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Annaba : dance and storytelling to expand one’s horizons

Centre-Val de Loire - Joué-lès-Tours
Access to employment

The association Annaba believes in mastery of writing, reading and diction to open dialogue. Founded in 1997, it works to support the education of children in difficulty and fosters access to jobs for single and illiterate mothers.



Giving meaning to learning and diversity was Hayat Harchi’s goal when she created her association, Annaba, in 1997. This oriental dance teacher and former executive assistant works with children in priority disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Joué-les-Tours.

Spark creativity

Annaba sets up fun activities around oriental dance and story writing for struggling pupils, in partnership with the National Education system. ‘Writing stories allows children to get used to writing and reading. They participate in a collective project and realise that every origin can enrich the story. The workshops spark children’s creativity,’ explains Hayat Harchi, the association’s educational and artistic director. Since 2001, nearly 40 classes have taken part in these workshops. Annaba also works with a dozen vocational high schools in the department to ‘enhance professional paths through a cultural approach’. Finally, since 2007, the Femmes en Action (women in action) program has helped struggling mothers find jobs. ‘By helping mothers, we help children. Out of the 40 women accompanied during 4 sessions, 32 have found jobs and others have learned to read and write or enrolled in classes,’. says Hayat Harchi. A precious partnership In 2011, the support of the VINCI Foundation —€8,000 to purchase office and computer equipment—allowed the association to ‘move forward, determine its actions, and provide the children with working tools,’ says the educational director.
For Sébastien Dupouyet, agency head with Eurovia in Tours and the association’s sponsor, ‘Annaba’s women have developed true expertise in fighting discrimination, and were able to share this expertise with us when we wanted to renew our Diversity Label. They were able to address the sensitive question of illiteracy with our employees through skits.’ VINCI and Annaba have forged a precious partnership that both parties want to maintain.

February 2013 © Reporters d'Espoirs news agency

Reporters d'Espoirs news agency

VINCI Foundation works with Reporters d'Espoirs, a French news agency, to highlight and share the innovative social initiatives that it supports. The arrangement includes the writing of articles and exchange on topics that lead to solutions. Thus presented, the initiatives, validated using the criteria of the editorial charter of Reporters d'Espoirs, are intended to demonstrate their development and results.