Intercultural studies 

ANG 160 Fall 2005

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Intercultural service of  Sherbrooke

by Stéphanie Perreault

Actions interculturelles de développement et d’éducation (AIDE)

 

Did you know that the region of Estrie is one of places preferred by immigrants? In 1996, statistics showed that the municipality of Sherbrooke is the location where we counted the higher proportion of immigrants, which represents 5% of its whole population. To assume this increasing rate of newcomers, the region evidently had to adapt itself. In this movement of population, different associations have consequently been created to help newcomers being well integrated. ²Actions interculturelles de développement et d’éducation² (AIDE) is one interesting organisation instituted in Sherbrooke that shows how the region is now well-organized to welcome them.

 

AIDE is one of the biggest non-profit associations in the region. It is not only concentrating its efforts on welcoming immigrants, they also research and sensitize people to comprehend and be aware of preconceptions of other cultures that are often mixed up with stereotypes. In addition, this association develops knowledge on the management of cultural diversity and give access to technological education.

Created in 1990 at the Université de Sherbrooke, this association was first known under the name “Association interculturelle de l’Université de Sherbrooke”. At that time, increasing intercultural exchanges on the University campus was their main goal. Through different projects, this little association started to enlarge its interventions and its activities to be available to the whole population. With this fast evolution, the “Association interculturelle de l’Université de Sherbrooke” decided to changed its name to adapt it to their new reality. As a result in 1996, “Actions interculturelles de l’Estrie inc.(AIDE) became the official name of the association.” Year after year, bigger projects were continually planned and organised. For example, “Jeunesse Estrie-Maroc”, which became later “Jeunesse Estrie-Maroc-Brésil” was one of their world wide activities. Everything considered, they realised that their field of action was going farther than our region; it was now a world wide association. It is now a decade after the association was born and it has changed its name again for something that would not only refer to the Estrie region: “Actions interculturelles de développement et d’éducation (AIDE).  

 

 

 

      Became

 

 

 

In 2004, AIDE have now been the leader of more than a hundred different projects. Precisely, the association divides its activities into four categories. The first part includes everything related to the “stages”. These “stages” are projects in which people can go to another country to help and to see their reality. The second part, called “Portails”, is based on exchanges between artists of different cultures that are paired to enrich their knowledge through different activities. The third part incorporates projects that need or that are related to the computer sciences. The fourth category is intercultural animation. Concretely, this part of their work contains different activities that AIDE proposes and/or organises. For example, “le mois de l’histoire des noirs” and the “Semaine québécoise des relations interculturelles” are kinds of activities built up by the AIDE association to achieve their goals.

 

Finally, “Actions interculturelles de développement et d’éducation » is a helpful association for Sherbrooke’s immigrants to use. Its fast evolution in the last decade let us clearly understand how useful it is and how people appreciate it. After all, if statistics continue to show us an increasing immigrant rate, will this association have to change its name again in a decade from here…?

 

Bibliography

Actions interculturelles de développement et d’éducation (AIDE) (Consulted on October 21st, 2005)

http://www.aide.org/index.php

 

Institute de la statistique du Québec, collection Les Régions, Recensement de la population 1996-1991-1986, Données comparatives et Faits Saillants. p.10

Available online: http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/publications/regional/pdf3/reg05_3-2.pdf