Toujours ensemble reaches close to a 1,000 people and gives out some 235 Christmas baskets every year
274 elementary and high school students participate in the Parcours program
24% of Toujours ensemble members were born outside of Canada, coming from 39 different countries
Close to 600 young people regularly attend afternoon activities annually
Toujours ensemble was founded in 1979 and has been operating within the Montréal borough of Verdun since 1986. Since its inception, it is a meeting place for those with often few other resources at their disposal, a place where meals are provided, where educational assistance is given and the true heart of a caring community is found.
Through a variety of specialized programs Toujours ensemble provides a structured and supportive environment for children from low-income families, giving them the opportunity to make important connections and develop a sense of belonging and well-being. The organization continues to adapt its programs to meet the needs of its ever-changing community. Toujours ensemble works specifically within Verdun’s Wellington-De L’Église sector whose residents experience a high degree of social, academic, family and cultural challenges.
Toujours ensemble runs a number of programs for youth in the community including the Parcours program where members can attend a summer camp, get homework assistance or take part in recreational activities. For homework assistance, for example, students have access to 10 computers and a library with 2,100 books and references located in Toujours ensemble’s facility. For about 60 primary students at two schools with a high level of poverty, Toujours ensemble provides healthy, balanced lunches for a nominal fee.
Working with Pathways to Education Canada, Verdun schools and local families, Toujours ensemble offers the Passeport pour ma réussite program which supports students entering high school earn their high school diploma or vocational certificate. Through the program, students are provided with mentors and academic, social and financial support. The success rate has been remarkable with 94 per cent of graduates in the Passeport pour ma réussite program continuing their studies beyond high school.
From October to June, the Sac à dos program provides primary students with two specialized activities per week taking place from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The activities include academic support, reading workshops, recreational and educational workshops, and family activities.
“The approach taken by Toujours ensemble has been quite pragmatic since its inception in 1979,” says Luc Reny, Vice-President of Power Corporation. “When a need arises in the community, Toujours ensemble finds an effective way to address it. With more than a hundred volunteers, Toujours ensemble is a true grassroots organization.”
“With the support of the community and partners like Power Corporation, Toujours ensemble is proud to accompany Verdun’s youth to reach their full potential. Seeing these young people thrive, grow and achieve their goals, slowly but surely, is one of the greatest gifts that our work here can offer us,” says Bineta Ba, Executive Director of Toujours ensemble.