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28 May 2009

First edition of LOJIQ awards

Minister Arcand presents the LOJIQ top award to Sébastien Dubois. Photo: Roch Théroux

Twelve international youth mobility projects were singled out for honours on May 27 in the National Assembly, during the first-ever LOJIQ awards ceremony. Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, presented the top prize.

The top award went to Sébastien Dubois, a young entrepreneur who hopes to market an artificial foot that stores the walkers’ energy and propels the person’s leg forward, allowing the wearer of the prosthesis to run. Designed for victims of antipersonnel mines, the innovative prosthesis can be manufactured for the modest cost of $10. Sébastien Dubois was singled out for the entrepreneurial, social and scientific characteristics of his project and his humanitarian concern.

Eleven other awards were presented to participants in projects deployed thanks to Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (LOJIQ), in the following areas: citizen involvement, sustainable development, entrepreneurship, employment and training, sociovocational integration, arts and crafts, and culture and communications. A special homage was paid to Jean-Paul L’Allier, first Secretary General of the Office franco-québécois pour la jeunesse (OFQJ), who was the source of inspiration for the creation of the various youth offices under the LOJIQ umbrella.

In the words of Minister Arcand, “We can’t talk about international action, influence and solidarity without stressing the importance of the role played by youth. They are at the heart of Québec’s international action. They are tomorrow’s workers, investors, entrepreneurs and leaders. In an increasingly global world, it is therefore imperative that our young people be aware of situations, opportunities and challenges, not only in Québec but also beyond our borders.”

Year in, year out, close to 4,000 young Québec adults deploy foreign projects thanks to LOJIQ, which groups together the Office franco-québécois pour la jeunesse (OFQJ), the Office Québec-Amériques pour la jeunesse (OQAJ), the Office Québec Wallonie Bruxelles pour la jeunesse (OQWBJ) and the Office Québec-Monde pour la jeunesse (OQMJ).

LOJIQ (in French)
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