On January 17 and 18, 2020, I was responsible for Chantiers jeunesse’s stand at the One Conference, an ecumenical gathering at the Edmonton Convention Centre in Alberta. I was accompanied by Priscille De Bonté Poeri, an outreach and development officer at Chantiers jeunesse.

The first evening mainly consisted of setting up our stand and creating our display. There weren’t a lot of visitors that night, but we met our stand neighbours and explained Chantier jeunesse’s mission to them.

The next day was eventful though! The visitors walked around the main hall where we set up our stand. They were quite interested in Chantiers jeunesse and everything that the organization does nationally and internationally. We also showed them a promotional video that highlighted a lot of sequences shot at the volunteer project I did in Sainte-Thérèse in Quebec during summer 2018. I often had the chance to share my experience as an ambassador and volunteer as well. I chose to describe the tasks I did during my volunteer project at Jardin des Sources, which included laying down gravel, planting flowers, weeding and raking. I also explained how this was beneficial for the residents of Sainte-Thérèse, especially for the elderly who lived at the retirement home near the park.

The people who visited our stand were very interested and enthusiastic. I actually have a funny anecdote to share. Even though they only spoke a few words of French, when Anglophones saw our banner, they would often tell me that they easily understood the word “Chantiers” in “Chantiers jeunesse”. They thought it meant “choir” when it actually means “volunteer project”!

In the end, I’m certain that this event increased Chantiers jeunesse’s visibility in western Canada and that we were able to attract many potential volunteers. I’m really happy that I’ve had the opportunity to share my experience, particularly the ones related to my volunteer project.

Aidan Macpherson, CJ ambassador