Waska was founded on April 26, 1982, when students in a St. Foy, Quebec, technical institute join a “human relationships class” group in order to unite forces under one organization called “Club 3E”. This non-profit entity has given itself a mission: to help people overcome problems with work exeperience and related training issues. Also, the club becomes a mutual help network. Then follows a great evolution over nearly three decades!
Right from the beginning, the organization takes a modular-shaped form of operation, where each of the elements pursue a specific goal, intended to a specific clientèle. Claudette Lemieux implements the “Aide-Amitié” section (help & friendship) taking care of the social needs of the members. Marc Dubé sets the “sports, activities and environmental awareness group”. Jean-François Néron manages the learning workshops and experiential groups.
In 1983, the NPO is then renamed “Waska” and offers its workshops in a basement classroom of the St. Ursule Church in St. Foy, Quebec. To fund its humanitarian endeavours, the organization sells “English learning workshops” and “French as a second language workshops” at a fair tariff. To other associations in the neighbourhood, it is a strange mode of operation. Not used to social economy in those years, they make fun of Waska and dub it “insidious commercial entity”. Today, social economy is the modern way (in Canada) to operate a non-profit organization. It is the way of the future since associations learn to be cost-effective and autonomous, which lightens the socio-economic burden of the community. Waska still offers the linguistic workshops and compiles 26 years of exeprience doing so!
1988 is a year marked by the entry of office automation in the widespread world of management. Waska launches its “computer learning workshops“. Business is rolling and the NPO moves into its very own office, at 955 de Bourgogne Avenue in St. Foy, Quebec. Neighbouring offices shelter professionals such as doctors, insurance companies and lawyers. In 1991, the association moves its operations to the more prestigious Galeries Duplessis, flanking engineers and equally highly-regarded professionals. Waska adds one element to its modular structure: technical services intended to NPOs as well as individuals.
In 1999, Waska joins in with other NPOs in Quebec City and studies the phenomenon of poverty. It launches its programme “Exit poverty through autonomy/empowerment!”, while promoting community discussion and solidarity (Connexion Ouest).
Today, the Quebec City-based organization operates in the cosy Loretteville quarter of the Old Capital City. Its mission is to help individuals and organizations gain empowerment; to implement a community network of solidarity, to promote environmental awareness.
Take part in Waska’s 27th birthday
For its 27th anniversary, Waska is inviting you to join its various groups and causes on Facebook:
- become a fan of Waska’s Official Facebook Page;
- join the group “Waska 1982-aujourd’hui/today“
- support the cause “Empowered individuals and organizations“
Autonomy and empowerment constitute the key to human justice and dignity because it allows everyone to actively take part in collective success and live a comfortable, happy life.