L'Olivier des Sages, a social Café for elderly persons in the Lyon area

Next spring, the city of Lyon will in turn be welcoming a social Café dedicated to elderly persons, mainly immigrants. A place for meetings, for solidarity, and also for administrative support and advice.

Social and Employment

3rd District of Lyon, France

Chrystèle Zanni-Maire, Veolia Eau

20 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/12/01

Project leader

L'Olivier des Sages

"The inauguration of this outreach center for elderly persons will help break their isolation thanks to the various activities made available to them, and will provide material help in completing all their formalities, in connection with housing, health, legal access, etc."

Christèle Zanni-Maire

At 252, rue Duguesclin, in the 3rd district of Lyon, construction work has began and L'Olivier des Sages will shortly be opening its doors. Inspired by its Parisian counterpart, the social Café will welcome everyone over the age of fifty-five, 6 days per week. The place has been designed, in principle, to provide support for immigrants, but this is not at all a restriction.

The dual objective is to break the isolation in which the persons concerned too often find themselves once they stop working, and to accompany them in all their administrative formalities. The spirit of the project reflects the most cherished values of L'Olivier des Sages: secularism, multiethnicity, solidarity, tolerance, civicmindedness, respect for the dignity and for the freedom of expression of each.

Adapting a formula that has proved its worth


The transition to retirement is synonymous with change, often administrative complexity, and a new set of references. It is not always easy to recover one's footing. The teams of L'Olivier des Sages wanted to guide through this labyrinth all those who approach it for help. By offering them a hospitable center, with other persons sharing the same concerns, around nonalcoholic drinks provided at friendly rates. L'Olivier des Sages will also organize lectures, cultural tours and picnics. The final arrangements should be completed by the spring of 2010, and the Veolia Foundation has contributed to funding the renovation of the electrical installations. The inauguration of the social Café could also mean the creation of three jobs, to enliven the place and to tend effectively to the fifty odd patrons expected daily.