La Corde Youth Centre in Montréal Making a Difference

"My experiences at la Corde have been amazing. I was able to learn about life skills as well as create a relationship with God and learn more about Jesus."

Hello my name is Asmick Jean-Jacques. I am the director of La Corde Youth Centre. I work in the community of Cloverdale. I am here to talk a little about my community. Cloverdale is located in Montréal in the province of Québec, Canada.

We serve a community that is very diverse. We are talking about 56 different nationalities.

So, we have Ivonians and Congolese, Haitians and several communities here in Pierrefonds. Cloverdale is a neighbourhood at risk. A neighbourhood where there are different social issues and difficulties. Difficulties in terms of problems and development. Difficulties for young people in particular.

We are talking about 1800 children. The families we support are generally newcomers.

Youth for Christ Montréal about 15 years ago, we had a vision: a vision to make an impact in the community and we implemented the centre.

LaCorde is a place of contemplation, a place for the development of the children, because we want to make an impact in the lives of children and families through different programs.

We love the Lord and we believe that the Lord is the one who can restore lives.

Name some of the people that God asks us to honour…the elders, the elderly. We must honour them.

I was lost because when I was 13 my parents got divorced.

So, it was a very difficult time for me and I dedicated myself. I had several depressions, tons of depression. But after that, two years ago, I reconnected with a pastor and he gave me a job. He was there for me during the hardest times of my life.

He is my mentor today to help me achieve my dreams, push me financially and physically mentally and spiritually.

/// Singing Hosanna //

We have set up this other specific program. One of the programs that we have put in place is the nutrition program. This program consists of feeding the children every morning before school.

They come here, have breakfast before going to school. We want to make sure they have a bellyfull. Around noon they come back here once again to the centre and we give them a hot meal. And after school, they come back here. Again we give them a snack and we help them with their homework. All this is so that they can achieve academic success.

And once they have achieved this academic success, we believe they can break this cycle of poverty.

And we, here, by agreement, we don’t just use the food or do academic programs. God loves these children. He has an extraordinary plan for his children.

Our goal is to connect them to God. So that’s what we’ve been doing here for 15 years now. And we have seen an extraordinary change in the children who come here to the centre. They were between five and six years old and today they are adults. They are studying at university, and they are married.

My experiences at la Corde have been amazing. I was able to learn about life skills as well as create a relationship with God and learn more about Jesus.

It has not only impacted me but my whole family who have been able to come to la Corde.

And now that I am 19 I am able to be the camp director which is called l’Arche.

And basically my role is to make sure that all the kids have an amazing time as well as have the same experience that I did when I was younger.

Basically my role is to impact the younger ones with what I have learnt over these past years.

And we have a lot of activities with the younger ones, And my goal is to impact the way that I have been impacted.

We also want to inspire other young people to become what God calls them to become and also to make an impact around them in society.

We want them to take a stand at the level of the faith, at the higher level of their convictions. And also reach out to other people. So they are called to stand up for Christ and to make a difference in the world.

So, this is how we inspire our young people.