ASILE Civil Society Group

Refugee Womens’ Network – Canada

Description of organisation 

Refugee Women’s Network (RWN) is a charitable organisation registered in Canada. RWN helps refugee women through their settlement by providing sustainable skills to enable them to support their families, to advocate for their children and to support aging family members. These are the same challenges Canadian woman face. RWN helps to assess their language abilities, provide language programs, prepare them for formal education, provide financial support for training and development, and help them become confident, empowered, and self-sufficient.

The RWN’s mission is to empower refugee and new immigrant women with tools and resources, to enhance and develop their skills through education to successfully integrate into Canadian society while still maintaining respective cultural values.

The RWN’s vision is to help refugee and new immigrant women become a vibrant part of Canada’s economic and social development growth. The fundamentals of our program revolve around education. This is provided through 3 core programs: 1. Learning Labs Provide opportunities for academic upgrading and everyday conversations; 2. Women Helping Women A support group helping women integrate into society and find solutions for the challenges they face through settlement;  3. Education & Training and Development Bridging a gap between language assessment and financial support to for women with professional designations not recognized in Canada.

Staff Profile

Ms. Zein Dhanidina

Founder and Executive Director, Refugee Women’s Network

Zein Dhanidina has dedicated more than three decades to improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged and marginalized populations. She immigrated to Canada from Tanzania at the age of six and through her work has grown to recognize the challenges her mother would have experienced as an immigrant to Canada in those very early days. Through her work as a leader and fundraiser in the non-profit sector, as founder of the Refugee Women’s Network, and through her volunteer efforts, she has helped break the cycle of poverty for countless families, and empowered refugee women and children to achieve their full potential.  Prior to founding the Women’s Refugee Network, Zein held a number of other roles in the non-profit sector including Development Manager with New Circles, and was the first Executive Director of NephCure Kidney International Canada. She has volunteered for over 30 years with the Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s World Partnership Walk, and has raised close to $1 million for the charity. For her achievements, Zein was nominated as a 2018 Premier’s Award nominee.