Support women in need, mainly immigrants, single mothers, and those receiving social assistance or without income, to break out of social isolation, to learn a trade and to integrate the workforce, in order to live in dignity.
Offer a professional training program and hands-on work experience adapted to the needs of our partners and employers, in the fields of industrial sewing, kitchen work and other chosen fields, in order to facilitate the successful social integration of our participants.
Encourage immigrants, especially women who are often socially excluded due to their culture and religion, who are single mothers, who are without income or are receiving welfare, to break out of isolation and to develop a sense of belonging within our society.
Connect with and help the largest amount of people possible to discontinue accessing programs of governmental support such as welfare, by learning a trade and becoming active members of society, despite the often non-recognition of their educational levels or diplomas.
Petites-Mains was founded in the neighborhood of Côte-des-Neiges, following the closure of a local food bank. It was at this moment that Sister Denise Arsenault, from the Sisters of Holy Cross Congregation, decided to gather some of the women who had been accessing the food bank to discuss about possible solutions to the hardships they were now facing. The women quickly expressed their desire to be able to support themselves and their families, rather than having to depend on others.
In collaboration with one of the volunteers from the food bank, Ms Nahid Aboumansour (the current general director of Petites-Mains), Sister Denis Arsenault found a room and 4 sewing machines. The first official sewing class was then given to a group of 7 women.
In 1995, Petites-Mains obtained the necessary patent letters to be recognized as a charity. In the following years, Petites-Mains kept growing, purchasing several other sewing machines, as well as teaching more and more women every year. It was during this era that the training went from a general approach, to one more focused on industrial production.
In 2000, Petites-Mains became the first accredited insertion enterprise in Côte-des-Neiges, transitioning from domestic sewing classes to professional industrial sewing training. As a socio-professional insertion enterprise, Petites-Mains is built on three main pillars in order to meet its goals; Training, Insertion and Production.
From 2005 onwards, Petites-Mains continued to add to its’ programme offerings, notably French classes and pre-employment programs as well.
In 2007, Petites-Mains bought and moved into a spacious three story building in Villeray – St-Michel – Parc Extension, located on St-Laurent Blvd, which became the organizations new home. With this newly acquired space, Petites-Mains was able to offer new trainings, open a boutique and restaurant, and offer new services complementary to those already in place.
Petites-Mains continues to offer professional socio-professional trainings in three fields; industrial sewing, catering, and office work. In addition to those trainings the organisation offers programmes such as; pre-employment courses, French classes of different levels and social integration. Petites-Mains is in constant evolution, always developing new projects and services to meet the needs of the growing immigrant communities.
Mme Aboumansour et Sœur Denise Arsenault
Nahid Aboumansour, C.Q
Cofounder and General Director
Head trainer and manger for Inter-Mission
Director of Operations
Trainer and assistant manager for Inter-Mission
Responsible for quality control
Head sewing trainer
Responsible for pattern-sample-cutting department
Assistant for pattern-sample-cutting department
OUR ANNUAL REPORTS
2019 - 2020
2018 - 2019
2017 - 2018
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