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Anne Sabbatorsi and Les Compagnons Bâtisseurs Provence: the future under construction

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur - Marseille
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When she first arrived in Marseille, in 2012, the calls for tender agent with GTM Sud VINCI Construction wanted to get involved as she had in Annecy. And that’s where her adventure with Les Compagnons Bâtisseurs Provence began.

05/22/2013

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‘I missed my involvement with associations,’ recalls Anne Sabbatorsi. When I learned about the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité, I registered as a willing sponsor on the Foundation’s website and the Foundation contacted me to accompany Les Compagnons Bâtisseurs Provence. I went to a few of their meetings and really came to understand the work they do. Their volunteers are as skilled as industry leaders!’ This association helps families in very precarious situations renovate their homes and runs school construction sites that allow young people and unskilled adults to learn the construction trades. Les Compagnons Bâtisseurs Provence received a grant of €18,000 from the Foundation to buy a used van, work clothing, protective gear, and construction equipment for young people seeking reintegration. ‘The northern districts of Marseille, like certain remote corners of the Var, are very poorly served,’ says Florent Houdmon, director of the association. ‘Now, we can pick up the young people and bring them to the school construction sites.’ The director has nothing but good to say about the commitment of the VINCI sponsors—Anne Sabbatorsi and Laurent Agnel—whose involvement has gone deeper than she hoped.

Helping with reinsertion

Anna Sabbatorsi mainly helps with recruiting students. ‘We give the most disadvantaged—those who dropped out of school before graduating—a chance.’ A dozen or so take a six-to-nine-month training class. ‘The goal isn’t necessarily for these young people to take up work in the trades, but that they find structure, rigor, confidence. And sometimes much more: one of them was recently accepted into a formworker training course at VINCI that could lead to a job.’ At age 22, Saïd is glad he has this opportunity: ‘I didn’t expect things to come together like this, I just wanted to consolidate my construction knowledge. And finally, doors opened!’ The association also helps families renovate their homes. ‘Precariousness is not limited to certain neighbourhoods,’ says Anne Sabbatorsi. ‘I’m thinking notably about single mothers. Les Compagnons Bâtisseurs Provence study how to save money with better insulation...’ In 2013, the association helped 375 families thanks to its staff of 30, its 20 formal volunteers, and its 60 active free volunteers.

Professions of the future

Anne Sabbatorsi would like, one day soon, to organize worksite visits to introduce less well known construction professions, such as civil engineering. ‘This type of outing provides prospects,’ agrees Florent Houdmon. ‘The young people see that VINCI also builds airports and stadiums, sometimes at the other end of the world; that their teams use very advanced techniques that can be learned in training courses.’ The sponsor would also like to set up week-long in-company internships with the support of her colleagues. In Provence, the connections between Les Compagnons Bâtisseurs and the VINCI Group are just beginning to grow.

August 2014 © 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.