The SNJM Youth Justice Forum – Mission accomplished! Very positive results!

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Longueuil, Quebec, Canada, July 23, 2015 – After six days of concentrated activities and exchanges, the 50 participants in the SNJM -Youth Justice Forum left for home full of enthusiasm and ready to take action for social justice on the home front be it in Canada, in the United States, or in Lesotho.

The 2015 SNJM Youth Justice Forum, the third in the series, attracted dynamic young women leaders from 13 schools affiliated with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM). The Forum proved an extraordinary and exhilarating experience of intercultural and intergenerational solidarity for the 15 to 17-year-old participants.

Exchanges, volunteering, learning, and yes enjoying!

Delegates shared their thoughts in group presentations on pressing Forum issues like the trafficking in human beings, the right to safe drinking water, and migration of peoples. Participants discussed and honed the social action work they had been involved with over the school year with their peers.

Forum participants enthusiastically devoted a full day to volunteering with one of six local charitable organizations:

  • The St-Antoine-de-Padoue Co-Cathedral
  • The Maison Jesus–Marie, a seniors’ residence
  • The Repas du passant, a soup kitchen
  • The Beauharnois Maison des enfants Marie-Rose, a community centre for children
  • The Step-up Centre for the intellectually handicapped, and the
  • Moisson Rive-Sud, a food bank.

“I would like to thank the SNJM Youth Justice Forum for last Friday’s visit. This visit was greatly appreciated as it helped the Moisson Rive-Sud achieve its mission”, explained Lysa Villeneuve, Moisson’s events and communications coordinator.

As part of the Forum, participants were actively engaged in laying the groundwork for a social justice project back home. We expect to hear more about the impact of the student’s projects over the coming months.
However, all was not work and the delegates enjoyed free time, many laughs, and the opportunity to be together and to make new friends. Everyone enjoyed the “treasure hunt” in Old Longueuil and Old Saint Lambert. The tour of Old Montreal and the fireworks display will be fondly remembered for years to come.

Many thanks to the volunteers!

This unique event could not have happened without the dedicated work of a dozen core volunteers, and as many as three dozen supporters. While some worked with the teams in preparation for the Forum, others played support roles over the course of the event itself. Our committed volunteer team proved more than equal to the logistical challenges of organizing visits, accommodations and transportation, and of preparing the more than 900 meals that were served over the course of the event.

A Facebook event!

Friends and family were able to follow Forum participants and their activities on a daily basis through a special Youth Justice Forum Facebook page created for this purpose. The Facebook page is still active at SNJMYouthJusticeForum.  Feel free to visit!

A fourth SNJM Youth Justice Forum?

With such a huge success, can we dare to think about a fourth SNJM Youth Justice Forum, and if so, what country will play host? “We think it might be a little bit premature to make a decision on this at this time. Everything depends on the resources and collaborators available”, explained Yvonne Massicotte, SNJM’s Justice and Peace NetworkAdministrative Coordinator, and a key Forum organizer.

More about the SNJM Youth Justice Forum

The SNJM Youth Justice Forum is an international extracurricular activity developed in 2009 to promote collaboration between young people in the common effort to combat injustices and to work for the betterment of the world. It involves students from SNJM founded secondary schools.

About the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) is an international community of Catholic women religious. In their mission, the SNJMs act with the cooperation of associates, lay consecrated persons, volunteers, colleagues and friends. Founded in 1843 in Longueuil, QC, Canada, the congregation carries out its mission of education on three continents. Visit