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PORTRAIT OF A PARENT

Mathilde, Parent Volunteer, Vancouver

Maryse Beaujeau Weppenaar et Mathilde Fabry

To show Parenthèse readers how parents from across the province contribute to their school community, we’re publishing “portraits” of parents who commit themselves in various ways to the community.

 

My name is Mathilde Fabry and I have a two-year-old boy.

After working many years in animated film in France, my spouse and I decided to go on an adventure and discover another country. We wanted to find a place where we could continue to work in our field and be close to nature. Vancouver was perfect for that!

Once we obtained our working-holiday visas, we left Paris and arrived in Vancouver in September 2011. We thought that we'd stay a year, but we never left!

After the arrival of my child, I stopped working in animation and I created my own company, where I design and make plush toys and accessories for young children. Having my own business allows me to manage my work schedule and spend some time with my little guy.

How I am involved as a parent at the community level:

With two other mums (including Maryse Beaujeau Weppenaar, who is at my left on the photo), I am one of the administrators and founders of the group "Maman francophone de Vancouver et Colombie-Britannique," which has existed for three years now.

We wanted to create a place for mums and future mums to meet and share, through activities organized by Réseau-Femmes Colombie-Britannique as well as a Facebook group. For example, we offer family picnics and outings for mums, we share information, etc.

Also, we organize workshops dealing with topics related to early childhood (like sleep, nutrition, managing authority, etc.), in collaboration with other organizations, such as the Fédération des parents and RésoSanté Colombie-Britannique.

Why I decided to get involved:

As is the case with the two other founding mums in the group, I am French, and when I became pregnant here, I felt completely lost because the health system is very different from the one in France. We realized that we weren't the only ones dealing with this as well as other issues, and therefore decided to create a group to help each other and other mums in a similar situation.

An achievement I’m proud of:

The group of Francophone mums! I am very proud of how our group has grown, and to see how this forum responds to a real need. Many friendships have been created, and we support each other enormously! à

At first, the group was specifically for mums in the Vancouver area, but we recently opened it up to any mum in British Columbia, in order to share with women across the province. So, the invitation to join the group is extended to you, and if you wish, you too can join!

 

* On the photo,  Mathilde is on the right, next to Maryse Beaujeau Weppenaar, also a founder of the "Maman francophone de Vancouver et Colombie-Britannique" group.