My wife and I arrived to Canada as students (at the University of Ottawa) with our young son and currently live on Beausoleil Street. The Lowertown Community Resource Centre (LCRC) was my first welcoming space in the community. During the summer of 2021 and 2022, our son attended the summer day camp. This was not only a recreational space for him, but also a space for socialization. The field trips, games, artistic and sports activities were very well planned and facilitated our son’s integration into the Canadian environment. My wife and I were happily surprised by the quality of the activities. In addition, the staff is very welcoming and caring and my family is very grateful for this program. It has been very beneficial for us as parents and for our son who loves summer camps and it contributes to the development of our children on many levels in the community. I can’t imagine Lowertown without the programs at the Centre.

The Centre’s activities are of paramount importance to my family. In addition to the summer camps, we also participate in other programs, such as soccer, the Christmas program, etc. that facilitate social cohesion amongst the residents. Through these activities, we have had the pleasure to get to know other members of the neighbourhood.

The integration of international students, especially in Canada, is not an easy thing. Being parents and students at the same time is a huge challenge for us, especially in terms of time management. Taking care of our family, managing our studies and keeping our children busy are difficult tasks to balance. The summer camp has been a lifeline for our family. We can’t afford daycare or a place to leave our son when we go to university. It was thanks to the camp that we were able to do this. It was a blessing for us in this situation.