Social and Employment
Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, France
Heidy Aron Campan
€10,000 for the Committee on 16/09/2015
Une Oasis dans la Ville - Autour de Vous (An oasis in the city – All Around You)
“Entire generations were brought up in a world of stone and concrete and were denied that instinctive awareness of Nature that gives Man the ability to ‘re-establish a privileged relationship with Nature, and perhaps even with himself’. The association’s educational approach is mostly inspired from Friedrich Fröbel (not to forget the debt owed to Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and Maria Montessori), whose teaching method is founded upon exercising one’s creativity. According to Fröbel, learning about nature at a very young age is a sine qua non condition for a proper education for life.”
Heidy Aron Campan
Founded in 1994, ‘Une Oasis dans la Ville - Autour de Vous’ was initially positioned as a nature discoverer. The nature area made it possible to welcome children for half-day sessions of gardening basics: seeding and planting, mask making, percussion instrument making, watercolour and art workshops based on natural colouring, and more such activities intended to develop the senses and to help in discovering or rediscovering Nature.
Adults too can benefit from the initiatives conducted by ‘Une Oasis dans la Ville - Autour de Vous’. They take part in maintaining the facilities, they can take literacy or Tai Chi Chuan courses, and they are directly involved in the music festivals, lantern fests and park events that are listed on the association’s schedule.
It would be a good thing for those inter-generational activities to multiply. And ‘Une Oasis dans la Ville - Autour de Vous’ happens to be working on a variety of suitable projects in that vein.
Maintaining living spaces
Designed by the association some twenty years ago, the garden requires ongoing, conscientious care. A pool restored by association members in 2009 extends the plantations through an area devoted to aquatic animal life. A new step might consist in developing a nearby area in the spirit of a Chinese garden.
Meanwhile, the kitchen workshop has a gourd displaying cuisine from the world over. ‘Une Oasis dans la Ville - Autour de Vous’ plans to make use of this warm-hearted, mutually-enhancing encounter between cultures to write a cookbook from it.
Literacy and coaching
Led by a former headmaster, the literacy courses have been so successful that the association is considering a new learning workshop, devoted this time to preparing for a job interview. The aim is to help attending residents to learn how to introduce themselves during institutional meetings (teachers, family allowance offices, job centres etc.). Oral expression and body language will be the prime focus of this workshop.
Raising awareness in schools and extra-curricular centres
The association also wants to continue welcoming children as it has been doing for years. By procuring computers, it will remain in a position to welcome school groups and those from leisure centres, as well as the youths aged 4 to 15 who drop in casually on weekends.
Thanks to support from the Veolia Foundation, it will be possible to perform the works and to acquire the facilities needed to complete the various projects.