SUMMERSIDE – Aug. 27, 2020 – After a few months of delays (due to COVID-19 restrictions), RDÉE Prince Edward Island gathered participants of the first year of its « Faut que ça grouille! » (FQCG) youth leadership program Aug. 25 in Summerside to honour them for their great dedication to their community.
After participating in a series of weekend workshops on community engagement and volunteerism over the past year, the 22 youth, from across the province, set out to work to each develop and implement a volunteer initiative in their community. These projects were related to themes such as sports, physical activity, physical and mental health, nutrition, education, early childhood, LBGTQ awareness, promotion of post-secondary education, dance, music and promotion of the French language.
Due to the pandemic, some of the projects have not yet been completed. But the important thing is that the youth have gone through the exercise of designing a project and have taken the steps to implement them.
Speaking on behalf of RDÉE PEI’s board of directors, vice-president Edmond Gallant thanked the youth – teens, post-secondary youth and working young adults – for devoting so much time and effort to the program.
He mentioned that some people are “whiners” who simply express their dissatisfaction through social media and at the local coffee shop but don’t do anything about the problem. True community volunteers at heart don’t whine, he said; “they simply roll up their sleeves and get to work to change the situation they find themselves in.”
“Through the Faut que ça grouille program, we at the RDÉE are trying to help find and develop these young sleeve rollers,” said Gallant. “We can’t create big-hearted volunteers; that is something that is created in families and communities. All we can do is help equip you and increase your self-confidence so that you can get more involved.”
Looking at the results of the first year of the FQCG program, he considers that the objective has been achieved.
The vice-president also noted that youth are not the leaders of tomorrow, as some people may think, but rather they are the leaders of today. He reminded the participants that they have the power to make a difference in their community, their province and their country. “But for change to happen the way you want it to happen, you have to keep getting involved and ask your friends to do the same thing.”
Gallant invited them to take over the community’s future today. He then presented each of them with a beautiful certificate of recognition.
During the evening, which included a supper, coordinators Gilles Arsenault and Imelda Arsenault also offered their thanks and congratulations to the participants and presented them with gifts and door prizes.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Ashley Richard thanked the RDÉE and the coordinators for offering the youth the opportunity to benefit from these great weekend experiences with informative and motivational workshops, in comfortable hotels and with delicious meals. She even encouraged the organizers to use the first-year participants as special guests to come and support the second-year youth (who are currently being recruited).
FQCG is funded by Canada Service Corps.
PHOTO 1: Following the presentation of the certificates, Edmond Gallant, vice-president of RDÉE Prince Edward Island, is seen with five of the the participants (clockwise from Gallant’s position), Emma Sweeney, Maria Arsenault, Ginette Arsenault, Ashley Richard and Dakota Cameron.
PHOTO 2: Edmond Gallant, vice-president of RDÉE PEI, presented certificates to (clockwise from the vice-president) Céline Arsenault, Emily McIsaac, Natalie Gallant, Brittany Arsenault and Miguel Arsenault.
PHOTO 3: The vice-president of RDÉE PEI, Edmond Gallant, presented certificates to (clockwise) Lauren Enman, Riley Arsenault, Janessa Richard, Isabelle Bernard and Sylvain Duguay.
For more information:
Coordinator of Faut que ça grouille ! program
RDÉE Prince Edward Island