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New beginnings start here.Ali Fraser and her three children — Mahala (11), Dream (6) and Tally (5) — moved to Kelowna in 2015 in search of a fresh start. After years on their First Nations reserve, Ali made the difficult decision to move her kids away from the only home they had ever known.

“Though we loved our home and being close to family, my girls and I have been through a lot and witnessed abuse,” says Ali. “There are many daily struggles on the reserve, which ultimately stem from a huge loss of culture after colonization. Many have turned to alcohol and drugs. I felt I needed to be the voice for my kids and help them understand and accept their culture outside of this environment.”

With the goal of going back to school to create a better life for her girls, the Fraser family moved to Kelowna and discovered the YMCA of Okanagan’s Little Scholars Child Care Centre at Okanagan College. Dream and Tally started that summer and it soon became their home away from home.

“Right away, we felt welcome, accepted and safe, which has made such a big difference for the girls,” says Ali. “Dream gets in trouble less, and they are truly happy.”

But Ali wouldn’t have been able to afford the care without a helping hand. “The financial assistance we received through the Y saved us,” says Ali. “My children wouldn’t have been able to access the care they needed without it.” In two short years, Ali has come full circle, and is now working for the Y’s After School Care programs, where she too, is making a difference in children’s lives.

“I am so grateful for the Y,” says Ali. “I don’t know what I would have done without the support system we found here, and the donors who make it all possible.”