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Blog – LoveMontreal.org



Thiru is a #NextDoorNeighbour

At the age of three, Thiru* and his parents left their home country of Sri Lanka to create a new life for themselves in Montreal. This was not an uncommon goal for many Tamils, the minority group in Sri Lanka, who lived in of fear of the government as a result of the civil war that plagued the country for over twenty years.

Thiru grew up in Park Extension, an area that immigrants from around the world have been calling home since the 1950’s. Despite living near one another, Thiru viewed the Tamil community as fragmented, with each person moving along an individual path towards a new life.

As recent University graduates, Thiru and his friends decided to create an organization that would bring the Tamil community together by supporting the development of young Tamil professionals. In 2013, the Montreal Tamil Alumni Network was founded. Three years later, the organization has over 300 Facebook members and can expect a minimum of 50 people per event.

Read on to learn more about Thiru’s conception of MTAN and his understanding of community development.

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Sara Pichet is a #NextDoorNeighbour

Working with a group of energetic, strong-minded teenage boys could sound more intimidating than exciting to most, but for Sara Pichet it’s “the best part” about Tutors For Warriors.

It all started with family chatter around the dinner table. Sharing the latest news, Sara’s brother explained how his fellow football players were at risk of being kicked off the community team as a consequence of reckless behaviour. Having grown up a soccer player for her local team in LaSalle, Sara not only understood the importance of playing a sport, but also of being able to do the thing she loved.  This marked the first spark of Tutors for Warriors, which in 2011 became a weekly after school tutoring program for the Warriors football team, ages 13-17.

Four years and a crew of volunteers later, the program has become a hub for both learning and guidance.

How did TFW develop? What has come out of it? What can Sara tell us about her understanding of leadership? Community development? We wanted to find out, so we chatted with the founder on the bleachers of the Riverside Football Field on practice night. Read More

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