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01/07/2019 News

La France S’Engage: Five Years of Social Innovation

With a total of 117 projects supported over five years, the “La France s’engage” program has been supporting the roll out of innovative initiatives led by players from France’s social and solidarity economy since 2014. By providing three years of funding and support from a community of experts through corporate sponsorship by several companies, La France s’engage helps take their projects to the next level. Total was the first private stakeholder to get involved in the program, which was initially sponsored by the government before being taken over by a registered public-interest foundation.

To celebrate the anniversary of La France s’engage, all the prizewinners and sponsors met for a special evening at the Cité Fertile cultural center in Pantin on June 28.

The 12 prizewinning nonprofit organizations for 2019 were announced at the event:

  • Le Choix de l’École, a partner of the French Ministry of Education, provides a two­year support program for young graduates and professionals looking to become teachers in priority middle schools. Its goal is to help school students succeed and promote teaching as a profession.
  • The Orchestre Symphonique Divertimento offers a varied and demanding orchestral program, as well as music lessons, aimed in particular at low-income communities with little access to culture.
  • Ava has developed an app to help hearing-impaired people communicate with hearing people.
  • Résonantes has launched App’Elles, an app for women who are the victims of violence to send an alert to a person of their choice (a friend or relative, emergency services, a nonprofit, etc.), along with a connected bracelet to contact the organization.
  • DEPART has designed the “Des étoiles et des femmes” program, providing training for a vocational cooking qualification alongside top chefs and personalized social support for socially disadvantaged women.
  • SOLAAL helps provide food for underprivileged people by putting donor organizations in the farming and food industries in touch with food aid nonprofits.
  • 3PA has founded the École de la Transition Écologique, a school for raising awareness and training young people with disabilities or early school leavers for careers furthering the ecological transition.
  • La Fabrique Opéra stages collaborative operas, giving young people from technical and vocational training schools the chance to get involved. The organization aims to assist community project leaders in producing their own collaborative operas.
  • L’Envol uses art as a tool for social inclusion. Its “La Classe Départ” program brings early school leavers together for art projects in working conditions similar to the professional world.
  • Signes de Sens develops learning solutions to help make society more accessible for people with disabilities. For example, it has created Elix, a collaborative French/sign language dictionary.
  • Villages Vivants helps revitalize villages and combat depopulation by buying empty stores and renting them out at discounted rates for concierge services, community centers and mini daycare facilities, which help forge social bonds.
  • Wintegreat brings the professional projects of refugees in France to life. Through its “IDEE” program, it aims to develop employment plans for 2,500 people over three years in 12 urban areas.

These winners were chosen based on four criteria: social impact, social innovation, proven effectiveness and scalability. They went through a process of selection by several panels, in which more than 20 Total employees took part.

Patrick Pouyanné, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Fondation La France S’Engage, was invited to present the awards to two organizations working toward social and cultural inclusion and education for young people, Le Choix de l’École and the Orchestre Symphonique Divertimento.

After the ceremony, everyone went to the “Social Village” to mingle, chat and share their experiences. The upbeat event showed just how essential it is to bring together different talents and promote cooperation between the public sector, businesses and nonprofits to build new models of solidarity.