Responding to an internal and external need
The association runs a reception centre for asylum seekers (CADA) where families live with their children. They are housed in an old convent, provided and refurbished by the Abbé Pierre foundation for welcoming these families. During the holidays, the children need activities. They sometimes go to recreation centres in the area, but this is not always possible due to a lack of spaces.
The association therefore decided to create a recreation centre in the CADA to create a participative and social space, and also to create a local place for children of families that live in the area and nearby areas. Through this project, the association hoped to facilitate living together in the local area through enabling social and cultural mingling.
The Day Recreation Centre (ALSH) run by Emmaus Bussières et Pruns has, since 2010, been a space for expression, discussion, experimentation and listening. It welcomes children of asylum seekers, as well as any children between the ages of 3 and 12 who go to school in Plaine Limagne. It is part of Emmaus’ community work, and communicates the Emmaus values: welcoming, peace, humanity, equality, solidarity, citizenship and secularism. It welcomes children during school holidays, including the summer.
The recreation centre includes an educational project that is based around each child reaching their potential through fostering independence, as well as encouraging joint discovery of the world around us and providing an opportunity to parents who want to invest in the centre’s projects.
The team is made up of two permanent qualified employees in charge of the two groups (younger and older children). They are supported by two volunteers appointed by the Emmaus association as well as two qualified temporary group leaders.
- Around 20 parents (asylum seekers and local parents)
- 3 volunteers (administrators)
- 2 paid employees
- Temporary group leaders (between 2 and 4 depending on the session)
- Two volunteers
Plaine Limagne federation of municipalities
The Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (family allowances fund)
Conseil Départemental 63 (county council)
- 2009: identification of the need (free-time activities for children of asylum seekers / lack of places in existing structures)
- Looking for public finance partners (family allowances fund agreement) ; looking for private funding: Fondation de France (three years of funding).
- 2010-2013: setting up the recreation centre (construction work, agreement with our service provider FRANCAS*, various improvements, link with PMI**, external development, seeking new sources of funding).
(*) Secular federation of educational, social and cultural structures and activities
(**) Maternal and Infant protection
- 2014: active participation with the steering committee on the federation of municipalities to try to integrate other recreation centres and benefit from more public funding.
- 2015: recognition received from the federation of municipalities regarding the quality of our recreation centre and obtaining an agreement for three years. Management of the recreation centre is taken over by Emmaus (end of cooperation with FRANCAS).
Continue working in partnership with the federation of municipalities with a quantitative agreement.
Be even more involved in organising child-related activities in the local area.
Open up the CADA through offering other spaces for external families, particularly for early childhood.
We have managed to respond to the needs identified:
Mingling, openness and socialisation for children of asylum seekers, creation of an additional space for activities and recreation for children outside of school hours.
We welcome between 30 and 42 children depending on the holidays.
We have also managed to become part of a local network.
Offering a service that has been recognised since 2015 as a local operator (with funding from the federation of municipalities for our recreation centre) gives us the chance to develop more links with social, cultural and activity partners in our region. This creates a special relationship with local authorities and the federation of municipalities.
For example, we have managed to set up a partership with the Aigueperse daycare centre and been able to offer local children Under the age of three some hours of childcare.
Making Emmaus and its activities more visible.
A different approach to asylum seekers.
More sustainable financing to offset a small deficit each year.
Stabilising the team of group leaders and permanent employees to encourage loyalty among the families that come.
Better attendance by families in the village.
Better involvement in the community where our centre located.