Montreal, August 1, 2022
Since the opening of Roxham Road, an estimated 800 to 1,000 people cross into Quebec every week, most of whom will settle in Montreal. Wanting to facilitate the integration of teenagers who arrive at the border at the end of school year or during the summer, the Quebec’s ministry of education approached the YMCA to deploy a new pilot project over the summer.
Supervised by a highly qualified intervention team and peer helpers, this project allows young people to discover their new living environment, meet other teenagers, and make friends. The four service points are in neighbourhoods identified as entry points for newcomers: Saint-Laurent, Saint-Michel, Saint-Leonard, and Montreal North. The team supports them in their integration through language courses, outings, a variety of pedagogical, sports, and educational activities, and more.
The YMCA Welcome and Discover Zone aims to offer teenagers who just arrived in Montreal a first experience of their new environment that is positive, stimulating, and full of discovery.
In place until classes resume in the fall, the project has been quite conclusive to date. “The YMCA Welcome and Discovery Zone project helps mitigate the fears of the unknown for young newcomers to the province by providing them with the opportunity to hang out with other teens and discover their neighbourhood and the resources available. The project ensures teens aren’t left to their own devices over the summer and helps reduce the anxiety of starting at a new school in the fall.” explains David Karoumbata, Program Coordinator at the YMCAs of Québec.
About the YMCAs of Québec
The YMCAs of Québec are a unique charitable organization whose mission is to encourage and inspire all people to fulfill their potential, thrive and contribute to their community. The YMCAs of Québec offer programs in over 30 points of service and virtually across the province, as well as operating an International Language School, YMCA Residence and Camp YMCA Kanawana. As the first YMCA in North America, the YMCAs of Québec have been present in Montreal since 1851 and their impact reaches across more than 13 boroughs on the island of Montreal.
Director of Communications