National Adult Literacy Database
(The name of the National Adult Literacy Database [NALD] was changed to Copian on September 30, 2013.)
In the heart of Saint‑Boniface, Winnipeg's officially bilingual community, an organization founded in 1982 by and for women in Manitoba celebrated its 30th anniversary in October. The theme of the celebration was "Thirty years of living in harmony."
To celebrate the anniversary, Pluri‑elles set up a committee with the mandate to honour all those with ties to the organization (members of the board of directors, employees, partners, clients, government officials, etc.). The committee also decided to do things differently. Rather than organize activities for the community, it invited people to submit ideas for workshops.
Mona Audet, the organization's executive director, explained, "As you know, we could have asked specific individuals to facilitate workshops. We wanted to do something different. We wanted to give people outside of our circle a chance to take part. Today, I am pleased to say that, for most of the workshop facilitators, this opportunity represented their first involvement with the organization. It's fantastic…. Our strategy worked!"
The 30th anniversary and the annual general meeting took place on October 13, 2012, at the University of Saint‑Boniface. Various workshops were held on a range of topics, from climate change to time management for home‑based workers, as well as online book publishing and selling.
Initially, Pluri‑elles was a resource centre with a mission to help Franco‑Manitoban women who wished to enter the workforce. The Pluri‑elles team soon realized that some women were having difficulty finding a job or even just making the decision to return to the workforce. The team also noticed that some women did not have the knowledge required to get back into the workforce.
"So, as always," Ms. Audet said, "an initiative was undertaken to help these women. We then set up community action programs for children (CAPC), a family services program and referral services, such as the project to end violence against women."
In 1990, International Literacy Year provided an opportunity to conduct a study of the needs of Franco‑Manitoban women. "That same year," said Ms. Audet, "we opened the Centre Alpha Saint‑Boniface. Since then, the literacy programs have provided services to more than 10 centres and 20 communities."
Pluri‑elles is a team of 30 people who work in various sectors either in the regional offices or in the Saint‑Boniface office. "Our main work is family violence prevention, which is very important for the organization," said Ms. Audet. "Pluri‑elles (Manitoba) Inc. is an organization for women, and this issue remains a priority. The team also ensures that it listens to the community and that it meets clients' needs."
"For example," said Ms. Audet, "someone contacted the organization to find out if there were computer courses offered in French for seniors. I did some research, and I contacted the organization that works with these clients. Since it did not offer courses of this sort, Pluri‑elles decided to provide the service."
To address bullying in schools, the organization hosted workshops in francophone environments. Pluri‑elles also developed a partnership with eight schools to help youth succeed academically by setting up a program to help with homework.
For the past 30 years, Pluri‑elles has been providing resources in job hunting, peer support and counselling, adult and family literacy, and family violence prevention. It also provides parenting workshops as part of community action programs for children, budgeting programs, computer courses and much more.
In short, Pluri‑elles (Manitoba) Inc. is an invaluable resource for the Franco‑Manitoban community.