013 Awards Gala: Congratulations

On Wednesday May 22nd , 2013 Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough (SI-DAF) hosted its annual Awards Gala to honour three special women in our community. It was an inspiring evening of celebration for our winners, recognizing their achievements with three awards:

Shamim Amini was honoured with this year’s Women’s Opportunity Award, a grant awarded to female heads of households for additional skills, training and education to enable them to upgrade their employment status to re-enter the workforce. Shamin’s story is one of courage, dedication and initiative.

Chantal Mudahogora was the winner of the Ruby Award, an award that acknowledges women who are working to improve the lives of women and girls through their personal or professional activities. Chantal is a Diversity Counsellor at the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton and Halton. From traumatic events in her home country of Rwanda, through her journey as an immigrant to Canada, and her continuing work with immigrant women and girls, Chantal’s story is an inspiration to all who know her.

Ashley Adile was the recipient of the Violet Richardson Award, recognizing young women ages 14-17 who are engaged in volunteer action within their communities or schools. Ashley is a member of the Bishop Tonnos Mathematics and Eco Club.

These annual awards provide an opportunity to celebrate and support the wonderful women and girls in our community who embody the spirit of Soroptimism: “Women at their best, helping other women to be their best”.

Sprucing up Alma’s Garden

Here are a few photos of the “gardening crew” who did a fantastic job of sprucing up Alma’s garden this evening. We arrived at 6.30pm and as they say “many hands make light work” – we weeded, planted some new shrubs courtesy of members’ gardens, mulched, swept up and watered – we were all done by 7.30pm. Special thanks to Sandy and Shirley for collecting and bringing the mulch.

25th Anniversary and Awards Night

This year, Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough (SIDAF) celebrates its 25th anniversary, having been chartered in May 1987. We are women at their best helping other women achieve their best, and we have been doing so locally for a quarter of a century!

Soroptimist International is a worldwide organization for women in management and professions, working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women. With almost 90,000 members in over 125 countries and territories, it is the world’s largest classified service organization for executive and professional women. It was our great pleasure to welcome our newest member, Christine, at our anniversary dinner.

Soroptimists work together with groups and individuals to help women and girls in our local communities of Dundas, Ancaster & Flamborough, and throughout the world. Together, we focus on issues such as domestic violence, poverty, lack of adequate child care, sexual harassment, inequities in the workplace, and other challenges unique to today’s women. Through our major fundraisers such as our Christmas Loonie Toonie Auction in November, our service work with local organizations such as Wesley Urban Ministries, the YWCA, and Drummond House, our support of initiatives such as Christmas hampers through the Salvation Army and Hamilton Basketeers, and participating in the Ancaster Food Drive and the Alzheimer Walk for Memories, we strive to raise awareness and serve the needs of women and girls.

In the attached photo are our award winners, from left to right: Crystal Dainard, Samantha Pirrera, Tambu Kahari, Jasmin Goldstein; Club President Shirley Eden, Cathy Braden

This year our anniversary celebration was held jointly with our annual Awards Night at Copetown Woods Golf & Country Club. Our amazing award-winning women are:
Ruby Award – Cathy Braden
Women’s Opportunity Award (WOA) – Samantha Pirrera
WOA Runners-up – Tambu Kahari; Crystal Dainard
Violet Richardson Award – Jasmin Goldstein

Congratulations to our winners, and to all our applicants and the wonderful women in our communities.