By Steven Smeall
A new child and family advocacy centre will officially be called Koala Place. Pictured are Richard Allaire, the Board Chair of PrévAction, and Rachel Daigneault, the Executive Driector of Children’s Aid Society of S.D.G.
CORNWALL, Ontario - Koala Place, a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) located at 123 Pitt Street revealed its new name and logo Tuesday at a press conference featuring key members involved with the project.
The CYAC became operational in January and has since been acting as an advocate and support network for children and families grappling with physical and sexual abuse.
Koala Place is the first such facility in Cornwall.
“For a child, youth, and their family, disclosing physical or sexual abuse is one of the most difficult things they will have to do,” said board chair Richard Allaire at the press conference.
“As a community and as professionals we have the responsibility to support these children and youth, and make it as easy and comfortable for them as possible.”
The project was funded by the Department of Justice Canada’s victims fund and from other key community partners. The fund will continue until March 31, 2015, and will have to be renewed.
Several partner organizations such as the Police Services and Children’s Aid Society of S.D. & G. have been doing whatever they can to help.
“We’re proud to be associated with the CYAC. So much work and effort has been done to make the CYAC dream come true for our community,” said executive director of the Children’s Aid Society of S.D. & G Rachel Daigneault.
The plan for the centre dates back to 2006 when a group of community leaders drew up plans as a response to the Cornwall Public Inquiry.
The board looked at many other centres across the country and nation to make sure Koala Place would be just as good as the rest.
The koala was seen as the perfect animal to represent the centre by Executive Director Elyse Lauzon-Alguire.
“The koala is a very child-friendly animal with big ears,” said Lauzon-Alguire. “What we do here at the centre is listen to these children and their families when they disclose their stories. It is about the ears and how friendly they look.”
Koala Place will be holding its official opening ceremony on May 22. The event is open to the public. If interested, send an RSVP to email@example.com