Credit union giant Desjardins has announced a partnership with Éducaloi, a charity which provides people with education in their legal rights and responsibilities.
The Desjardins Foundation – the charitable component of Canada’s leading co-operative financial group – is donating $25,000 to support legal education activities and update the content of its resources for school educators. This means Éducaloi, a non-profit organisation formed in 2000, can continue providing free workshops and teaching guides to high schools across Quebec for the seventh consecutive year.
“Éducaloi has been providing high schools with one-of-a-kind educational resources since 2011,” said the charity’s executive director Ariane Charbonneau.
“In order to continue our work, we rely on donations like the timely contribution we’ve just received from the Desjardins Foundation.”
The Éducaloi website provides free teaching guides to help educators and youth workers include legal content in their classes and activities. In 2016/2017, more than 50,000 young people (10% of all high school students) were introduced to legal concepts through seven in-class workshops (477 presentations) and 13 educational toolkits (more than 1,700 downloads) developed by Éducaloi.
In the past year, some 180 volunteer legal professionals – including lawyers, notaries and judges – offered their time to lead the school workshops.
Additionally, the Éducaloi website’s Youth Zone has more than 100 articles on topics of interest for 12- to 17-year-olds.
“We made the decision to support Éducaloi because of its specialised expertise in providing legal education in schools,” said Nancy Lee, manager of the Desjardins Foundation.
“This organisation creates reliable and detailed educational content that gives young people the opportunity to develop essential skills for becoming responsible adults. In doing so, Éducaloi contributes to the academic success of young Quebecers, which is a top priority for Desjardins Group and the main purpose of the Desjardins Foundation.”
François Rolland, former chief judge of the Superior Court of Quebec and chair of the board at Éducaloi, added: “Offering a legal education to 12- to 17-year-olds and students attending adult education centres is one of the foundational pillars of Éducaloi’s mission.
“School is the perfect place to teach tomorrow’s citizens about the legal aspects of everyday situations.”
Éducaloi has also published more 1,200 articles containing legal information for all members of the community, which are freely available on its website, which receives nearly 5 million visits annually.
“This goldmine of content is essential for educating the public on all kinds of topics, such as the protection of youth, families and couples, separation and divorce, employer/employee relations, substance abuse, crimes and citations, and much more,” said Mr Rolland.
“There are no other online sources of information that compare to Éducaloi, and few states can boast of having a neutral, credible and professional organisation dedicated to informing and educating the public.”
Éducaloi’s pioneering work gives Quebecers access to the thousands of documents (in French and English) that have been developed and updated through a continuous tracking system. In addition, Éducaloi’s activities are overseen by a team of 20 competent and dedicated professionals from various fields.
Founded in 1970, the Desjardins Foundation is a charitable organisation that contributes to young people’s academic success by awarding prizes, scholarships and donations, and by supporting key partner organisations.
This year, it says it will distribute over $2.1m in Quebec and Ontario, helping over 130,000 young people. It also supports various projects promoting co-operation, democracy and community involvement.