IWOO Projects

Resilient Communities Fund (2023-2025)

Through a Resilient Communities Fund grant, over the period of two years, our organization will build its resilience and sustainability by securing resources to implement recreation and well-being programs for staff, volunteers and members. We thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for supporting us with this grant. This grant will enable IWOO to expand, adapt and add programs to support its volunteers and staff, and meet the changing needs of its members.

Seniors Support Program – (2023-2024)

To address the needs of Farsi speaking seniors’ community & to further support the success of previous projects related to the same group of participants, IWOO is proposing the Seniors Support Program (SSP).

This project is funded by a Federal Grant (New Horizons for Seniors Program) and offer monthly educational and life skill workshops for seniors on relevant topics including computer literacy, elder abuse awareness and support, healthy body and healthy mind, weekly activities such as light Yoga, mindfulness and training to prevent dementia, art workshops (painting, dancing, singing etc.).

The SSP project aimed to help seniors lead an active lifestyle and empower them with a sense of independence.

Community Service Partner (CSP) – (2015-2023)

Funded by the City of Toronto, this program aims to improve the wellbeing of older adults in our community and supports Farsi speaking older adults in the community by providing diverse weekly educational and entertainment programs such as, field trips, art therapy , yoga lessons, mental health wellbeing, older abuse awareness, computer and language classes. The program is delivered in Farsi and provides an opportunity for those with language barriers to socialize and learn about health and well-being of seniors. The program will be adjusted to virtual and/or safe gatherings during the pandemic.

Resilient Community Fund (2022)

Funded by a Provincial Grant (Ontario Trillium Foundation – OTF), this project seeks to support diverse communities and underrepresented populations.

We appreciate the Ontario Trillium Foundation that supported us with the grant and brought about this opportunity to improve our organizational goal and interpersonal skills.

IWOO is planning to run the “IWOO Resilience Program” (IRP), a six-month training and coaching program, targeting the BOD members, employees and volunteers.

The key project activities to complete IRP are: 1) Engaging facilitator for professional training 2) Weekly coaching sessions based on the training and day-to-day job experiences 3) Establishing a virtual platform for internal communication and productivity enhancement

Awareness & Support Vulnerable Seniors (2021-2022)

Funded by a Federal Grant (New Horizons for Seniors Program), this project offered weekly activities (such as an English Cafe, Yoga & Fitness classes, webinars on topics like elder abuse, mental health, Covid-19) and intergenerational interactions and volunteerism. The ASVS project aimed to help seniors lead an active lifestyle and empower them with a sense of independence.

Aware, Sociable, Healthy and Active Seniors (2020-2021)

Funded by a Provincial Grant (Ministry of Seniors & Accessibilities), this project wished to give seniors and their family’s knowledge on how to lead aware, sociable, healthy, and active lives. They also learned about how to find and use the resources available to them.

Honorable, Happy & Healthy Seniors (2019-2020)

Funded by a Federal Grant (New Horizons for Seniors Program), this project has been one of  the first projects of its kind, providing comprehensive services to Farsi speaking seniors across the Greater Toronto Area.

The project’s goal was to enable seniors to lead an active lifestyle and to empower them with a sense of independence in their own lives and far from being abused. The focus of this initiative was a four-pronged approach (with 4A’s):

AWARENESS, ACTIVITY, ACCESS & ASSISTANCE.

The project offered weekly activities, monthly workshops, quarterly day trips & intergenerational interactions and volunteerism.

Iranian-Indigenous Integration Project (2018-2019)

Funded by a Provincial Grant (Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration), IWOO had planned to partner with Indigenous-based organizations with the goal of achieving empowerment and knowledge-sharing in the social services field.

Through this Iranian-Indigenous Integration Project, IWOO aimed to create greater opportunities to connect the Iranian-Canadian diaspora within Toronto with other cultures and partner with other multicultural organizations to gain a better understanding of Canada’s history and its rich Indigenous cultures.

Through formal and informal interactions, such as networking events, workshops and seminars,  IWOO could create an avenue to build connections with Indigenous peoples, their culture, and  explore common challenges and experiences.

Elder Abuse Awareness in Farsi Speaking Communities (2017-2018)

Funded by a Provincial Grant (Ministry of Seniors Affairs), the Elder Abuse program at IWOO provided several seminars and workshops in an effort to promote understanding of elder abuse and to help older adults who may experience abuse and/or neglect and are seeking recovery and healing in the context of community.

Through seminars and educational workshops, the participants received a deep understanding of the different types of elder abuse. As well, various recovery and relief methods were introduced to participants.

Mentor & Mentorship (Multicultural Community Capacity Grant (2017-2018)

Funded by a Provincial Grant (Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration), this program was aimed to help newcomers in the community to overcome the cultural barriers and assist them in creating professional networks. It provided an opportunity to connect newcomers to different ethno-cultural groups and trained them to face the social and cultural obstacles.

The program consisted of two separate but related sections: (1) Workshops and (2) Human Library;

Workshops: The program offered resume/cover letter and interview preparation workshops tailored to the needs of Farsi speaking newcomers.

Investing In Neighbourhood (2015-2018)

Funded by the City of Toronto, the Investing In Neighborhood program aimed to create meaningful and rewarding jobs. Participants were also given the chance to build skills and find references.

Senior Storytelling (2015-2016)

Funded by a Provincial Grant, a collection of stories from some of the elders of the Iranian-Canadian community were made into a book, titled “From There to Here”. These stories of a culture that nourishes our roots were shared with the people so that they would not be lost to time.

Changing Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality within the Iranian and Farsi Speaking Diaspora (2015-2018)

Funded by a Provincial Grant (Ontario Trillium Foundation), this project aimed to provide education and discussions about LGBTQ+ identities within Farsi speaking communities. IWOO wished to fill the existing gap in the community through multiple events such as education workshops, movie screenings, and art exhibitions.

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Dr. Noushin Khasteganan

Dr. Noushin Khasteganan is a Certified Canadian Addiction Counsellor and graduated from McMaster University. She has a Medical Doctorate earned in Iran in 1996. With her extensive background as an experienced Medical Doctor in the mental health care field, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her practice and employs a variety of therapeutic models to support the community.

Leyly Mirsanjari

Leyly has a bachelor in French language and language & civilization diploma Aix -en provence faculty,  Event management diploma from CDI college ,Peer leadership certificate from Family service Toronto,Early development (Mother craft college),Child care assistant from TDSB.

She has extensive experience in teaching French.
She also coordinate and facilitates several multicultural groups in various ages, peer support group,senior focus group, women support group focused on violence against women and healthy family healthy community.She worked 10 years at Family service Toronto, as a failitator.
Currently she is working at TDSB as an education assistant.
She has volunteered for Tirgan festival ( as outreach coordinator, guest and dignitaries coordinator and event assistant),Behnam foundation ,Karafarin and Iwoo organization.

Saharnaz Nahidi

Saharnaz has Bachelor of Art and two Master’s Degree in Psychology and research of Art from Iran. She has also studied “Addiction Recovery Support “in Canada. She was a consultant of Psychology in a Psychiatry clinic in Iran and has experience of providing help and relief for addiction, mental disorders and child care here in Canada. She is currently work as a direct support worker full time job at Community Living Toronto with mental health and disabilities residents. Also doing counselling under supervision of Ms.Akerman at Karma cares community in Toronto. Saharnaz joined IWOO as a volunteer in 2017 and has been a member of mental health committee from 2020. She has dedicated herself for educating and helping women and girls to their maximum capacity enabling them overcome barriers. Saharnaz would like to support Farsi speaking women and girls in Iranian- Canadian community.

Yasmin Fouladvand

Yasmin Fouladvand holds a Master of Finance degree from the Schulich School of Business. Through her experience in the banking sector, Yasmin stands out for her expertise in financial analysis and investment strategy development. Her unwavering passion lies in fostering fairness and promoting community growth by overcoming challenges and making a positive impact. Yasmin is passionately focused on meeting the specific needs of women and fostering opportunities for gender equity and meaningful progress.

Amin Azad

Amin Azad is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto at the intersection of engineering and entrepreneurship, with the goal of identifying educational tools to promote opportunity identification for venture creation. Amin has previously been a business mentor and educator in this space and has put together various courses and workshops with the purpose of helping entrepreneurial teams identify a need in the market and build a business around it.

Presently, he manages a consultancy service and is committed to supporting IWOO by leveraging his expertise in organizing workshops and encouraging community engagement within the entrepreneurship domain.

Guita Movallali

Guita Movallali, PhD in Psychology and BSc & MSc in Audiology, brings over two decades of diverse experience to her role. A retired Associate Professor at USWR University, she has made significant contributions to academia and nonprofit organizations. Her expertise spans research, education, and leadership, with a focus on supporting the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

As CEO and Founder of the Faranak Clinic for Deaf children and Program & Development Manager at VOICE for deaf kids, Guita has championed family support initiatives. She has organized national and international conferences, conducted social media marketing for nonprofits, and initiated Parent-Child programs. Guita’s commitment to positive change is evident in her pivotal role in fostering the Parent-Child Mother Goose program in Canada. With a passion for community empowerment, Guita continues to drive impactful initiatives.

Amir Azad

Amir works at a Toronto-based Private Investment Office to manage assets on behalf of Canadian family offices. Previously Amir worked at a Financial Communication firm, supporting NASDAQ, NYSE, TSX and other Stock Exchanges. Amir has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Concordia University of Edmonton, and a Master of International Business from Queen’s University with a focus on Investments. Amir‘s professional background includes Venture Capital, Private Equity, Investments, and sustainable finance. Amir is the Director of Funding & Grants Committee at IWOO, and he overlooks the grants and fundraising efforts. Amir also has a Golden Retriever named Simba in which he enjoys hiking with.

Hengameh Saberi

Hengameh Saberi teaches at Osgoode Hall Law School. Outside academia, she has served on various nonprofit board of directors, worked as a consultant with a number of human rights institutions and brings to IWOO multi-jurisdictional experiences of organizational design and planning.