Image of the Fekiri family at the Downtown Y. Triplet boys stand in front wearing orange with older sister, father, mother and older brother in the back row.

Connecting Community through Recreation

Meet the Fekiri Family. Arriving from France in January 2023, Kamel and Cherifa came to Canada to give their five children educational opportunities, including the chance to learn English. So far, they are really enjoying Winnipeg, although they say the winter is very cold!

When Kamel, Cherifa, and their children, Camelia (age 15), Noham (age 13), and triplets Aydin, Milhan and Mikail (age 10) arrived in Winnipeg, they had no extended family and didn’t know anyone, so they focused on getting the children adjusted to their new schools. 

By March, they were looking for activities and ways to connect in the community and attended a free Family Fun Night at the Downtown Y.  While the kids were off exploring, Kamel and Cherifa learned about the Y’s Recreational Opportunities for Children program which helped them navigate community programs and supported their family to participate in a variety of activities.

Since then, the family has become active Y members and visit the South Y for swimming lessons, basketball and soccer (or football to the Fekiri family)! The family membership is funded in part by generous Y donors.  “Thank you so much for your help. Our family is very lucky to have this membership and thank you.” says Kamel.

In addition to membership at the Y, we connect families to experiences where they can learn, grow and reach their full potential.  “Our goal is to support families in accessing recreational opportunities and to work together to remove barriers, whether those are financial barriers, logistical, cultural or any other obstacle that might be getting in the way.” says Grant Richter, Program Coordinator.  “And for newcomers to Winnipeg, we really like to give them a chance to experience the spirit and energy of our sports teams.”  To that end, the Fekiri Family also enjoyed the experience of a Winnipeg Goldeyes game, Manitoba Moose hockey game, Valour FC Soccer game and a Winnipeg Blue Bomber game. 

Image of Fekiri family father and sons at a baseball game

Also supported through generous donors, all five kids had the chance to experience a week at Camp Stephens.  “Most of all, we liked jumping in the cold water in the mornings and the campfire at night” says the kids. 

Smiling, and watching their kids laugh and play at the Y’s Fall Community Celebration, Kamel and Cherifia  reflected, “We’ve all made friends through coming to the Y, the kids are learning the language, and we are really starting to feel like we are a part of Winnipeg.”

Fekiri family sits on hay bales art the Y Winnipeg Fall Community Celebration.

Help Families Like the Fekiri Family. By supporting the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg you help ignite the potential in people and give children the chance to shine. 

Donate Now

Locations: Downtown Y South Y


Support for Kids & Families

Learn more about programs that help support local families, such as Recreational Opportunities for Children and our Member Access Program

Help Families Like the Fekiri Family

By supporting the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg you help ignite the potential in people and give children the chance to shine. 

Donate Now


More Impact Stories