40 Years of Stories

Lyubov’s Story

Lyubov Horbulenko only arrived in Canada in March 2023 under the CUAET (Canada-Ukraine Authorization of Emergency Travel) but she has already found the connections she needs to make her way in Kelowna. “For every person moving to another country, it is stressful, especially if the move is forced. Ukrainians are fleeing the war and looking for a safe place to live. Canada supported us in this and hospitably received many of my compatriots, for which we are infinitely grateful. My story of integration into the Kelowna community was when I learned about KCR from a Kelowna Stands with Ukraine volunteer. My first meeting took place in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. The employee was attentive, asked if I felt safe, and what I needed. A Ukrainian-speaking employee of the organization worked with me, which made it possible to feel confident. KCR helped me through all the stages necessary for adaptation and living in Canada. The programs and services included legal support, language courses, access to medical help, job search and even bus tickets. KCR helped me create a resume and find a job. The Job Club helped me to improve my communication skills in English, and gave practical advice and connections to useful acquaintances. KCR conducts many thematic seminars where you can gain knowledge and skills that will help in everyday life during adaptation to new living conditions. KCR helped me adapt quickly to my new living conditions. I felt confident because I had enough useful and important information. I know that if I need help or any additional information, I can always turn to KCR. Therefore, I definitely recommend everyone who needs support and help to contact KCR.”.

Valeriia’s Story 

Valeriia, at nine months pregnant, arrived in Kelowna on New Years’ Eve in 2022 with her 2-year old daughter Jannat and gave birth only 6 days later to her daughter Ayat. She fled Ukraine with her husband and daughter to a refugee camp in Germany where the family applied for a visa. In December, Valeriia and Jannat received their visas and the family made the difficult decision to come to Canada without Valeriia’s husband. “We had just a miracle story. Some things in your life you feel like are pre-arranged. My host family – although I wish we could meet under different circumstances than a war – we perfectly match. We feel like we are family. I came without money. We were not able to work while in the refugee camp. I came with two suitcases and my one daughter – and the one in my tummy – and that’s it. Elaine, my host, wasn’t sure what to do with me but her friend who works for KCR was able to connect her with the coordinators of the Family Hub. Even though it was the holidays, they helped connect Elaine to the right resources for us. They knew exactly what to do. After three months being here, I was ready to leave. My husband has still not been able to get a visa and it is very hard to be here alone. Then I went to the Family Hub and they showed me the many opportunities that were here and they opened for me many doors. My Settlement Worker has helped so much and I am in the Gateway program for employment. I am full of hope and I know what to do now. I have a direction. You don’t feel alone when you have an organization like KCR at your back. Now I have so much. I have friends, connections and opportunities. All because of KCR.”

KCR Volunteer Wins Nation-Wide Award

Crisis Line Responders make a human connection with someone each and every day. They respond to texts and calls for those facing crises in their lives and make a difference on a daily basis. The service is anonymous for the safety and protection of both the caller and the responder but by listening and supporting, they make all the difference. KCR has been providing these services for almost 40 years and we are incredibly proud of all of the responders who have served in all of those years. This year we have the honor of sharing that one of our responders has won national recognition with the Jason Chare Excellence “Volunteer of the Year” award. This person was recognized for “being the most caring and gentle responder whose compassion is beyond what is expected. They astonish with the thoughtfulness, consideration and attention they bring to each and every conversation, both with service users and responders.” What keeps this responder motivated? “The role can be intense and challenging at times and knowing I have the skills and strengths to support the person at the other end of the line motivates me. Also, knowing it’s an opportunity to be there for somebody and hear their stories to make a difference and get them to a place of safety.”

Share Your Light Campaign 

KCR’s first-ever “Share your Light” campaign in 2023 was an incredible success, raising over $34,000 thanks to the unwavering support of our generous community. These funds allow us to make a difference on a daily basis, addressing emergent needs and providing vital assistance to our participants. Thanks to donors like you, the KCR Sponsor Family Holiday program expanded its reach. Not only did it support families, but it also helped individuals and couples in immediate need. Everyone’s generosity has truly brightened the lives of those experiencing difficult times.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Translate »