Mohamed Maazami and his wife came to Quebec in 1989 and quickly became attached to their new neighbourhood of Saint-Michel in Montreal. A very grateful person, Mr. Maazami knows how to give back to the community for the benefits it provides. He became involved in the community right away and intends to stay involved.
In 1999, he started working with the Joujouthèque Saint-Michel, whose mission is to make people aware of the importance of toys and play in childhood development and to foster the parent-child relationship to prevent or decrease developmental delays.
Over the years, Mr. Maazami noticed that young people in the northwest sector of Saint- Michel were getting left behind, as there was no youth or community centre in the area. For Mr. Maazami, the solution to a neighbourhood problem is always in the neighbourhood itself. In 2011, he asked the Joujouthèque to help him set up an academic perseverance resource for neighbourhood youth. This was the start of the Phare de l’espoir, a place for students aged 7 to 16 to get listening, support and encouragement from volunteer university students. This project has been a great success, as the youth who come to the program build skills, self-confidence and motivation.
The Phare de l’espoir has grown over the years and developed a partnership with the École Louis-Joseph-Papineau. The generous work of volunteers also plays a very meaningful role in this success.
Mr. Maazami’s sense of wonder and his ability to dream of a better world are what compel people to help him. He made a convincing case for the needs of the sector's youth to many community, educational and municipal stakeholders, all of whom attest to his perseverance, humility and loyalty.
Mohamed Maazami often asks, “What can I do for my neighbourhood?” The answer is a great many things, as history has shown.
Centraide has been supporting Joujouthèque Saint-Michel since 2011.
Mohamed Maazami are the winner of the 2017 Solidaires Citizen Involvement.