This profile was prepared when Lucie Chagnon was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
Lucie Chagnon is harmonizing employee-employer relationships through the first online open market for the provision of life-work balance services. This system of services that she has created helps employers become more sensitive to critical employee issues like health problems, reduced quality time with family and less productivity at work.
The New Idea
I was elected for Commodus, the first online work-life balance service harmonizing employee-employer relationships. I have since returned to the field of community relations, and am currently engaged in a neighbourhood capacity-building strategy at Montreal’s Centre Bon Courage. My work at the Centre supports strategies to reach out to over 360 families in the surrounding apartment buildings, mostly of African, Asian, and Latino immigrants. These families share common space as they struggle to settle with difficult life conditions. The neighbourhood is unfortunately characterised by poverty, isolation, language difficulties, unemployment, and episodes of tension and delinquency.
From a food bank to a day camp, and language courses to library and computer access, the Centre fosters community and increases neighbourhood participation. The Centre also proudly owns a web radio with a very large audience where men and women of all ages and nationalities share their stories. As many residents are also volunteers, it reflects cooperation, mutual assistance, and reciprocity. The Centre has been honored several times by the city of Montreal. Bon Courage could be translated with different sense: wishing you well, hang in there, or good luck. In terms of marketing, this name is not a seller; yet it is significant because it was chosen by the residents. There is a strong message inresidents stating that they are here to build a better life and seek solutions when times are hard. As people have the opportunity to meet, talk, play, and support each other, they learn to fight together to build better lives.