Committed to giving disabled children the chance to learn to swim
When your child is autistic, suffers from Down Syndrome or has a hearing or visual impairment, the resources available for teaching them to swim are rare and, above all, very costly. To remedy the situation, students at McGill University decided to join forces and establish the Making Waves Montreal program that offers private swimming lessons for a special clientele at a cost that is almost… symbolic. Requiring a great deal of patience and perseverance as well as a good dose of creativity, the 60 or so volunteer instructors give children the chance to progress and discover their true potential. Having reached out to close to 100 children since it was founded in 2004, the Making Waves program, spurred on by its success, has begun sharing its recipe with other Canadian universities. Making Waves McMaster in Hamilton is already up and running and another should soon be operational in London.
Committed to sending cooperants abroad to help build a more equitable society
Drawing inspiration from the UN’s millennium development goals, Éclosion’s mission is to help local communities attain their full potential and pool their resources in order to fight poverty and exclusion. To attain these goals, since 2003 Éclosion has been establishing lasting ties with community development organizations in Cameroon and more recently in Chile and India. In concrete terms, the 70 student members have assisted several groups of women and young people, helping enhance their education and socio-economic emancipation. In 2007, the association even hosted an annual symposium focusing on education and cooperation with the goal of advocating the development of inter-university networks along the same lines as Éclosion. It goes without saying that all the students involved benefited from an enriching and rewarding experience.