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Kia Canada Invests $1.4M in Grassroots Projects Nationwide

Autosphere » Dealerships » Kia Canada Invests $1.4M in Grassroots Projects Nationwide
Kia Communities in Motion. PHOTO Hannah Busing / Adobe Stock

Kia Communities in Motion announces nine charities and non-profits across the country that have been selected to receive funding in the program’s inaugural year.

This comes on the heels of the program’s announcement in December where Kia Canada, in partnership with Community Foundations Canada (CFC), launched Kia Communities in Motion, a grassroots endeavour to invest $1.4M over four years to support local projects that are building inclusive communities through innovative programming that encourages movement. 

As Canada continues to face challenges brought on by COVID-19—widening inequalities and increasing the barriers that certain groups face—charities and non-profits play a critical role to create transformative change at the local level.

“The first year of Kia Communities in Motion is going to see several incredible opportunities to drive innovation, inspiration and movement at a grassroots level, supporting the various needs of people across the country,” says Elias El-Achhab, Vice President and COO of Kia Canada. “At Kia, we recognize the importance of the incredible work being done at a local level. Communities know better than anyone what they need, and we’re so excited to support these important initiatives empowering the betterment of our world and the critical change that accompanies it.”

Inspiring projects funded by Kia Communities in Motion 2022

Nine projects have been selected from coast-to-coast-to-coast, ranging from Saskatchewan’s Bridging Service Collaborative—a program that will assist those in crisis situations through supports such as overnight accommodation, access to emergency food or emergency transportation—to Windsor’s Young Women in Motion program by Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor, which aims to break barriers with biking by increasing the mobility, physical and social well-being of young BIPOC women. 

Each funded initiative will advance change through equitable, innovative solutions grounded in the concept of movement—inspired by Kia’s brand belief, ‘Movement that inspires.’ A selection of funded projects include:

  • Moving Ahead by South Okanagan Immigrant & Community Services (SOICS) in Penticton will improve access to transportation and settlement support for newcomers in rural and remote communities through driving lessons, bicycle transportation and safety programming, and English language intensive classes. “It can take approximately 15 years for newcomers to settle in Canada,” says Cherry Fernandez, Executive Director of SOICS. “The program’s transportation and language components will impact the quality of life, allowing access to supports and essential services, while also improving the well-being and sense of belonging for individuals and families.”  
  • Black Boys Code’s Windsor Advancement Project by Black Boys Code Society – an initiative to create safe and inclusive spaces for Black boys and help them build the cognitive and technical skills needed to pursue a career in STEM. “There is a financial and racial tech gap in Canada, which threatens the future of Black boys and their ability to gain meaningful employment and improve social mobility in a digitized economy,” says Bryan Johnson, CEO of Black Boys Code. “Kia Communities in Motion will support the Windsor chapter in providing opportunities for students to see new places, meet new people, and have new experiences.”   

Empowered by community foundations on the ground

In its inaugural year, Kia Communities in Motion worked with five foundations across the country, using their knowledge of grassroots organizations and the needs of their local communities to select charities and non-profits that drive innovation and movement in their communities. This year, Kia Communities in Motion is collaborating with:

  • Windsor-Essex Community Foundation, Ontario
  • Rural Communities Foundation Of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia
  • Yorkton And District Community Foundation, Yorkton, Saskatchewan 
  • Community Foundation Of The South Okanagan Similkameen, Penticton, British Columbia
  • Fondation du Grand Montréal – Foundation Of Greater Montreal, Longueuil, Laval, Quebec

“The pandemic has been exceptionally difficult and has disproportionately impacted people already experiencing vulnerability. In the face of these challenges, there is a bright spot: charities and non-profits have been, and continue to be, creative and resourceful in responding to community needs,” says Andrea Dicks, President, Community Foundations of Canada. “Kia Communities in Motion is providing important support to move this work and communities forward. As we look towards recovery, it’s projects like these that will help ensure no one is left behind.”

Kia Communities in Motion’s first-year recipients

The selected charities and non-profits feature a diverse range of community-led projects, all of which support the movement of people forward in society, promote inclusivity in the community, use innovative solutions to address social challenges, and have a wide impact on the community. A full list of funded organizations can be found below:

  • Black Boys Code Society, Black Boys Code’s Windsor Advancement Project, Windsor, Ont.
  • Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc., Young Women in Motion: Breaking Barriers with Biking, Windsor, Ont.
  • Sexual Health Nova Scotia, The Nova Scotia Transformation Project, Bridgewater, N.S.
  • Dalhousie University, A Black People’s History of Canada, Halifax, N.S.
  • SaskAbilities, Bridging Service Collaborative, Yorkton, Sask.
  • Kici Anishinabek Kananakachiwewat Community Service Co-operative, Creation of a regional Saulteaux Language and Culture Program, Kamsack, Sask.
  • South Okanagan Immigrant & Community Services, Moving Ahead, Penticton, B.C.
  • Penticton and Area Cooperative Enterprises, Rusty Springs Business Manual, Penticton, B.C.
  • Défi sportif AlterGo, “At my school”, Montréal, Que.

 

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