Interview of François Prouteau, president of Fondacio
David : You're coming, François, to talk to us about the ecological issue. Are there any solutions?
François Prouteau: All over the world, initiatives are multiplying to point the way, to initiate profound changes in behaviour, and to share research on new practices. But no one really has a turnkey solution.
D. : What initiatives, for example?
F. : I'm thinking of the Forum Mondial Convergences, which was held at the Palais Brongniart in Paris for its 12th edition on September 5 and 6, and Fondacio was one of the partners.
D. : Convergences, what is it?
F. : Founded in 2008, the Forum Mondial Convergences brings together more than 5,000 professionals every year to exchange and share solutions to reduce inequalities, fight against climate change and sustainable development objectives. The originality lies in the explanation of the term "Convergences". Convergences of what? I would say "Triple Zero" Convergences. Indeed, the objective is "Zero exclusion, zero carbon and zero poverty"; "Triple Zero" means convergence and interconnection in action for a world without exclusion, zero carbon and zero poverty.
D. And Fondacio in all this?
F. : Fondacio is one of the international technical partners and participated in the editions in Colombia and the Philippines a few months ago.
Poverty reduction, the fight against exclusion and the preservation of the environment are major challenges common to Fondacio and Convergences. In Africa, Asia and Latin America. Fondacio has set up projects to build a more humane and just world in respect of our common home: The Earth. Will Fondacio's Laudato Si Centers one day be labeled #3Zero? Why not! It would be a nice way to give back value to zero, the basis of integral ecology.
D. : Do you have a concrete example of a project?
F. : Julia Naw was invited alongside Yan Arthus Bertrand and Frédérique Bedos to present her project at the closing evening of the Forum Mondial Convergences last Friday: Youth We Can! Young people commit themselves for the Climate.
Julia is a former student of the Fondacio Asia Training Institute.
The young people of her country, Myanmar/Burma, are looking for a job to earn money: they want to work in big companies but many are destroying the planet, especially in the mining industry. In addition, women had fewer educational and employment opportunities; many migrated illegally for work and accepted dangerous jobs and were even trafficked as wives and sex workers abroad.
Julia's training at Fondacio gave her the courage to start a social enterprise around sustainable fashion. She began to train herself and others in sewing. Then came the creation of Youn Sone. Youn Sone means Colorful in the Burmese language, to show harmony in the diversity of cultures, ethnicities, ages, religions and personal histories. The aim of Youn Sone is to give young people the skills to become self-reliant without destroying culture, traditions and mother earth. Sustainable fashion products are sold locally and in Europe.
At Fondacio, Julia has also become a trainer for other young people on how to develop income-generating projects focused on sustainable development and business. Today, these young people are beginning to take responsibility and creativity to find solutions that promote zero exclusion, zero carbon that can lead to zero poverty. In turn, they are creating new products by recycling old plastic or fabric objects.
For Julia, the important thing is to go back to her roots, to learn from the wisdom of indigenous peoples, where culture and traditions live in harmony with nature.
Thus, Youn Sone products are developed to bridge the gap between rich and poor, modern and traditional, AND most importantly, to connect people and the environment.