IDRF’s capacity to help vulnerable Canadians continues to grow

Feb 10, 2022

With the generous support of individual donors and corporate partners, IDRF continues to grow its capacity to help Canadians in need – particularly women and youth — through a variety of innovative and effective programs.

IDRF’s Canadian programming revolves around five core initiatives: Get Job Ready, Licensed to Learn (L2L), Women in Tech, Salesforce Training, and Food Distribution.

Get Job Ready

The Get Job Ready program recognizes that young Canadians face a rapidly changing economy where technology will disrupt more than 25% of jobs in the next decade. Canadian youth also frequently encounter the “No Experience, No Job” cycle, where employers are reluctant to hire recent graduates.
Get Job Ready gives young Canadians the key skills needed to succeed academically and navigate the job market and provides actual work experience. The program also provides Canadian youth with the essential “soft skills” that employers are looking for, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking and leadership.

Since the program’s creation in 2018 with a multi-year funding commitment from Royal Bank of Canada under its Future Launch initiative, Get Job Ready has trained more than 5,000 youth in schools and communities in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

Licensed to Learn

Since its start in 2002, Licensed to Learn (L2L) has made academic support accessible to Canadian students at both the elementary and secondary school levels by empowering young leaders to become tutors and implementing free peer-tutor programming in schools nationwide. L2L programs include tutor training and structured peer-tutoring sessions which are held at schools and community agencies at no cost. The program benefits youth by improving academic success, building confidence, and providing leadership and skill training opportunities.

Over the past 19 years, more than 35,000 students have participated in L2L Programs, with 16,984 of them completing the L2L Tutor Training Certification and going on to support 18,352 academically at-risk peers at their schools. In total, L2L tutors have provided over 203,808 hours of free tutoring to students through the program.

Women in Tech

IDRF’s Women in Tech program was created in 2018 to encourage more young women and visible minorities to enter the technology sector, where they have historically been under-represented. Every year, Women in Tech teaches introductory coding to 20-25 young women in the Greater Toronto Area. The course is taught by program graduates with whom participants can identify and ask questions in a supportive learning environment.  Each year, IDRF also awards a number of full-paid scholarships (last year it was seven) to graduates of the course so they can attend a 12-week Web Development Bootcamp to women who aspire to work as Full-Stack Developers.

Now in its fourth year, Women in Tech has achieved a 100% employment rate, and its alumni have all found full-time positions within 90 days of completing the program. With additional corporate funding IDRF is hoping to expand the Women in Tech program to Alberta.

Salesforce Training

IDRF’s Salesforce Training program is delivered in partnership with The Rainbow Cloud Initiative. The program offers Salesforce’s ADM 201 Certification Training free to individuals eligible to work in Canada that face either unemployment or underemployment. Participants accepted into the program learn to create reports & dashboards and automate complex business processes using Salesforce’s cloud-based software. The purpose is to teach marketable skills and have graduates launch careers at one of the 150,000 businesses that use Salesforce.

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Food Distribution

⁠Every year, IDRF distributes thousands of food and hygiene packages to vulnerable Canadians of all faiths, including the homeless and low-income families, in major centres across Canada. Many of these initiatives take place during the holy month of Ramadan, which is a time for Muslims to give back to their communities and help less fortunate people.

For example, in March of 2021 volunteers from the IDRF partnered with Global Medic to package some 3,000 emergency food boxes for Canadian families in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each box contained 20 pounds of food, which can last the average family for up to a month. The food boxes were distributed via community food banks and centres in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver with the support of the United Way.

In April, the Quebec regional office of IDRF organized a volunteer team to prepare and distribute food boxes, hot meals and hygiene kits to people without housing in Montréal. In addition, the team distributed 576 boxes of food to low-income families in Ottawa, Quebec City and Montréal with the help of many local charities and Mosques.

And during Ramadan, IDRF was a key supporter of the Sadaqa Project. Founded by Paramount Foods Chief Executive Officer Mohamad Fakih, the project supplemented efforts by other organizations to help address food insecurity in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). During the project, thousands of needy people of all backgrounds and faiths in the GTA received nutritious and delicious meals.

IDRF – A global organization that’s growing in Canada

For the past 38 years IDRF has been recognized as a global organization that provides aid, development and emergency programs in more than 45 countries. And thanks to a variety of innovative and effective programs in Canada, the organization continues to grow its capacity to help needy Canadians as well.