It can take as many as 15 years for newcomers to settle in Canada. The move can be even more challenging for those living in small rural and remote communities due to added social, physical and economic barriers. Thanks to funding from the 2022 Kia Communities in Motion program, South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS) is working to change that.
Through its Moving Ahead program, SOICS is improving access to transportation so newcomers can be better connected to their community. It provides bicycles to seasonal agricultural workers and newcomers, teaches them how to ride, and offers orientations on road safety. Additionally, the program offers supports for newcomers to obtain a driver’s license through driving lessons and financial aid.
Moving Ahead is one of nine projects funded by Kia in 2022 in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada as part of Kia Communities in Motion. The program was delivered in partnership with five community foundations across Canada, including the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen.