“Être mobile, c’est permis” : new social driving school
Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées - Toulouse
The associative project “Être mobile, c’est permis” creating a social driving school in Toulouse is the brainchild of a young social entrepreneur. Since September 2011, this project has allowed individuals in precarious situations to obtain a driver’s licence, a ticket to employment and integration.
“The students are sent to us by social services, Pôle Emploi, and the neighbourhood centres or local missions,” explains 30-year-old Martin Douçot, director and founder of this social driving school, a first in the department. “They are already working toward integration and their driver’s licences are financed mainly by training organisations. The individual contribution is approximately €400 each.” In regular driving schools, obtaining a licence costs €1,500 on average, an impossible amount for low-income people.
A comprehensive social integration project
Mounia Mamouh is working as a student aide in two primary schools in the region on a subsidised contract. She describes her “transportation mess” and the precious time she loses travelling between her two places of work: “With a driver’s licence, I can work more,” insists Mounia. With “Être mobile, c’est permis”, she found the support and confidence she needed to take the exam: “more than a simple driving school, it’s almost a second family, where human qualities rule.”
The social driving school project goes well beyond simple driving lessons, giving workshops on safety, auto budget management, basic mechanics, etc. “Être mobile, c’est permis” organises group outings to end isolation and “support personal and group dynamics”; it also takes into account difficulties understanding French when learning the driving code. “Our students receive the same education as in other driving schools but are more supported. We don’t merely play a DVD for them. We emphasise teaching,” says the director. Enrolled since last October, Mounia Mamouh appreciates the support: “The preparation is complete and the team pays attention to our problems, no matter what they are. I really liked the highway visit and the ASF teams’ speaking on safety issues.”
Asset management and maintenance assistant with ASF, Autoroutes du Sud de la France (VINCI Autoroutes), in Toulouse, Nathalie Luquet was at the origin of this safety awareness component: “I wanted to improve road safety monitoring for future drivers. I therefore looked for a social driving school. That’s how I met Martin and his wonderful project.” Fully involved as sponsor of this project, Nathalie was very flattered when she was offered the position of chair of the association’s board of directors in September 2011. For Martin Douçot, it was an obvious choice: “Her name rose to the top of the list naturally because of her involvement and her new, more pragmatic, vision linked to her position outside social work.” For the sponsor, it was equally good for both. “Through the VINCI Foundation, I was able to obtain, for the association, the financing for the purchase of the driving school’s first dual-command car (€16,500). I help the association how I can and I meet extraordinary people there. It is extremely satisfying for me to have been at the start of a project with which I have grown.”
February 2012 © 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.