Mony loves the variety of tasks she has as a centre aide for Fraser Valley Child Development Centre in Abbotsford. (Communitas photo: Amanda de Waal)

Mony loves the variety of tasks she has as a centre aide for Fraser Valley Child Development Centre in Abbotsford. (Communitas photo: Amanda de Waal)

Communitas and child development centre in Abbotsford team up for inclusive employment

Employee shares her experience giving back as a ‘valuable team member’

Monyca (Mony) loves her job. She works at the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre (FVCDC), a place where she’s able to use her gifts and is supported by the staff team.

She is responsible for a variety of tasks, including unlocking and unarming the buildings if she’s first to arrive, and setting up rooms for physiotherapy sessions or group gym classes.

Mony sanitizes surfaces, waters plants, and keeps the walkway swept clean. She’s also learning to navigate the organization’s social media platform.

“I do a lot of different things,” she says. “I like that variety.”

This employment experience is a way for Mony to give back. FVCDC supported her as a child growing up with disabilities; now she’s able to support other children in the same way.

Amanda de Waal is an employment specialist with Communitas Supportive Care Society. Amanda says that Mony brings a wealth of experience to her role as a centre aide.

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“Mony has a passion for working with children. She volunteers with children at her church and loves interacting with nieces and nephews,” de Waal says. “She has a deep desire to learn and has such a positive attitude. She brings a lot to the job.”

When talking about the children who are supported through FVCDC, Mony’s face lights up.

“I love working with the children,” she says. “Last week, I got to help one little boy learn how to crawl. It was so fun.”

Mony came to work at FVCDC in the fall of 2021 through a Canada Youth Employment program grant. An Opportunities Fund program from the BC Centre for Ability has allowed the organization to extend her employment.

Don Davis, the director of finance and facilities for FVCDC and Mony’s supervisor, says she is a valuable team member.

“Mony brings to her work an infectious smile and a friendly greeting to everyone she meets,” Davis says. “She is very good at remembering names and takes pride in saying hello to all of her co-workers. Mony is enthusiastic about her work and is eager to learn new tasks and take on new responsibilities.”

Lisa Gunn, the communication and development manager for FVCDC, also affirms Mony’s strengths and is grateful for her help with fundraising events.

“Mony is so reliable. She knows how to greet people and make them feel welcome,” Gunn says.

De Waal says FVCDC is an excellent, inclusive employer that truly understands the value of hiring someone for their abilities.

“The staff at FVCDC are beyond inclusive. It truly feels like family when you’re there,” she says. “And the beauty is, they wanted Mony for who she is, not just to fill an empty role.”

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The positive partnership between Communitas and FVCDC is felt on both sides. Davis is grateful for the support that de Waal has given Mony on her employment journey.

“We’ve been blessed to have Communitas help us to make Mony’s work experience with us as successful as it can be,” he says.

Having a job that uses her gifts – with an employer who understands, encourages, and celebrates her – means a lot to Mony. De Waal says she hopes that telling this story will paint a full picture of who Mony really is.

“She is an amazing individual. Yes, I’ve gotten to work behind the scenes to make sure all goes smoothly, but it is Mony who continues to show up and journey towards the goodness in this world. I am so proud.”

Visit CommunitasCare.com/services/community-living-employment or fvcdc.org for more information.

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