After six days of intense activities and discussion, the some 50 participants at the SNJM Youth Justice Forum left the site, energized and ready to continue their social involvement at home in Canada, the United States and Lesotho.
We remind you that this Forum was to provide an experience of intercultural and intergenerational solidarity for High School students between the ages of 15 and 17, and who are representatives of 13 schools affiliated with the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM).
Discussions, volunteering, discoveries and pleasure!
Through group presentations, the participants shared their reflections on the following themes: human trafficking, water as a right for all, and immigration. They also shared with their peers information on social projects in which they had been involved during the school year.
Also, six charitable organizations welcomed these providential volunteers for a very full day of work:
· The co-cathedral of Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue,
· Maison Jésus-Marie, a residence for the elderly,
· le Repas du Passant, a soup kitchen,
· la Maison des enfants Marie-Rose de Beauharnois, a community center for children,
· la ressource Step up, for people with intellectual disabilities, and finally
· Moisson Rive-Sud.
" I would like to thank the SNJM Youth Justice Forum for their visit last Friday. This visit, which helped Moisson Rive-Sud to accomplish its mission, was greatly appreciated". commented Lysa Villeneuve, communications and events coordinator at Moisson Rive-Sud, an organization committed to food assistance programs.
Finally, the event was also punctuated by some much appreciated leisure time. Besides a treasure hunt organized in Vieux-Longueuil and Vieux-Saint-Lambert, their stay was highlighted by a visit to Old Montreal and a fireworks display. Added to this were lots of laughs and new friendships.
Throughout the event, the friends and families of the participants were able to follow their daily activities through a Facebook page created for the occasion and which is still available online at the following address: SNJMYouthJusticeForum.
Bravo to the volunteers!
This unique event could never have happened without the constant work of more than a dozen volunteers and the occasional involvement of about thirty others. While some were involved with the preparation of the teams before they left for the Forum, others accompanied them during the event. And what can we say about the work that was done on site to assure the logistics? In addition to organizing the visits, the transportation and the accommodations, more than 900 meals were served during the event.
Moving towards a fourth edition?
Faced with such success, can we envisage a fourth edition of this event, and if so, which country will host it? "We are thinking about it, but it is still premature to make a decision at this point, because much depends on the resources and the collaboration available", explained Yvonne Massicotte, SNJM, Administrative Coordinator of the SNJM Justice and Peace Network and organizer of the Forum.