First and foremost, I would like to thank again the many people who helped us win the Global Giving Challenge in April. THANK YOU!
This operation was a real challenge for the FACE team and we are very proud to have been able to convince you to support us on a particularly difficult subject to treat: young dropouts from the school system.
In France, the latest figures from the Ministry of Education, report of 254,000 young people over 16 years out of school between June 2010 and March 2011. And this figure already catastrophic only grows. School drop-out is a complex phenomenon involving a multiplicity of causes and beyond the purely academic. Thus, social environments, individual psychological factors, institutional factors, school failure, the relationship to school, to learning and for tasks at school, relationship with teachers, family and child social skills, self-esteem, come into interaction.
Departments of the Hérault and the Seine-Saint-Denis, for which we decided to create the program "Re-Connected Junior Camp" are among the departments most affected by this phenomenon in France - about 8,000 students are concerned in Hérault and 10,000 for the Seine-Saint-Denis.
Inspired by a Green Paper on Youth and the Senate proposal, the plan "Action for Youth", raise the fight against student dropout rates at a national priority.
Several associations, including the Foundation Act against the Exclusion, decided to take control of the problem /(to seize the problem) and brainstorm solutions to propose to these young people to reintegrate them into a process of training (/formation) and provide them (/enable them to consider) a true professional future.
I'm not going to list the various measures announced, which are for the most part quite relevant and show the will of all actors (institutional and academic) to establish sustainable mechanisms to reduce output without qualifications. Besides, several devices allow to see and confirm two trends:
1. The decline of youth identified without training or insertion solution
2. The stability of students supported "Coaching employability" actions
When we learned that we had the opportunity to put online a project on GlobalGiving platform, it is naturally that we planned to look on school drop-out.
But what could we provide, stronger than what already exists?
How bind, our particularity of social business club, already very invested in our “classic” actions with job seekers and students, with institutional and academic partners?
It’s while looking, one evening, the TED London presentation of Charles Leadbeater*, that I realized that we could take example on what is done in innovative education in the poorest parts of the world.
Charles Leadbeater went looking for radical new forms of education -- and found them in the slums of Rio and Kibera, where some of the world's poorest kids are finding transformative new ways to learn. And this informal, disruptive new kind of school, he says, is what all schools need to become.
Then you tell me, that I exaggerate, trying to compare the situations of life of the favelas in Rio or the poorest neighborhoods of India and Africa, with cities of the two departments French we are concerned with. And yet, in France, of course, French Republican education is free of charge and moreover mandatory, but the figures speak for themselves! France faces a school failure rate in some of its departments that is catastrophic.
Remember, 254.000 young people left school system between June 2010 and March 2011
We have so much to learn from experiments that are done in developing countries to combat exclusion in Western countries.
The FACE Foundation is committed for more than 10 years with many schools across France, through its local clubs. We work specifically to prevent any risk of exclusion of young people from 16 years old, from the education system. Force was clear that this position is no longer enough to stem the important flow of young dropouts that are identified each year.
By creating the "Re – Connected Junior Camp", we opted to focus on innovation and new technologies to help and support young school leavers. Based on the observation that innovation, creativity, or a radically different look on the school - as have done Charles Leadbeater - can happen and sometimes even very often, to prove himself. It is possible, by relying on innovative and alternative solutions to imagine new educational pathways, which have nothing to do with the conventional route.
We have already succeeded in convincing the professors and the teaching teams of six towns of Seine-Saint-Denis, to experience this new approach.
I am very pleased to announce that through your first donations, we will start the program "Re – Connected Junior Camp" earlier than expected.
In the summer and I certainly intend to make you a return, we will offer to 10 young people identified as dropouts and out of any education or training system, to follow a learning path helped with new technologies and dedicated companies partners.
This first group of 10 juniors re-connected will be sponsored by a company and will benefit upgraded workshops in French and mathematics. Along with this, they will be seen individually, to identify with them their potential. Each young person will then be supported by a corporate sponsor whose business sector pleases to the kid. Sponsor that will show to his/her godchild the jobs of his company and help him/her to imagine the training path he/her might start if he/her wishes to insert in the chosen sector.
In my next report, I will describe you the workshops will follow these first 10 juniors re-connected, photos to show!
Again many thanks for your support and your commitment to us, but this is not completed, all funds are not yet collected. If we want to achieve our goal of 60 junior re-connected, we still owe. Talk around you, raise your entourage, personal or professional to our program! We need your help more than ever and I know that we can count on you!
Thank you and talk to you very soon!
PS: If you want even more detail, or if you simply want to share with us a similar experience, feel free to call me. Salwa
*A researcher at the London think tank Demos, Charles Leadbeater was early to notice the rise of "amateur innovation" -- great ideas from outside the traditional walls, from people who suddenly have the tools to collaborate, innovate and make their expertise known.
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Project Manager @ FACE
Ile de France