Building a Future by Restoring Heritage
Hassan Alyu was only 16 years old when he left Nigeria. So who would have imagined that two years later he would find his professional feet by taking part in the restoration of a jewel of France’s Norman industrial heritage? The Saint-Gilles paddle wheel mill in Rouen, which dates back to the 12th century, was originally used to grind grains and seeds, spin cotton and manufacture putty. Today, it is home to the Expotec 103 museum, which exhibits emblematic tools used by local industry in the past. Currently undergoing restoration thanks to the support of Total Foundation, it also welcomes volunteers and young people training to enter the workforce in blacksmith, masonry or carpentry professions.