Background to the programme
The association "Le Rocher Oasis des Cités" ("The Rock Oasis on estates") was created in 2000 on the initiative of Cyril Tisserand, a specialised educator. In that year he set up with his wife in an HLM (a social housing estate) in Bondy Nord to live near the youngsters he was supporting. This proximity has become one of the five basic principles of the association: to live in deprived neighbourhoods in order to build relationships of trust, the source of all development.
Le Rocher has since developed in deprived neighbourhoods in Grenoble, Lyon, Marseille, Toulon, Paris and Mureaux where it leads educational, social and cultural initiatives to support the daily lives of adults and children.
Objectives of the programme
- Forging alliances with the population: the children indentify with the Rocher educators and volunteers as people with whom they can play, have fun, talk ...
- Position themselves as co-educator with the parents so that they see that the Rocher people play with their children and support them in educating the children.
- On Wednesdays between 14h and 17h (and some weekends as well) there is a weekly meeting where children come to the association. Several games are offered to them (different organisation according to the branch): football, dodgeball, reading workshops, drawing workshops ...
- Employees of the association live on the estates and therefore often run into the children. They play and talk with them on occasion, creating the link, encouraging them to participate in activities ... These are the small details that form the strength of the link.
- They also carry out visits to families, either unannounced or by arranging it with them. The goal is to first create a bond with them and to report on the behaviour of their child/children. They also offer them the chance to go on holiday: a family living outside of the estate hosts the family living on the estate.
- Cafes in the street are also organised to meet people: people from Le Rocher place themselves in a regular crossing point and offer coffee and cakes to people in order to talk with them (only in the Bondy and Grenoble branches)
- A philosophy café is organised on one Thursday a month (only in Mureaux) to have in-depth discussions on different topics (eg How to pass on cultural heritage?). The public is more often between 18-30 years old.
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
- 50 children (mostly between 6 and 12 years old) through street activities by the branch (regular numbers for several years). 20% of them participate in other activities with Le Rocher.
- Within the Mureaux branch, 150 families are monitored and in 2014/2015, seven families went on vacation
- Qualitative results: children smile more, they like to come and play and meet people from the association in a familial way. They are more respectful and listen better.
The main originality of this program lies in the principle of living on the same estate as the targeted public. Relationships of trust are thus forged more easily.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
- Town halls: Financing
- FIPD: Interdepartmental fund for crime prevention
- DELSOL Lawyers Prize in October 2014
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- Difficult to find families who are willing to host a family from the estates during the holidays
- Burglaries at the association's premises and the employees' homes.
- Difficulties in meeting with adolescents.
- Difficulties in finding loyal volunteers
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
- It is easier to ask the families of the employees/volunteers from Le Rocher and encourage them to talk about their experience with others.
- To prevent burglaries, it is necessary to be careful when people come to the premises. A balance must be found between welcoming people, and therefore leaving the premises open, and closing and removing certain objects to prevent thefts.
- Appeal to the network to retrieve equipment
- Visit halls in Mureaux, and soon in other branches, so that "big kids" from the estates understand that the association is there to help their little brothers/sisters. In groups of 5-6 people, employees will see them every Thursday evening between 22h and midnight. At first the young people fear that they are the police but as they go along they manage to build relationships. Some young people pass by Le Rocher to be assisted in their job search, to set up their own association ...
- Offer internships to young girls at Le Rocher as part of their studies in high school and afterwards spring off from this link by proposing to go further: stay on a farm (http://assolerocher.org/dames-des-villes-et-dames-des-champs/)
Suggestions for future improvement :
- Receiving help with the training of volunteers so that they better understand the issues and association's mission
- Always keep the spirit of the association. This initiative demands a lot of free time.
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- Be yourself and don't play a role. Do not act superior to people.
- Want to be with people, to connect with them. Anyone can do this kind of action as long as there is the motivation
- Take the time to play with the children, talk with them and with their families. Do not try to rush things
Ideas for basic or applied research topics, that could be useful to the programme :
- Activity Report:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jxg5w1swmpkhqwl/Rapport activity Rocher.pdf df = 0