A bridge between seniors and students

Throughout France, the elderly suffer from loneliness and isolation. At the same time, students find it difficult to find lodgings in town. Based on similar lines to projects run in Barcelona and Madrid for the past ten years, an association in Lyon puts students and seniors in contact with each other.

Social and Employment

Lyon, France


Danielle Virevaire


€8,000 at the selection committee meeting on 6 december 2005

Project leader

c- Service intergénérations

"A find initiative that will develop greater solidarity between the generations. With my retirement not far off, I will be all the happier to lend my support to this project, and apply all the experience I have gained throughout my career to helping associations."
Danielle Virevaire

On the one hand, accommodation for students is rare and the rents are often exorbitant. On the other, many seniors find themselves alone and looking for company and a reassuring presence at night. In Lyon, Esdes - Service intergénérations (Esdes - Intergenerational Service) provides a solution to the problems of both these populations. The principle is simple: it is based on organizing a sort of exchange, each party contributing what he or she has to offer. Thus, in exchange for services provided by a student (going to market, preparing meals, etc.), while the elderly person provides free accommodation.


A few rules to ensure smooth relations

The student and the senior both sign a charter setting out their respective rights and responsibilities. This contract lays the bases for a trouble-free relationship; it is designed to ensure a certain peace of mind for both parties. No rent is requested, just an enrolment fee of 300 euros for the student, and 30 euros for the host.
A victim of its success, the association now needs to upgrade its organizational structure to administer the success of this project and cope with the high volume of applications. To acquire the communication tools required for its sound operation, it turned to the Veolia Foundation. The 8,000 euros allocated will be used to produce brochures, posters and advertising material for the relevant audiences. The service provided by Esdes - Service intergénérations can certainly look forward to a fine future.


An initiative that is proliferating

Esdes-Intergénérations is destined to become indispensable in the life of many Lyonnais. In 2006, is succeeded in forming and supervising some thirty senior/student teams. These "couples" are progressively getting to know each other, and to supply whatever the other needs most.
Impressed by the originality and success of this initiative, the Veolia Foundation has decided to assist two new associations developing the same type of companionship formula: Concorda Logis à Montpellier et Ensemble2Générations à Viroflay.