The last Selection Committee for the Societe Generale Corporate Foundation for Solidarity took place on Friday, 29 November 2013. Here is an overview of the three projects selected.

 

FoodCycle

 

FoodCycle works to feed socially marginalised populations by collecting surplus food. Their initiative has two programs: Hubs and the Community Café. There are 14 Hubs in England. The centres train volunteers to collect surplus food and prepare meals in kitchens provided free of charge. The association also manages a Community Café in the Bromley-by-Bow district of London. The café helps members of the local community with their workplace reintegration programmes by offering career training in the restaurant and hotel business.

 

Project funded: Pie in the Sky Café

 

Through its Community Café, FoodCycle is training disadvantaged populations in Bromley-by-Bow for restaurant and hotel jobs. Beneficiaries attend a 3-6 month course divided into three sections. It begins with recruitment by assessing each volunteer's motivation and goals. The café is open five days per week, but the volunteers are expected to be there three days every week and attend training in cooking, nutrition, customer relations and counter service. To work effectively, beneficiaries meet with a female coordinator every two weeks for a one-on-one interview where they provide updates on their progress and aspirations and create a detailed career plan. She also places them in immersion sessions inside partner companies and helps them with job-seeking skills like writing a CV, letters of motivation and job-seeking techniques.

 

Paroles Voyageuses

 

The Paroles Voyageuses association and training agency works to promote access to language education for people with language difficulties and helps network people working in the language training sector.

 

The association has four programme divisions: the Enterprise division that offers language training for low- or un-skilled workers, the Deafness division focused on language training for deaf adults, the Teacher Training division working on French-language education and the Language Training and Access to Culture division that provides free courses for inhabitants of the 19th arrondisement of Paris, which is classified as an Urban Policy district.

 

Project funded: Writing guidance for deaf students

 

Eight out of every 10 deaf people are illiterate. In an effort to increase access and success for deaf people in higher education, Paroles Voyageuses offers support for writing graduate theses delivered in French Sign Language (FSL) and shared several times throughout the academic year in group writing methods workshops or during one-on-one writing support sessions focused on writing methods and when explaining course materials in FSL that is particularly difficult to understand.

 

To help them capitalise on their new skills, Paroles Voyageuses encourages students to attend a refresher course in French once the support sessions are finished.

 

The association also plans deafness sensitivity trainings for institutions with deaf students to explain their special needs. In fact, the scarcity of FSL translation programmes for classes causes more dropouts and dramatically reduces their career opportunities.

 

GEIQ Propreté 13

 

GEIQ Propreté 13 works on career reintegration and qualification in the housekeeping and cleaning sector and is based on four main activities: recruitment for priority job-seekers and unqualified youths on career training contracts, training and qualification in service-sector and industrial cleaning, staffing for the association's partner housekeeping companies and socio-professional support for workers who are reintegrating.

 

Project funded: Choose the Housekeeping Sector

 

The Choose the Housekeeping Sector project is designed as the initial communications effort to set up the second stage of the project: recruiting youths into the housekeeping sector.

 

The communications initiative is beginning with housekeeping companies in the département (200) using telephone prospecting, distributing a brochure or creating a website intended to become a staffing platform for companies as well as a site for the target population with presentations on changing industries and reasons for choosing housekeeping through testimonials and job forums.

 

Young dropouts and/or priority job-seekers reintegrating the workforce are hired on a work-study contract for six to eight months (80% in the workplace, 20% in school) and graduate with a Vocational Certificate recognised by all the sector's housekeeping companies and possibly a permanent or temporary work contract. The association is looking to bring together the instructor, the tutor and GEIQ to guide them as they put together a life plan and choose the best course possible, interactive and general courses in housekeeping and professional conduct.

 

What grassroots project has touched you recently? Leave a comment!

 

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