"I see this project as matching the expectations of the Veolia Environnement Foundation, particularly because it is backed by regional authorities in France - which makes it permanent - and because the Gref Rhône-Alpes has been active in the commune of Dogondoutchi since 2004.Deeply involved in the field, it monitors the development projects that are implemented there."
Retirees who used to be teachers, corporate trainers, social workers, responsible for activities in the neighborhood centers - many scores of these people have joined together throughout France under the banner of the Gref (Groupement des retraités éducateurs sans frontières) for develop voluntary international outreach missions abroad.
In Niger, they have been mobilizing for several years around the commune of Dogondoutchi, where they launched the creation of Community Developmetn Centers (CDC). The local trainers that they train there take charge in turn of the apprentices in various branches of arts and crafts.
Becoming self-sufficient by learning a craft
Nine CDCs have already been created in the neighboring rural communes and dispense teaching in sewing, welding, machine shop, etc. Management teams were formed for the centers, as well as teams of teacher-trainers who have earned a State diploma.
To ensure the permanence of this approach, which enables many youths to acquire income producing knowhow and therefore strongly encourages local economic development, the Gref approached the Veolia Foundation with a precise request: to help it equip each of the nine CDCs with water networks and sanitary blocks. This request was rapidly taken under consideration to help this part of Niger to develop.