REACH Edmonton

A summer camp that aims to help immigrant and refugee students adjust to their new lives in Canada has wrapped up its second year of programming.

In partnership with REACH Edmonton, Discover Canada Kids Camp offers new Canadian students academic and recreational programming as well as the opportunity to socialize with other students adjusting to a new country and culture.

“The first year that you’re an immigrant or refugee into a country is actually almost the easier year because the resources are there,” said Lindsay Daniller, director of community initiatives and strategic development at REACH Edmonton. “The government makes the resources available, families make the resources available. The year after that first year – which is where many of these families fit into – sometimes those are the tougher years. The novelty of coming to a new place has worn off and now you really have to find a way to be part of this new country.”

REACH helped support about 15 summer programs across the city this year using approximately $200,000 from the city, provincial and federal governments.

Approximately 55 students aged six to 16 participated in the Discover Canada Camp this year, which ran for seven weeks and is tailored to kids who have been in Canada for three years or less. More than half the participating youth are Syrian refugees.