An approach to social integration founded on genuine economic development

The "Ménage Service" association in Agen, which employs staff on "social integration" contracts, is using IT to extend its activities beyond the city centre.

Social and Employment

Agen agglomeration, Lot-et-Garonne., France

Nathalie Duchevet, Veolia Eau

10,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2005/07/05
  Project leader Ménage Service Agen

«  Ménage service est une association qui fait un gros travail sur l’Agenais pour réinsérer les femmes en difficulté. Son directeur sait parfaitement que l’on ne peut repartir d’un bon pied qu’avec un emploi garantissant l’autonomie financière. »

Nathalie Duchevet

As an association specialised in service provision (cleaning at private homes or business premises, home help, care for children and dependent adults, etc.), "Ménage service Agen" has a two-fold objective : respond to the needs of a booming sector while enabling those suffering from professional (and therefore social) exclusion to get a foot on the ladder.
To fulfil this remit, it has established mixed teams of staff on "social integration" contracts and staff on permanent contracts. It currently has fifteen staff on "social integration" contracts out of about forty full-time equivalent posts. This organisation enables it to benefit from a ripple effect which encourages those with limited job prospects to become financially independent. The process is bearing fruit: in 2004, it enabled fifteen people to find permanent employment once their "integration contracts" had ended.

Keeping pace with the growing business

In mid-2005, faced with a need to develop so as to meet the needs of its customers and the unemployed, "Menage Service Agen" requested funding from Veolia foundation. It has to meet demand for services coming from customers in outlying districts of the city while continuing to meet the requirements of the government body which provides funding in relation to the "integration contracts". As a result, it is now preparing to computerise its management and accounting systems.
The 10,000 euros in funding - which supplement other funding, from the Conseil Régional in particular - will enable it to set up the necessary computer work stations and acquire two vehicles for transporting employees to more remote locations. It eventually hopes to create an extra five positions.