Programs & Services


PIRS > Programs & Services > Women's Development > LEAD

A participant is ready to join our Leadership Education and Development Program (LEAD) when she has sufficient ESL skills and feels ready to actively support or immerse in community life and perhaps to explore employment opportunities.         


       Sessions include:

  • Leadership and the Immigrant Story
  • How Society Works: Government and Legal System
  • Financial Literacy
  • Volunteering
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Health and Well Being


LEAD Facilitators guide discussions on cultural diversity, financial skills, settlement stages, and self-development.  Participants can expect to shape their future roles as volunteers, members or advocates in the community. The program includes a visit to the local City Hall and an opportunity to meet local representatives.

Participants attend a two hour session, twice a week, for 10 weeks, childcare is available for children 18 months to 5 years of age.


Kitsilano Neighbourhood House
2305 W 71th Ave., Vancouver, BC V6K 1I4
May 1st – June 28th, 2018
Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30 – 2:30 pm

Information session:
May 1st, 2018 from 12:30 to 2:30 pm

Downloads: LEAD QMH Spring 2018 and LEAD Summary 2017-2018 flyers.

To apply for LEAD contact the Community and Settlement Programs Coordinator at 604.298.5888 or

To view our program schedules visit our PIRS Program Calendar.

What clients say about LEAD:
“My first program was the LEAD program (for immigrant women). It has been good for my English. The LEAD program gives us information about things here in Canada, like family law. It encourages us to have confidence and self-esteem. It is a safe place to share our stories. It is good to understand other people going through the same things…we think our problems are only ours but we realize it is all of us. The program helped me realize it’s not only me.”

“This program helps. We are reminded we can do everything, whatever we want. I want to be a model to my kids…and live in this country well. Not just rich, I want to be healthier, with my family. So I just get involved, and until now, I try my best.”

“I feel very happy. I started to volunteer (at the house) since October and started the LEAD program at the same time. I also changed schools. I’m in Vancouver Community College which is a very large school and challenges me more, but now I feel much more stable to handle this kind of pressure. I give what I know and help other people like me.”

“The LEAD program helps you find your skills, to re-focus them. It teaches you to value yourself as a person, as a mother, as a woman. You are taught to look for ways, to connect with people, to find training for future work to be able to integrate into Canadian society.”

“I’m really amazed with this house (MPNH) – it has taught me a lot. I recommend this program to anyone. First one has to work on yourself: if you do not feel well, you cannot help anyone. First you must be you, help yourself, then help others. To volunteer gives you the advantage of learning new resources. I fortunately have my husband who is working, but in the future I think I will also do the same. I think at one point, I was my own obstacle. I did not want to be part of this society. But there are opportunities here for everyone. You just have to go out and look for them. And it does not cost much. By knowing one person, and then another, you are already entering into a new life. We should all do it.”

“I would like to share my experience in this program. First, I understood the importance of setting goals in different dimensions, not only professional or financial. In this way, my life can be in balance. Second, we reviewed different concepts that are very important for our daily life, such as having a balanced diet, dealing with stress, saving money, ways of communication, well being. Last, I met wonderful people, and I learned from all of them about their customs, families, food, and personal stories. All the participants had different background, and it was great that we all shared our experiences. I confirmed that a multicultural group can come up with very interesting ideas. In conclusion, in the Lead program, I had the opportunity to take a look at different aspects of my life and to decide where I want to go in the future. I know I have a lot of things to do in order to reach the balance. In some aspects of my life, I need to work harder or deeper; however, I know where to go. Thank you so much for supporting this kind of program.”
~Tania Tellez, 2014

“I work part time and do some volunteer jobs. I really love the job I am doing now. Also, I can spend some time with my family. However, last year, my life was foggy. I did not know what my career was. I did not have any goals. One day in November last year, I received a phone call from Blanca, the facilitator of “Lead” program. She introduced the program to me. It was really important for me that the program could provide child minding. That created possibility for moms like me who have young children to attend the program. I love the program and learned a lot from it. The program covered many topics: goal setting, the integration process of immigrants, the financial literacy, how to volunteer, self-awareness, personal improvement, meditations and health, culture sharing presentation, family law, yoga, etc. I began to set my own goals. The atmosphere of the program was enjoyable and relaxed. I felt safe and comfortable to share my own experience and connected by other members’ stories. I felt that I was not alone. I found solutions to my problems. The facilitator of the program, Blanca, encouraged, inspired and empowered me. I know who I am, where I am, where I want to go and how to go there. All the above really helped and moved me to the next level of my life.”
~Shinda Shi, 2014

“The program gave us the so important emotional support and self-esteem necessary upon arrival in a foreign land. As a result of the LEAD Program experience, we feel totally confident of our capabilities as family leaders. The varied cultural backgrounds of the participants made the experience interesting and fun.”
~Carmen Correal, 2000

“At first, we did not know wher to start and how to begin our lives here. We didn’t really understand how the communities are working and how to get involved with them. But after a few weeks of LEAD, we felt released from much of our fears and worries. Because LEAD changes our lives! We learned problem solving and setting goals. We learned more about Canadian society. We became more involved in the community and made new friends.
~Lu Lu, 2000

“For me, the LEAD Program helped me realize that I must take care of myself and my health. It also helped me see that it is important to be open to new experiences and embrace new opportunities.”
~Ofelia Pacheco, 2000

“In the LEAD Program, we didn’t feel alone, we felt connected with each other, many of us had the same fears, worries and questions about our lives in Canada. Also we had the opportunity to improve our English skills, and gain a lot of self confidence.”
~Maria Elena Ramirez, 1999

“It helped me to know myself better and feel more sure about my adaptability to life here. I got inspiration about my future from the guest speaker Anna, a social worker, when she said ‘Be anchored here’.”
~Rose Tu

“Being isolated was the intense pressure. Perhaps we had more unrealistic expectation of the new country. However, LEAD helped us to forget our loneliness. We met several guests who spoke about important issues like mental health, stress management, employment, education, and legal issues. We learned about communication skills, balancing our lives, and taking control of it.”
~Behnaz Fayazzadeh

“This program helped me to develop myself in a new country with a new language. With this program, I found myself more confident about knowing how to be part of this society. I found new friends who can understand me because we share our problems and help each other. It also connected me with people who can help me in my needs and give more perspectives as to how, when, where, what and who I can get more information from in each situation. The LEAD Program helped me as a woman – to know that we have the right to say no when we don’t agree, and to understand the many opportunities women have in this country. The program encouraged me to share my experiences in a group. It was easier to find the solutions working with other women. LEAD Program taught me that we have to make priorities in our lives.”
~Marcela Fuller, 1999

“LEAD is a life-changing experience. This course helped me to know myself better – it taught me that I could be a leader; that I have abilities that I could improve and use to make my corner of the world a better place.”
~Crisanta Sampang, 1993. (Read full text here.)