The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island says the official opening for Q̓ʷalayu House is July 12th. Located on 2nd Avenue, the house is behind Yucalta Lodge and right next door to the Campbell River Hospital.
It’ll provide a home-like environment for not only pregnant women and their families on the North Island, but for families with children who need to travel to town to access pediatric health care services.
Inspiration for Q̓ʷalayu House stems from Jeneece Place – the foundation’s ‘home away from home’ down in Victoria. It was built nearly a decade ago, extending a warm welcome to families through the years.
But the need for a home on the North Island is much needed, notes Children’s Health Foundation board member Colleen Evans.
“The reason this is so important for North Island families is that actually, the North Island has the highest level of poverty than other island communities,” she says.
According to Evans, the North Island has a greater number of mother’s under 20-years-old delivering their babies, three times higher than anywhere else on the island. She says the region actually has the highest birth rate than any other island community in B.C., and of those, around 14 per cent are preterm.
“That’s really what is placing mothers and infants at risk, and the kinds of complications that come with those circumstances,” Evans adds. “Having this available to North Island families is going to be significant.”
As the foundation gears up to push open the doors to Q̓ʷalayu House, they’ve teamed up with JET FM and 2Day FM to host the ‘When Pigs Fly Radiothon’. It’s set for this Thursday, June 24th, from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm. Listeners can tune into either station. To donate now, visit this website.