O4AY hosts its first French-language webinar
May 29, 2020
The purpose of the webinar was to launch a series of conversations aimed at helping youth facing unemployment amid the Covid-19 pandemic. During the webinar, 65 viewers tuned in from across Canada.
Our youth panel included Émelie, a former server and Marie-Noelle, a 20-year old Cégep student.
“It’s a very uncertain period, we don’t know what will happen, when it will happen or if it will happen. I try to take things one day at a time, because I tend to get really anxious and stress over these types of things, so I try to see things as they are in the present moment, and hope that things will get better quickly,” said Marie-Noelle.
Émelie, 25, recently lost her job as a server in a café. Like, Marie-Noelle, she is uncertain about the future and has many questions about whether she will get her job back or if she’ll have to look for a new job. Being at home, she says is proving to be difficult.
“My family is in another country and I already don’t see them often, now I don’t know when I’m going to be able to see them,” Émelie said.
The panel included two employment experts, Ève Cyr from CJE Hochelaga and Christian Lepage from Opération Placement Jeunesse, who provided practical and tactical advice on how to find new employment and skills training opportunities.
Cyr said that although the pandemic forced the majority of CJE employment agencies to close their doors, they are still very much virtually connected to the community. They’re also making concerted efforts to ensure their clients remain supported by facilitating connections with community food banks, mental health support organizations.
“This can be an ideal moment to prepare your job search tools, prepare for your return to school, take steps to prepare for remote working environments, and there can also be some great moments for self-reflection,” said Cyr in response to youth facing unemployment.
Cyr also added that remaining connected is important for your mental health. She said that reaching out to friends and family, and even joining social media groups or local organizations is a great way to stay involved while combating isolation.Christian Lepage also offered some sound advice to the youth panelists.
“This is the time to take a break and take stock. What is most essential for you? What is working? Who and what is the most important to you? Get back to basics, as they say, but most importantly, stay in the moment and have a routine,” said Lepage to the youth panel.
The expert panel also included Gérald Mongeau, director of Maison Vivre, a non-profit organization that assists those struggling with depression. Mongeau reminded the audience that we were in mental health week. “To feel something is to receive a message. If you’re experiencing an unpleasant emotion, there’s something that needs to be addressed,” he said.
The webinar was moderated by Patrick Bizindavyi, junior specialist, community relations, Radio-Canada, Ontario.
Experts also shared dozens of helpful resources, from employment and skills training to financial assistance and support.
To hear all the advice our panelists shared in the webinar, see below for the full video.