Équipiste, a Project that’s going a long way
Campbell’s Bay, May 29, 2020 – La Défriche is proud to support Équipiste, a social entrepreneurship project that consists of outfitting the PPJ with bike repair stations and establishing partnerships with local merchants along the bike path to sell repair equipment and tools to PPJ users. This project also aims to strengthen the spirit of entrepreneurship and community belonging among young people from the Pontiac and show the entire community that young people, with simple actions, can create sustainable and useful projects in their community.
Équipiste, a project designed by a group of students from École secondaire Sieur-de-Coulonge, responds to a real need observed in the field: some PPJ users had to shorten their trip due to a lack of resources to repair their bikes. Supported by La Défriche and the Lab Finance, the group mobilized in January to set up the project, then presented it to the Council of mayors in February. The project was received with great enthusiasm by the elected officials, and was unanimously supported. The mayors were keen to stress the unifying nature of the project and its long-term impact on the community.
The development of the project has continued despite the pandemic, and last week, three repair stations were delivered by Biciborne and installed by the MRC Pontiac. Funding for this equipment was provided by La Défriche.
The stations, installed in Vinton, Bristol and Waltham, are equipped with an air pump and various tools (screwdriver, wrench, set of Allen wrenches, pair of tire levers, etc.). They are also protected from the weather and secured by stainless steel cables. The GPS coordinates of the stations will be displayed on the Biciborne and Vélo-Québec maps. The MRC Pontiac, after receiving the appropriate training from Biciborne, will ensure the long-term maintenance of the equipment.
This is a first phase that has been successfully completed. The students in charge of the project will work over the next few months to develop a marketing strategy and establish partnerships with local merchants. Équipiste will be enhanced in the coming years, not only with these private and public partnerships, but also with the addition of several other stations that will improve the experience and safety of cyclists and users of the PPJ, which is part of the Route Verte, the longest bicycle path in North America.
La Défriche is very proud to be able to mentor and support local youth in this initiative and to provide them with the opportunity to develop their skills in social entrepreneurship and community action.
La Défriche is the local and unique version of the Créneau carrefour jeunesse program, launched in 2016 by the Secrétariat à la jeunesse du Québec. This program aims, through its various components and parts, to equip young people with the tools they need to persevere in school, achieve personal and social autonomy, become more entrepreneurial, volunteer, and get involved in decision-making tables in their community.
The Carrefour jeunesse-emploi du Pontiac was established in 1998 to complement and enhance the services offered until then by the Club de recherche d’emploi du Pontiac (1985). Sortir du bois, the training business, was also created in 1998. The company’s goal is to create a bridge between the potential workforce and employers in the region.
The Carrefour is a dynamic and committed player within the MRC Pontiac and all of its staff is committed to offering personalized service to each of its clients in a warm and welcoming environment.
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Karim El Kerch,
Youth Projects Coordinator
Carrefour jeunesse-emploi du Pontiac