Over the years, the YMCA of Central East Ontario has worked closely with the NCC team to welcome newcomers to our community.
Through the Peterborough Welcome Pass, the YMCA provides a three-month complimentary family membership to newcomers. In 2017, 409 newcomers joined the YMCA through this program. Once this membership expires, many families utilise the YMCA’s membership and camp subsidy program that is funded by the Strong Kids Campaign. This allows families to continue programming, camp and healthy recreation as they build their new life in Canada.
The YMCA also provides a free after-school program for New Canadians on Thursday evenings from 4-6pm. This program is organised by qualified teachers with a focus on recreation and tutoring. Students are provided with a healthy snack at the beginning of each session. If the participants bring homework, they are assisted in completing their assignments. The teachers also provide the students with tutoring in areas that they may need additional assistance. For the last hour of the program, the participants come to the YMCA and join the other After School program we host at our YMCA facility for an hour of recreation time.
This summer, many newcomer children were able to attend the YMCA summer camp programs for three weeks (86 in 2018). YMCA staff work with the New Canadians Centre’s Settlement Workers in Schools team to schedule information presentations and to organise volunteers to assist parents with filling out camp registration forms. YMCA and NCC staff also organise volunteers who speak Arabic and assist with communication for the first few days of camp each week to ensure the children feel comfortable and understand the outline of planned activities that they will be participating in.
In 2017, these programs amounted to over $100,000 in financial assistance to newcomer children and their families. We are grateful to the YMCA for their continued efforts and look forward to continuing to #bringpeopletogether