This month, we are taking a closer look at the RBC New Beginnings: National Diversity Fund for Children, a national initiative that provides critical resources to thousands of vulnerable immigrant and refugee children, youth, and families that have recently arrived in Canada. Founded in 2009, this program builds networks between recently immigrated families and provides the necessities for a stable life, including housing support and counselling, as well as settlement support for long-term success. Other provided supports include:
- Basic necessities
- Health related expenses
- Education supports
- Enrichment activities
- Cultural diversity education, including guidance on Canadian cultural/social expectations
In October 2013, the RBC Foundation made a generous donation of $60,000 that, as a direct result, supported over 800 recently immigrated children, youth, and families. This 2014 impact can be viewed in the graph below.
Supporting children and families from coast to coast, the RBC New Beginnings: National Diversity Fund for Children eases the transition for newly-arrived Canadians, many of whom have faced multiple challenges and traumatic experiences prior to their arrival in Canada.
“I really enjoyed all the workshops – breaking the cycle of violence and healthy relationships, the child welfare system and the laws, anger management and stress management and self-esteem. I learned how to love myself and believe in myself. The comfortable atmosphere, being able to express our feelings without being judged. Thank you for the support you are giving to us. You are doing important work in the community.” – Refugee mother of young children who participated in workshops supported by the RBC New Beginnings program at Women’s Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham
“Jarai is one of the largest upland ethnic groups in central highlands Vietnam, as well as one of the most religiously and politically persecuted. Canada is among the many countries accepting Jarai refugees. Jarai youth have high rates of poverty, sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, and school drop outs. With funding from the RBC National Diversity Fund, our agency has been able to provide monthly bus passes to a group of Jarai girls to help them commute to class and developed a career exploration workshop. These girls have been attending school more regularly and have reported feeling inspired and more confident about the future.” – Allison Parker, Pacific Community Resources Society