During the last steering committee meeting of the Graines en Vie student association, on November 10th, several solidarity missions were decided for next June. Brief update with Flore Autric, 23 years old, president of the association.
Several missions were officially validated during the last steering committee meeting: can you tell us about them?
The first mission that was decided upon involves students from the D.U (Bac +1) OPEN who will serve in June, in Calais, in the Nord, within the Utopia 56 association. This association works with exiles, migrants and refugees. It brings them basic necessities, meals and clothes. It organises marauds and searches for places to welcome families and street children. It also provides legal assistance to these people of foreign origin.
What is the involvement of students in this kind of mission?
For the D.U (Bac +1) OPEN, the missions are carried out in groups of nine students. It is the trainers who look for the location of the missions, and it is up to the students to then contact the partners to organise their mission with them for the rest of the year. Bachelor students have a little more leeway (especially in the third years) to find their mission locations.
Apart from the partnership officially established with Utopia 56, what about the other missions?
Another group of the D.U (Bac +1) OPEN students will go to the village of Saint Joseph in Brittany. This association takes in people in precarious situations (ex-prisoners, drug addicts, homeless people, etc.). Finally, another mission has been decided for OPEN: at the abbey of Bonnecombe, near Rodez. This abbey is a place of experimentation and rehabilitation where students will work on a workcamp in the company of four or five asylum seekers. This partnership has been made possible thanks to Fondacio, the Christian tutelage movement of IFF Europe.
Are other missions planned for OPEN?
Some have not yet been voted on as they are still being canvassed. It is therefore difficult to say more... I can only mention a fourth potential mission in another Saint Joseph village (located near La Rochelle). We may also have a lead to dig to participate in an eco-construction site.
"This situation of confinement even stimulates us to be creative. »
What is the current status of your Bachelor's and D.U. (Bac +3) missions in humanitarian project management?
For B1 (first year), the missions remain to be defined. Students in the second year of the Bachelor's degree are not part of Graines en Vie: they go on individual work placements for six months from January onwards. As for third year students, they have a project in Romania within the Zambet Pentru Zambet association. This association helps children who are orphans or whose parents are geographically distant: on the spot, we will take care of them and participate in the construction of a leisure centre for them. The students of the D.U (Bac +3) Conducting humanitarian projects will go to Moldavia, with the association Vent d'Est, to work on the development of local solidarity tourism and to support the underprivileged populations there. They will also be expected there to rehabilitate a village school. The other missions will undoubtedly take place in France, probably at Emmaus, the association founded a long time ago by Abbé Pierre. But this is still under discussion.
Will it be possible to continue the next missions abroad despite the health crisis?
Indeed, the current situation makes these missions uncertain. But we are working on plans B. For the time being, the missions that have been decided are possible and are programmed. We will see more clearly in a few months.
Is the morale of Graines en Vie good despite the pandemic?
Yes, the association's office remains very motivated even if some students inevitably experience a soft spot at certain times. This situation of confinement even stimulates us to be creative.
What is your budget for all the missions?
70,000 € officially. But it will no doubt have to be adapted according to the evolution of the health situation and the choice of missions which could not be decided at the last Steering Committee meeting of the association. 10% of the amount is provided by the students themselves. The rest is provided by sponsorship (a workcamp in which Graines en Vie student members are active) and self-financing. For example, we have just marketed apple juice prepared by us.
What are the students' hopes for these future missions?
They hope to participate in the common good, in solidarity, whatever the health situation.
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