In search of a better life, Leonardo, Claudia, and their son Miguel moved from Brazil to Kelowna in May 2017. They found an inclusive community after accessing subsidized child care through the YMCA of Okanagan’s Financial Assistance Program. Photo: Contributed

Brazilian family finds inclusivity in Kelowna

Okanagan Y eases transition for immigrant family

Leonardo Nogueria, his wife Claudia, and their son Miguel left political and economic instability in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and moved to Kelowna in May 2017 in search of a better, safer and more prosperous future.

Transitioning to their newly-adopted country was not easy, especially when they could not secure child care for Miguel.

“We did not qualify for the Child Care Subsidy in B.C. because we are not yet permanent residents,” Leonardo explained.

“I could not work full-time because someone needed to stay at home with Miguel while Claudia was in school. Needless to say, our funds were limited.”

Some of their stress was alleviated once they heard they qualified for the YMCA of Okanagan’s Financial Assistance program, which would provide subsidized child care for Miguel through the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.

Once Miguel turned three, they were able to secure a spot at YMCA’s Child Care Centre next to Kelowna Secondary School.

Although Miguel was unsure about attending child care full-time at first, he soon warmed up to the idea and developed a sense of comfort and belonging in the centre.

“We think it was because he could not understand or speak English, which made it very tough for him to communicate,” said Claudia.

“The teachers are amazing and supportive and really helped Miguel feel comfortable and transition to his new community. We can see the difference compared to when we first arrived as he is able to understand almost everything in English while we still teach him Portuguese.”

Considering their parents and other members of their family were back in Brazil, the Y became part of their extended family.

“We rely on the Y and are so thankful for their support during this difficult transition,” said Claudia.

“Without the Y, Leonardo could not work full-time, I could not study full-time and we would have to split our time to ensure someone is able to care for Miguel as we could not afford another child care. We are so incredibly grateful for the happiness the Y has brought us.”

By aiding struggling families, the YMCA of Okanagan aims to help more people reach their full potential.

“Seeing how we can positively impact children and families is inspiring, not only will Miguel make friends and be ready for kindergarten, but his parents also feel welcomed and supported by their community,” said Danielle Miranda, general manager of child care.

The YMCA of Okanagan currently has child care spaces available for children ages three to five at their Okanagan College campus location.

These spaces are open to the community and include a free YMCA Child Membership, a proven YMCA Playing to Learn curriculum, daily active play, healthy snacks and so much more. Call 250-491-9622 or visit ymcaokanagan.ca/childcare to learn more and register.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

First annual Share it Forward program huge success

Food banks across Western Canada received more $250,000

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Water quality advisory in Kelowna lifted

After a month of warnings, officials say testing shows water quality is good again

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Possible rainfall rates of up to 25 milimetres in one hour.

UPDATE: Car engulfed in flames in Winfield

Firefighters were able to extinguish the burning car quickly

Humans locked in for love at Kelowna Shelter

BC SPCA Lock-In for Love hopes to raise $25,000

Fireworks and fires over a half-metre banned Friday in Kamloops centre

B.C. Wildfire Service banning to category 2 and 3 fires in Kamloops Fire Centre at noon Friday

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Large B.C. tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and District investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Canucks release 2018-19 season schedule

Vancouver to face Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for home opener

VIDEO: Luxury Home and Design Show opens with Italian flare

Event set to run Friday to Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver

Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

The new fund aims to help customers who find themselves in financial emergencies

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

Fake cops ‘arrest’ woman, steal $6,000 in latest CRA scam

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Most Read