Parrainage civique du Haut-Richelieu has a direct impact on the marginalized people.
Difference is recognized as a kind of social wealth in any healthy society, and Parrainage civique du Haut-Richelieu clearly understands that.
Difference is recognized as a kind of social wealth in any healthy society, and Parrainage civique du Haut-Richelieu clearly understands that. When this Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu-based non-profit agency noticed that certain categories of people are all too often left out of social life and citizen-involvement activities, they decided to change things, one person at a time.
Parrainage civique du Haut-Richelieu (PCHR) encourages social and civic participation among people living with an intellectual disability, on the autism spectrum, or with a physical disability or mental health problem. The agency focuses on personalized interactions that encourage the person’s independence and agency with respect to many different areas of their life, to give them the opportunity to make decisions that directly affect their daily life, and encourage them to develop greater self-confidence.
PCHR’s mission is centred on the desire to break the isolation experienced by many people with intellectual, physical, or mental health disabilities. To do this, the agency is pairing the person with a disability (the “godchild”) with a volunteer mentor from the community (the “godparent”). The goal is to establish a long-term friendship in which empathetic listening, respect, and sharing are mutually beneficial.
Godchilds each set a specific goal for themselves with the help of their godparents and caseworkers. The goal can be to overcome a fear, to take steps to fulfill a wish, or to learn to accomplish a task by themselves. Once the goal is set, the agency develops a learning plan and follows up.
Godchild and their godparents can learn in a safe environment before they try to accomplish the same task out in public. Each time the godparents visit, godchild gain new relationship- and social skills that have a real impact on their quality of life. And as the godchild learn, improve, and succeed at their set goals, they develop a sense of personal accomplishment – which helps them cope with all kinds of situations – while also learning how to set their own limits and how to ask for help when it’s needed.
PCHR’s initiative has a direct impact on the social integration of marginalized people in the region, helping them fully integrate into society and become true agents of change in their community. The agency’s godparents and godchild are committed to true social and civic participation. They are creating their own sense of autonomy and independence.