Skip to content

Zohal – unparalleled dedication

Zohal has been working at Centre Philou for over five years and is now Coordinator of the Garderie and École Philou. A rare gem, Zohal is not your average employee.


Indeed, her story with Centre Philou began over 13 years ago, before she even knew it existed. Following a pregnancy with complications, Zohal’s child is born with lung disease. Because of her fragile condition, her daughter was forced to stay in the hospital for the next few months, where she received a variety of treatments. The doctors then warned Zohal that these treatments could leave permanent marks on her daughter, potentially causing various types of intellectual and physical impairment. In order to confront her with such a possibility, her doctors introduced her to a polyimpaired child.

However, Zohal is instantly charmed by this encounter, deeply touched by this child – even if her daughter turns out to be like him, she’ll still be filled with love. Months passed, and her daughter was finally discharged from the hospital, her condition miraculously stabilized. Nonetheless, Zohal goes through the hell of finding an adapted daycare center adapted to her daughter’s developmental delays – if only such a service existed in Montreal, she says to herself!


Alongside her role as a mother, she has been working as a educational assistant for polyimpairded people for several years now. In 2018, one of these young people enrolled at the Philou School. She agreed to be his full-time educational assistant. Soon after her arrival, the School was charmed by her great talent with polyimpaired students and hired her. Zohal has found her place – helping educate young people with polyimpairment has become her purpose. She was eventually promoted to supervisor and then program coordinator, a position she still holds today.


She participated in the growth of the School’s program and the creation of the Garderie Philou, a decade after she herself dreamed of such a place for her daughter. Through all these achievements, she remains driven by the desire to help the families of polyimpaired children – a reality that could have been her own. Every time a child achieves a personal challenge, no matter how small, Zohal is fulfilled, as a mother would be. After all, she herself waited 3 years to hear her daughter’s first word. She understands the realities of those parents and the importance of believing in the potential of young people.

Zohal explains that we must never stop working so that “polyimpaired people don’t necessarily develop more and more, but maintain their achievements, which are so important; we must never lose hope”.

For her, the Centre Philou is an ally – an ally providing support and hope to families and their children with polyimpairment. Zohal is driven by this optimism for a better future, but above all for a better present for these polyimpaired young persons must not be left behind.

Zohal is truly indispensable to the Philou School! You'll always find her running around, preparing an activity, helping an attendant or tending to a little boo-boo. Zohal always does her job with a smile and in a cheerful spirit. She has a heart of gold and does everything with love. There's no one likeher.


Au nom des familles et de leurs enfants, au nom de de toute l’équipe qui travaille avec amour et ardeur au Centre Philou, nous vous remercions du fond du coeur de croire en nous, de nous donner le courage et l’énergie de continuer à grandir.


On behalf of the families and their children, on behalf of all the team members who work with love and ardor at Centre Philou, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for believing in us, for giving us the courage and energy to continue to grow.