On the occasion of UNESCO's International literacy day on 8 September, we take a look at literacy initiatives across the world aided by the Societe Generale Corporate Foundation for Solidarity and the bank's international network.

Literacy is one of the main focuses of the Societe Generale Corporate Foundation for Solidarity, which aims to help those at risk of exclusion from the job market to gain access to employment. The Foundation has an annual budget of €2 million, which it uses for projects that can help provide basic skills and knowledge that put people on the road to employment. Société Générale international network also provides funding, donations and volunteers for literacy initiatives across the globe.

On the occasion of UNESCO's literacy day, which this year is dedicated to "literacies for the 21st century", we  take a look at projects in Romania, Morocco, Burkina Faso and France.


ROMANIA : Fundatia Inocenti

The Fundatia runs a project in the poor areas of Bucharest and Bistrita, where more than 40% of the adult population is illiterate. Beneficiaries receive training in language, practical knowledge and IT, and the keenest ones can earn qualifications. They also receive professional job counselling.

Societe Generale's Romanian subsidiary BRD and its staff have been involved in donating to and volunteering at the Foundation since 2010. In 2013, the Fundatia proposed that BRD staff also help organize and staff IT classes and leisure activities.

As a prizewinner in this year's Citizen Commitment Awards, the Fundatia is also entitled to a Pro Bono day organised by BRD.


MOROCCO : Shams El Ousra, Bouftousse douar

This project in Bouftousse in the Doukkala-Abda region is financed by Societe Generale Morocco (SGMA) and run by the Zakoura Education Foundation. It includes an informal school for children who have never been to school or have dropped out, literacy classes for adults - including reading, writing and maths - and health education. 60 children are currently  involved in the education programme, 70% of whom are girls. One group of women have already finished the literacy programe and 47 women are enrolled in the second group, which began in July.

The Shams El Ousra integrated programme has existed for about 15 years across various regions of Morocco, and SGMA is present through the programme in the regions of Doukkala-Abda, Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate, Marrakech-Tensift-Al haouz, Tanger-Tétouan and Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaër.


BURKINA FASO : Prince Mossi charity             

The Société Générale Corporate Foundation for Solidarity helps an initiative that provides classes in literacy, accountancy and IT plus practical training  for illiterate girls and women who would otherwise have no prospects in Burkina Faso. The local population is involved in determining the programme, which includes training for work such as weaving and animal husbandry. Successful trainees also receive a national diploma. 


FRANCE : L'Epide

L'Epide is a French public body which uses 18 weekly boarding centres to help marginalized young people aged 16-25 to achieve professional and social integration. Around 40% of the young people are illiterate when they arrive at the centres. The Société Générale Corporate Foundation for Solidarity supports a programme to provide one trainer in each centre with the necessary educational tools to help these youngsters to become literate.


Originally published on 6/9/2013 on Sogénews, Société Générale Intranet

Contact(s) :  Iris Bazin
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