‘License to Hope’ Granted!
Normandie - Le Havre
‘Personal development and professional evolution’ is Fodeno’s leitmotiv. Involved in the training sector, the association also prepares vulnerable people to drive automobiles. Concerned by the issues of mobility and return to employment, Sylvain Gognet and Nicolas Bouley set out together on the road as co-sponsors.
‘Elaborating professional plans and qualifying training for job seekers is part of our functions. We also help people having trouble learning (illiteracy, dyslexia) through literacy and computer skills workshops. It was in this context that we created the “License to Hope” programme because obtaining a driver’s license contributes to personal development,’ explains Christophe Saunier, assistant director of Fodeno. Two weekly workshops give future driver’s license candidates a glimpse at the highway code. ‘We very quickly realised that driving was a source of fear and there was a need to calm those fears. This is why we wanted to invest in a simulator,’ says Christophe Saunier. There wasn’t a genie in a bottle to grant this one wish, just a helping hand from the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité in the form of a €16,000 grant, which came with the enthusiastic support of two sponsors, agency directors present in the Conurbation Community of Le Havre—Sylvain Gognet (Eurovia Haute-Normandie) and Nicolas Bouley (Sogea Nord-Ouest).
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President of a solidarity association working with a village in Burkina Faso since 2002, Sylvain has always been ‘sensitive to people in difficulty. We try to help how we can. Of course, being a sponsor takes time, but it is necessary to take this time for others.’ It was therefore natural for him to support the Le Havre association’s plans. ‘I knew Fodeno because I’d sent several of my employees to them for classes in written French. When they mentioned the simulator, I knew that it would meet a real need. Mobility is an important issue for job seekers,’ states the agency director in the public works sector. Because two sponsors are better than one, he then called on his colleague in the construction sector. ‘It immediately made sense to me. Given our implantation, we have a large network of interlocutors. We are able to support a local initiative of this type, whose goal is to give job seekers the autonomy to find a job. In addition, I’ve met people who cannot take a job because they don’t have a way to get to worksites,’ explains Nicolas Bouley. But for both sponsors, the most important thing is the human dimension, the building block in a potential return to employment for people helped by Fodeno. ‘Our role is not limited to financial monitoring. It’s also a matter of sharing our professions in informational meetings, worksite visits, and so on,’ insists Sylvain Gognet. Simulated job interviews and contacts for internships in companies have also been mentioned. Christophe Saunier has the last word: ‘Our sponsors are very present. This is important for us. This relationship—built for the long haul—is a real added value.’
April 2016 © 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.