Loly Rico, Recipient of the YWCA – Toronto Women of Distinction Award

We are proud to announce that our executive director, Loly Rico, is one of the recipients of the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards 2022, in the category of Refugee Rights.

In a virtual event, the YWCA Toronto announced the names of eight women who will be recognized at the YWCA Toronto’s 41th Women of Distinction Awards Gala, next June.

This year, the recipients consists of Margaret Newall (President’s Award), Willa Black (Corporate Leadership), Asma Faizi (Professions), Toufah Jallow (Young Woman of Distinction), Deepa Mattoo (Advocacy & Women’s Rights), Cheryl Regehr (Education), Loly Rico (Refugee Rights) and Dr. Sharon Walmsley (Health).

About Loly Rico, The Women of Distinction Awards organizers say:

Loly Rico is a prominent advocate for refugee women in Toronto. After fleeing political oppression in El Salvador, Loly and her late partner founded what is now known as the FCJ Refugee Centre 31 years ago. Though she was originally trained as a physiotherapist, Loly’s personal migration experience exposed her to the vulnerabilities many refugee women and children face, and the urgent need for community programs to support healing and safety. Over the years, Loly and her partner expanded the Centre’s services, offering refugee women and families a variety of aids, including legal support, a primary health care clinic and support with social assistance. Loly was also fundamental in helping create an innovative program with York University that allows students without permanent status in Canada to enroll in post-secondary education without having to pay costly foreign student fees.

The Women of Distinction Awards is YWCA Toronto’s largest annual fundraising event. The proceeds from this event will make it possible for YWCA Toronto to provide essential programs that help women, girls and gender diverse people escape violence, access employment, move out of poverty and access safe, affordable housing.