Solidarity fund

WE INVEST $1 PER PERSON

Since October 1, 2011, we invest $1 per person who travels with Spiritours in this fund for solidarity projects with young people (between 18 and 30 years old) and with people who have experienced homelessness and are registered in a social reintegration program. The objective is to help them realize a travel project to “open their eyes, their hearts and their minds to new horizons of the world and their inner world” as our slogan so aptly puts it.

July 2016, subsidized by the solidarity fund.

BACKPACK PROJECT

Dear Ms. Godbout,

The initiative of Spiritours to offer a free three-day stay at Lac Bouchette allowed our participants in the economic and social reintegration program to take a break from their daily lives of distress and disarray. As soon as they arrived at the Inn, they were impressed by the cleanliness of the place. What for us, seems normal and commonplace.

It should not be forgotten that they lived in unsanitary contexts. The calm and serenity of the place was their second impression. The first night, they had some difficulty adapting to the silence, living constantly in the noise. Little by little, they appreciated the quality of the silence, the serenity of the place.

This stay was a respite from their conditions and allowed them to take a step back from their condition, from their lives. They became more and more open to themselves and to others.

Importantly, throughout the stay, they were able to manage their addiction and not experience any tension about it. One of them took nearly 700 photos that were meaningful to him and many of them are true artistic photos.

The visit to Val Jalbert was, without a doubt, the highlight of the trip, not to mention the visit to the St-Félicien zoo. This breath of fresh air, this balm to the heart and soul was a gift from heaven. These people do not or very rarely have the opportunity to recharge their batteries, to experience beauty and gentleness. We would like to mention the human encounter with the Capuchin who served as a guide during the hike on the site’s trails.

We believe that it is vital that stays like this one be offered to people who are in a transitional stage, who have just moved from the street to social housing and who need support and moral encouragement to continue their journey.

And this type of stay is really part of this reintegration process. The Backpack project hopes that this experience can be repeated for other participants of our program.

When they returned, all the participants had stars in their eyes, a big smile in their heart instead of sadness in their eyes.

The Backpack project is grateful to Spiritours and, in particular, to Anne Godbout, for having chosen to offer a trip that opens the shutters of the heart and mind to the people of Le Sac à Dos who have been on the street. We thank her deeply and you will soon receive the recognition of the people who have experienced this wonderful trip.

Please accept, Dear Anne, our warmest and most sincere thanks.

Nicole Blouin
Communications and Fundraising Coordinator
The Backpack

PABLO VARGAS' PROJECT

Israel 2014, subsidized by the solidarity fund

I think Israel is a very beautiful country, but I think that the Israel I know now is different from the one I imagined before I set foot in this country. Indeed, at the beginning it is like reading a book, you imagine landscapes without really knowing what it looks like. So, for me, the Israel that I imagined, all my imaginary world that I thought I would find in this country collapsed. All the images that I had invented for myself were quickly swept away.

I had to recreate this world that I had always lived in until that moment, but this time from what my eyes saw, what my ears heard, what my nose smelled, what my hands could touch and even what I could taste. Everything I thought before was replaced by this new Israel that I saw with my eyes. It was really a shock for me, but one can get used to it, as I did. For the country that I discovered and experienced bears no resemblance to the one I imagined before I went there. The one I discovered and experienced was much better!

Moreover, during this trip, I also learned the distances between each city or each important place mentioned in the Bible. Now that I am back in Quebec, nothing is the same, because every time I read the Bible, it is no longer this Old World constructed by my imagination that comes to me, but rather the real Israel that I have traveled. It is because of all these wonderful experiences that I have had in Israel, thanks to the Spiritours agency in Montreal, which supported me in the realization of my dream and made it possible, that I wish that other young people like me would open their eyes to this incredible country. May they live an experience like mine, which is still alive in my heart and which I hope will always be.

Pablo Vargas