COAST SALISH TERRITORY and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today Vancity, Hua Foundation, and Bảo Vệ Collective, announced the launch of translated resources for immigrants seeking to apply for, or organizations supporting anyone seeking to apply for, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).
In response to language barriers faced by different communities in accessing government COVID supports, the project aims to make support programs readily available in some of the most widely spoken languages in British Columbia to bridge the language gap for newcomers and immigrants.
The translated resources which are online at the below links and take the form of guides which include detailed information on the available programs, the eligibility criteria and step-by-step written and video instructions on how to apply. The languages are Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog, with Punjabi resources being released in the coming days. The websites are now live and can be accessed by every member of the public across Canada at the following links:
- Simplified Chinese (Video available in Mandarin) – https://www.vancity.com/covid-aid-simpchinese
- Traditional Chinese (Video available in Cantonese) – https://www.vancity.com/covid-aid-tradchinese
- Vietnamese – www.vancity.com/covid-aid-vietnamese
- Tagalog – www.vancity.com/covid-aid-tagalog
Though the eligibility period for CERB closes at the end of September, applications are being taken retroactively through early December, and CEBA applications are being accepted until the end of October.
Quote from Christine Bergeron, Interim President and CEO, Vancity:
“In the weeks since governments began extending aid to people and businesses hit-hard by the pandemic, we have heard from members and community partners in BC and Ontario that immigrant workers and business owners have been experiencing language barriers in accessing COVID-related supports. Such barriers pose a threat to the diversity and character of small businesses and our communities, and could deepen the economic inequality that has already been laid bare by the pandemic.
Given the role financial institutions have in administering government COVID-19 supports, Vancity was pleased to partner with Bảo Vệ Collective and Hua Foundation to support those individuals and businesses experiencing language barriers,” Christine continued.
Quote from Founders, Bảo Vệ Collective:
“Many people within immigrant and refugee communities work on the frontlines during the pandemic, but are the last people to get accurate and reliable information. We saw how many people within our community were struggling to find the right resources to access appropriate financial aid programs through the federal government. Language accessibility is not only important for our communities to thrive, but the first step to a larger movement towards language justice.”
Quote from Kevin Huang, Executive Director, Hua Foundation:
“For many communities, COVID-19 brought about layers of challenges in finding credible health information, applying for emergency financial support, and accessing other critical resources in response to the pandemic. In newcomer, refugee, immigrant, and language communities, language accessibility continues to be one of the biggest barriers for accessing government resources. This project shows the possibilities and opportunities for ensuring that we are meeting people where they are at and ensuring that we are not leaving people and small businesses in our communities behind.”
Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 543,000 member-owners and their communities, with offices and 60 branches located in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay, within the unceded territories of the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw people. With $28.2 billion in assets plus assets under administration, Vancity is Canada’s largest community credit union. Vancity uses its assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
About Bảo Vệ Collective
A group of grassroots community organizers working to empower Vietnamese youth in creating equitable and healthy communities. In the wake of COVID-19 related lockdowns, Mimi Nguyen, Kathy Thai, and Y Vy Truong created bilingual Vietnamese and English resources for elders, non-English speakers, and youth struggling to parse through and translate federal financial aid resources. They have since collaborated with other community organizations and expanded their resources to address health and hygiene, small business aid, digital literacy, and more. Working with Vancity, Bảo Vệ Collective’s video tutorials were leveraged to create resources in other languages.
Hua Foundation is a youth empowerment non-profit based in Vancouver’s Chinatown that focuses on racial equity and civic engagement. The organization’s work ranges from advocating for improved neighbourhood food security to providing support for youth from ethnocultural communities to reclaim their cultural identity on their own terms. In response to the pandemic, Hua Foundation worked with community partners to launch the Chinese Seniors Grocery Delivery Program and a multilingual COVID-19 knowledge platform, C19Help.ca.
Media Relations | Vancity