People from across the globe call Morden and Winkler home. Some have travelled with their families and arrived within the last few weeks, while others have been here for a couple of years.
While they come from around the world, once a month, Regional Connections brings newcomer families together to make new friends, learn about the area from locals and from other international families who have been living in Canada for years.
Caloy and Chrisa Lou moved from the Philippines in August of 2017 with their two kids. Caloy is an engineer and Chrisa a nurse. They were both required to find entry-level jobs once they came to Canada before they could find work in their respective field.
Chrisa noted the abundance of work in the area and how welcoming everybody was.
Timur Sharaborov moved from Russia to the Pembina Valley three and half years ago with his wife. "Here, people are very open and friendly, and [there's] much less stress,"
Along with the monthly gathering, Regional Connections is running a new Summer Camp program for the children. Each day kids are introduced to a new activity.
Marina Zmeu, a Settlement Worker in Schools (SWIS), is running the Summer Camp. She notes the program will only be five weeks with plans for next summer, but there are talks to bring the program back in the winter.
Zmeu said the summer is perfect for new kids who weren't here during the school year, so they can connect with other children, along with children who have arrived in Canada within the last two years.