It started with a bike ride and a little cleaning, and has grown into a full-fledged challenge.

That’s according to France Gendron, the mother of Avea and Jax, a pair of Kapuskasing kids who have begun inspiring their local community to perform a major clean-up. Gendron says things began small as a family ‘pick up garbage bike ride’, but on a recent trip, she noticed the contagiousness of cleaning as area kids joined her and her children during their venture.

She says from there, she and her kids decided to create the #viepropre challenge, meaning ‘clean life’. The phrase Gendron says comes from daughter Avea, who answered pour render la vie proper, meaning to create a clean life when first asked by her mother why she was picking up garbage.

Gendron family the day they thought of the challenge #viepropre challenge. (Supplied by France Gendron)

Gendron says the challenge is to get people from the community out and cleaning up their local area, and it works as such; they wanted the challenge to have a continuous feel, so it begins with asking friends through social media to fill a bag with garbage they pick up from the community, and once completed challenge someone else to do the same.

However, she has been astonished at the response of the community as many members have taken to the task without being challenged at all. This includes local business such as La Caisse Populaire and also local schools such as Kapuskasing District High School, St. Patrick School, Ecole Catholique Andre-Cary, Ecole Secondaire Catholique Cite des Jeunes and Ecole Catholique Jacques Cartier.

St. Patrick school joining in the #viepropre challenge. (Supplied by France Gendron)

Gendron says the feedback from the community has been positive, making the family extremely grateful for the work everyone has chosen to put in cleaning up their town. Albeit she does know there are those who are questioning the challenge, saying that streets will eventually see garbage back on them again. Gendron is aware their solution is not long-term, but rather a ‘spring clean-up’.

She is also happy to note that as of this week a pair of local businesses has offered to sponsor a prize, meaning two prizes will be raffled off to those who have participated in the challenge on June 1st.

Crew at La Caisse populaire de Kapuskasing #viepropre challenge. (Supplied by France Gendron)

Last but not least, she says all they have done is simply open the doors, but it was the people who completed the challenge, even those on their own, who are the real heroes, to them she says thank you.


Cité des jeunes #viepropre challenge. (Supplied by France Gendron)

Awesome crew at KDHS #viepropre challenge. (Supplied by France Gendron)

École Jacques Cartier Kapuskasing #viepropre challenge. (Supplied by France Gendron)

One of many families who accepted the #viepropre challenge. (Supplied by France Gendron)

Another awesome family #viepropre challenge. (Supplied by France Gendron)