April 11, 2019 — Next July, after 14 years as Executive Director, Mireille Chilloux will leave her position at Mer et Monde, a Quebec organization that introduces some 300 interns each year to international cooperation and supports partners in Senegal and Nicaragua in their development projects.
As Executive Director, Ms. Chilloux has left her mark on the organization. A hard worker, she is attentive and very close to people. Her collaborators point out that she always puts the individual before work and maintains personal contact with both her employees and each trainee... nearly 300 per year!
She has been involved in all aspects of the organization's management, from finance and human resources to meetings with Quebec partners - including Jesuits in Canada - and with various government departments. Did you say multidisciplinary?
Her employees highlight her open-mindedness. The head of communications, Amélie Venne, describes her as "one of the guardians of the values of Mer et Monde, including that of Being with, which is also a Jesuit value ." Alessandra Pozzi, coordinator of the International Youth Internship Program (IYIP), underlines Ms. Chilloux's confidence in young people. "Mireille has been a mentor in my life, who has given me a chance to develop myself and start my career," particularly by entrusting her with the IYIP file.
This program is one of her important legacies, as she was one of its instigators. Indeed, the implementation of this internship program for young Canadian professionals, funded by World Affairs Canada, has brought Mer et Monde to a new level in terms of development, funding and outreach.
Another major achievement was to make Mer et Monde a recognized organization in the network of the Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI), both for the quality of the support provided to trainees and for its proximity work with partners in the field.
The Salut le Monde! organization was founded in 1984 by Fr. Michel Corbeil. It was through the inspiration of its courageous experience in the struggle for the dignity and respect of individuals and peoples that Mer et Monde was later founded in 1999. Today, the organization invites people to engage in long-term personal and community solidarity, both at home and abroad, through internships in Senegal and Nicaragua. The 3-week to 6-month internships are a way for the young and not-so-young participants to do a social analysis of Canada and elsewhere before moving to live in a community abroad, where they are involved in a local initiative. The purpose of these internships is to experience an intercultural exchange, to exchange knowledge and to bring participants to apply their acts of solidarity here, so that they can engage as active and active citizens in the pursuit of social justice. Ms. Chilloux has succeeded in instilling in these trainees a desire to go to the Other, to learn and collaborate with humility.
Even if Mireille Chilloux is very humble about her contributions to Mer et Monde (which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year!), it is certain that she will leave a lasting mark, marked by respect and openness.