« The use of new technologies to create a "social" bond appears to me to be a positive use of the web which is purportedly "dehumanized". The collective determination to provide genuine support to a family in serious difficulty is stronger than the solitary approach. »
To help families in difficulty, single elderly persons and handicapped persons, the association "Dixième Famille" has set up an innovative social sponsorship system. Nine families from different milieux pool their skills and experience in favor of a tenth. The idea is to find solutions and partnerships faced with problems of school support, jobseeking, microcredits, and even the "loan" of a voice for a blind person, participation in the construction of a home or a presence for an elderly person.
The aim is to help them materially without necessarily substituting for existing social aid. This system, which was tested for 18 months in the disadvantaged neighborhood of Val Fourré at Mantes la Jolie, is expanding region by region since 2004 thanks to the Internet. Nearly 1,000 families are registered today in 84 French districts.
The association Dixième Famille has conceived their software called "solidariciel" designed to optimize communication between the families and the pooling of the aid.
In this connection, it has already created six modules: internal messaging, a discussion and contact forum, an appointment diary system, a resource base, the organization of outreach projects, and "back office" management.
The association would like to create two new modules: chat/video conference will help organize remote meetings between the person or the families gathered around the same project. Finally, the last module is designed to set up relations with regular partners including the local authorities, the institutions and companies.
The Veolia Foundation was approached to participate in the creation of these two modules.