Since October 1st 2011, we invest 1$ for each person traveling with Spiritours into this Fund. It aims to provide solidarity projects for youth (between 18 and 30 years of age) and for people who have been homeless and are now enrolled in a social reintegration program.
Our goal is to help them participate in a travel project in order for them to ‘open their eyes, their heart and their mind to new horizons and to the world within them’, as our motto says it so well.
Our latest Project financed by Spiritours Solidarity Fund
Montreal, October 26, 2016
To: Mrs Anne Godbout and Spiritours team
Re: Personal renewal trip at Bouchette Lake for former homeless people enrolled in the social and economical reinsertion program at Le Sac a Dos.
Dear Mrs Godbout,
Spiritours’ initiative to offer a 3 day courtesy trip to Lac Bouchette has allowed our Economic and social reintegration program participants to take a break from their sad day-to-day lives.
As soon as they arrived at the inn, they were very impressed by its cleanliness. For us, it was a normal, banal thing that we were taking for granted, but we should not forget that the participants had lived in unclean environments. The second thing that impressed them was the calm and quiet surroundings. So much so that, the first night, they found it a little difficult to adapt to the silence, as they had always lived in noisy environments. But gradually they grew to appreciate the silence and the serenity of the place.
This trip was a break from their usual living conditions and a chance to get some perspective on their lives. They became more and more open to themselves and others. Very importantly, all throughout the trip, they were able to deal with their dependence issues and not live any tensions related to them. One of the participants took almost 700 photos of things that were significant for him, and many of them are real art pieces.
The highlight of the trip was, beyond any doubt, the trip to the Historic Village of Val Jalbert, as well as the St-Félicien zoo. These trips were a breath of fresh air and a balm for their hearts and souls, truly god-sent. These people had only rarely had the opportunity to decompress and experience beauty and kindness. We should also mention the meeting with the Capuchin friar who was our guide during our visit of the site and its nature’s pathways. We believe that it is vital that trips like this continue to be offered to people who are in a transition phase from homelessness to social housing and who need support and moral encouragement on their path. And this trip did exactly that. Le Sac a Dos team wishes to repeat the experience for other participants in our program.
Upon their return, all the participants had a light in their eyes, a big smile, and joy had replaced the sadness in their eyes.
Le Sac a Dos is grateful to Spiritours and particularly to Anne Godbout, for their initiative to offer a heart and mind-opening journey to former homeless Backpacker participants. We are sending you our deepest gratitude; you will shortly be receiving thanks from the participants of this amazing experience.
With warmest regards,
Communications and fundraising coordinator at Le Sac a Dos
Project Pablo, 2014 (subsidized to participate in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land)
Israel to me is a beautiful country, but I believe that the Israel that I know now is different from the one I imagined before setting foot in this country. Indeed, at the start it feels like reading a book, you imagine sceneries without knowing how it looks like for real.
So, the Israel that I imagined, all my imaginary world that I dreamt to find collapsed. All the images that I had invented for myself were quickly swept away. I had to recreate this world in which I had always lived until now, but this time it was with what my eyes were seeing, what my ears were hearing, what my nose smelled, everything my hands could touch and what I could taste as well. All my old thoughts were replaced by this new Israel that I witnessed with my eyes. It was a real chock for me, but one can get used to it, as I did. For the land that I discovered and came to know has no resemblances to the one I imagined before visiting it. It was much better!
In addition, during this trip, I also learnt what the distances were that separated each City or each important location mentioned in the Bible. Now that I have returned to Quebec, nothing is the same, as every time I read the Bible, it is no longer this ancient world conceived by my imagination that comes to me, but rather the real Israel that I have travelled.
It is because of all the magnificent experiences that I have lived in Israel thanks to Spiritours in Montreal that supported me to realize my dream and made it possible, that I wish for other young people like me to have the chance to open their eyes in this incredible country. That they may live an experience like mine, which is still very alive in my heart and I hope will remain forever.