I thought the program is great. It allowed me to integrate into society and to gain volunteer hours. The family that evolved during this program, we were more than friends, more of a family. 1 – Participant testimony.
Many programs are available to Francophone newcomers in the National Capital Region. “Franc Succès”, hosted by the Vanier Community Services Center, offers something very special. It goes beyond just playing hockey with young participants, showing them Parliament Hill, or taking them to a sugar shack. The program introduces them to community work through a variety of voluntary initiatives the participants often dream up themselves.
In October 2014, for example, Collège catholique Samuel-Genest students enrolled in the Franc Succès program design and implement a series of unique engagements in municipal elections. They sing a song of their own composition in front of the polling station at their school “in order to encourage all those who came to vote, but also to congratulate them on fulfilling their duty as model citizens of the future. The participants also create posters, take to the streets, and shout motivating slogans to encourage people to vote.”2 For their creativity and effort, these Francophone immigrants are rewarded with the first prize in the youth category of the “Making Votes Count” competition organized by the Ottawa Community Development Framework.
Students in the Collège catholique Samuel-Genest Franc Succès Program, accompanied by students in the École secondaire Franco-Cité Franc Succès Program, again distinguish themselves in 2016. They win the Ottawa’s Community Cup, an annual multicultural event hosted by the Catholic Centre for Immigrants during Welcoming Ottawa Week. This event comprises several components, including a friendly soccer tournament, the highlight of the occasion. The team of young Francophone immigrants is also awarded the trophy for best team spirit.