From second hand goods and antiques to IT recycling, 23 persons on back-to-work contracts hope to find a durable job

The humanitarian vocation of a small association on the outskirts of Grenoble is leading it today to successfully manage two social and professional integration projects for persons in difficulty, with the goals of outreach economic development and environmental conservation.

Social and Employment

Outskirts of Grenoble, Isère, France

Clara Nunes Da Eira

10 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/12/01

Project leader

Solidarité Enfance

Alongside its original activities - support for the NGO Enfance Espoir which provides schooling for children in the developing countries - the association Solidarité Enfance, formed in 1985, created an outreach economy store, La Brocante de Mamie, twelve years later, and then, in September 2006, faced with increasing inflows of home appliances, IT hardware, hi-fi and video equipment, it created L'Atelier du Bourgamon, a workshop for integration through economic activity mainly focused on salvage, repair to prevailing standards, or dismantling of IT and electronic equipment. The workshop that hosts the employees under subsidized contracts receives 14 to 17 tons of donations every month (40 for La Brocante de Mamie) from private individuals, companies and administrations, with a re-use rate close to 80%. Irreparable equipment is dismantled, the materials and components are sorted, assembled and resold to companies specialized in handling electrical and electronic components. Recyclable equipment is renovated, checked, the software reinstalled and the computers sold cheap (€50 to €150) through La Brocante de Mamie or to associations and municipalities which seek this type of product.

Success is encouraging the company to expand the workshop, increase the storage areas, and create new back-to-work jobs.

With twelve persons and one supervisor, in order to adapt to demand, the association has to build an outdoor storage shed, an indoor mezzanine, replace one of the two collection trucks, buy more furniture and indispensable equipment - particularly a Fenwick forklift required to organize the storage facilities, partly funded by the Veolia Foundation.

Solidarité Enfance, the parent association which gave birth to the two integration workshops, is recognized for its effectiveness and the quality of its social accompaniment, with a 53% rate of return to durable jobs, an average significantly higher than the standard set by the supervisory authorities. It enables the back-to-work employees to discover a genuine trade through L'Atelier du Bourgamon proposing apprenticeships in electronics in preparation for subsequent skills training.

The initiatives of the association and its development are backed by the town of Saint-Martin-d'Hères where it is installed, the local authorities of the Grenoble region, the university and the educational institutions.