East Vancouver Newcomers Camp – Local Group Helps Refugee Children Break Social Barriers

17 Jul

EVNCWe recently learnt of an interesting non-profit based in East Vancouver we are excited about. It’s the East Vancouver Newcomers Camp.  This organization was founded by Duncan Bernardo and Dakota Koch just over a year ago. The founders have created and run summer day camps for refugee children. They currently run day camps in two locations, Surrey and East Vancouver.  Each camp has approximately 30 kids aged 6 to 12 years of age.  The day begins with English lessons by certified instructors that speak the children’s native language, then a break for lunch, followed by an afternoon of sports and games.   The summer camp helps children integrate into North American culture and break down social barriers.   Founder Duncan Bernardo understands this first hand having moved to Spain at 11 years old. He didn’t speak a word of Spanish and initially was quite isolated, but he had a love of soccer on his side. As many may know Spain is a soccer nation. Sport was an avenue for him to make friends and break down the language barrier. With the recent influx of refugees coming from Syria, the founders saw from personal experience how they could assist children integrate into a new culture and make friends. The founders, Duncan and Dakota, were able to obtain a grant from the federal government that covers the cost of teachers and organizers to run the camps, but they are currently running at 50% of their potential capacity as they don’t have  the funds to meet the needs of food and transportation for all the children.  They have some wonderful sponsors to assist with donations in-kind to help them get their footing, but they still need some financial assistance to help meet the demand of the day to day costs of running the day camps.   There are a couple of ways you can assist them, if you are able. You can provide financial assistance on their Donate page online. It costs $500 to send one child to camp for the summer. They also welcome gift cards for groceries as they provide snacks and refreshments for the children throughout the day. Should you be in a position to provide any new or gently used sporting equipment, that would graciously be received as well. To provide donations in kind or gift cards, you can contact Duncan Bernardo directly at info@evnc.ca.

Photo Credit: East Vancouver Newcomers Camp  

EEVNCCanada

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