Laurent Kribs and Action Basket Citoyen: the right pass
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - Villeurbanne
Social ties in priority neighbourhoods
Despite a jam-packed agenda, Laurent Kribs, enterprise head for Roiret Services (VINCI Facilities), finds the time to sponsor a youth education through sports association because it is a ‘meaningful commitment’.
‘I ran a city planning office, and am very familiar with urban renewal issues, but for the well-being of neighbourhood inhabitants, tearing down towers is not enough. You also have to keep young people occupied!’ says Jean Belmer, president of Action Basket Citoyen (ABC). Since 2006, his association has organised basketball events in Lyon and Vénissieux for young people who do not have access to sporting clubs. Professional educators—of which there are six today—ride a bus bearing the association’s colours up and down priority neighbourhoods and set up courts at the base of apartment towers or in schoolyards. ‘Some areas are inaccessible with the bus, and so we decided to get a smaller vehicle,’ says Jean, who had also considered buying uniforms for his employees so parents could identify them. ‘Our goal is also to be a springboard for young people who want to join clubs and our relationship with families is crucial.’
A well-grounded commitment
‘The subject interests me; the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité gives us an opportunity to do something good—and we should take it!’ insists Laurent Kribs, director of Roiret Services, and company specialising in building maintenance for electricity, safety and HVAC in Saint-Prieust, in the suburbs of Lyons. Originally from the Lorrain, Laurent has worked all over France and rose up in the ranks before taking the helm of the company in 2004. When he arrived, the company had 50 employees, it now has 140. Seven years ago, at the request of an employee, Laurent sponsored an integration support association. ‘We gave simulated job interviews and helped produce a newspaper. Then I once again accepted the Foundation’s call in 2014. ABC received €10,000, and I helped them complete their financing, advised them on their brochure, and made space available to them for their meetings... At the moment, I’m looking for somewhere to park their new van.’
A winning pass
The grant allowed them to buy a new vehicle and identifiable team uniforms ‘in orange, the colour of a basketball, and green to bring a little bit of colour into large spaces,’ says a delighted Jean. While children of all ages dribble balls, the president of ABC contacts people listed by his sponsor to start a Business Club: ‘We would like to ask them to sponsor the teams of children from the schools with which we work,’ confides Jean. For Laurent Kribs, this support with logistics, networking and skills is a matter of course: ‘We have a social duty to make available volunteers full of good will and resources for their actions. But it’s not easy to do it all at once. I was not able to attend the award ceremony of Durablement Sport (a sporting endowment and sustainable development fund) as it happened during the budget closing period... But I’m doing my best.’ ABC is also 3,194 neighbourhood kids shooting hoops in front of the bus last year.
July 2015 © 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.