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Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

MAISON DES BATELEURS - Solidarites-jeunesses Poitou-Charentes

description of organisation

Coming from the organisation Youth Action For Peace founded in 1923, Solidarités Jeunesses aims to contribute
to the construction of peace beyond national, cultural and religious borders.
Solidarités Jeunesses is a national organisation of youth and non formal education according to the law of 1901
which organises international workcamps, short and long term volunteering projects, inclusion actions, trainings
and action of international solidarity.
Through these actions, Solidarités Jeunesses wants to promote :
1- the free participation of everybody especially of youth and the most disadvantaged persons,
to the local, national and international life;
2- a local development centred on people, environment and cultural heritage;
3- an international, intercultural and intergenerational open mindedness;
4- a concrete construction of peace.
Based on these common objectives, the regional delegations of the movement express at the regional level the
dynamic of the movement. Created in 1993, the organisation Solidarités Jeunesses Poitou–Charentes comes
from the movement Solidarités Jeunesses.
In 1996, « La Maison des Bateleurs » became the hosting and animation centre in rural area of the regional
delegation in Poitou–Charentes of Solidarités Jeunesses.
Actually the team of the center is composed by 3 full time permanent staff members
- Benoit, regional delegate, in charge of the international workcamps coordination
- Maurine, in charge of hosting and mentoring the volunteers hosted by the center.
- Marc, technical supervisor for the volunteer's activities in la Maison des Bateleurs
One of the main values of the organisation is the recognition of each person within the group, to permit the self
development of the person in the respect and the consideration of the others. Our goal is to build a collective
project to show that we can live together and do something constructive with the cultural differences of each
others. Our association participates to the promotion of tolerance and human being respect values beyond all
political and ideological division.
To achieve its objectives, the organisation uses :
1. the organisation of international workcamps with short and long term volunteers in order to improve the
surroundings.
2. Hosting different groups or individuals with defined objectives according to the public.
3. The promotion of different kind of volunteering (international volunteering, youth exchanges...)
4. The support to the realisation of local associative projects.
5. To take part in social, economic and professional inclusion actions
6. Providing its adherents with pedagogical services and various equipments of the association.
“La Maison des Bateleurs” hosts young and less young people of mixed backgrounds (social, cultural,
generational, ect.) who fell like sharing a moment of life but also acquire new manual, linguistic and organizational
skills while learning to take responsibilities.
We encourage meetings and exchanges between individuals within the collective tools of workcamps and
collective life.
Beyond the general and philosophical objectives that has fixed to itself the movement Solidarités Jeunesses
shows a strong will “to be an actor and to make the hosted volunteers actors of local development

motivation and evs experience

Our organisation Solidarités Jeunesses Poitou-Charentes has been created in 1993, its international hosting
center in rural area emerged in 1996 in Montendre. The organisation welcomes every year 3 to 4 volunteers in
the frame of the European Voluntary Service since 1996. We submit our accreditation form request regularly
every three years.
Welcoming volunteers in the frame of the European Voluntary Service is for us an essential asset for our
associative project. The exchanges and the intercultural meetings are at the heart of our project based on
collective life. Each welcomed person has the possibility to acquire new skills, to develop its own creativity and to
share its knowledge.
Thus all the activities developed by the organisation aim to boost the meetings of people from different
backgrounds in order to give them the opportunity to build together a “fairer world” and to fight against all kind of
discriminations.

project environment

Specific needs
***********************
In line with all the projects of Solidarités Jeunesses, La Maison des Bateleurs hosts disadvantaged young people.
A specific support is organized to respond to the volunteer's needs and problems and an individual follow up is
organised during the project to achieve some specific goals agreed upon with the sending organization.
The disadvantaged young volunteer join the pre-existent group and we check his integration both within the group
and in the local community.
The tutors of the hosting centre organise a welcoming process including explications about the global functioning
of the association. In this way the volunteer can understand better his role within the project and the context.
The tutors will have as often as needed individual discussions (interview) with the volunteer. These discussions
are used to elaborate his project and to support him in his learning and empowerment process. The tutors will
support him all along the project.
The tutors of La Maison des Bateleurs organise some realistic and manageable activities with the volunteer; The
activities should allow the volunteer to get fully involved his new social context and to know where and how his
volunteering is useful for the community.
The tutors will ensure a good communication with the young volunteer as well as with the other partners
( sending organisation, coordinating organisation).
In addition, the tutors will work with the volunteer for the realisation of the objectives fixed beforehand. At the end
of the project, the tutors will inform the responsible of the sending project of the outcomes.

Project environment
*********************************
The hosting centre « La Maison des Bateleurs » is situated in the Haute Saintonge area and more precisely in the
town of Montendre where around 3200 inhabitants live. The municipality and the local councillors organise since the
beginning of the 2000 some activities to welcome young Europeans and is strongly involved in the associative life and
interested by international dynamics.
Nearly 60 associations exist in the town of Montendre. These ones are places of citizens' expression mainly hold by
local volunteers’ involvement. They allow the education to life in society and to educate to citizenship. The civil society
organisations have a big place in the town and are the support of a lot of actions which are taking place here.
In a rural context, the main economic activity is the production of pineau and cognac. Moreover for several years the
countryside tourism, thanks to the proximity of the ocean, (70km) has improved. Relatively hilly for the region, the
landscape is nice and covered with pine trees. The population of this area is rather from the working class but there
are more and more people working in Bordeaux (the 6th biggest French city) which is the biggest town in the department.
Montendre is located at the edge of a forest. It is a continuation of the forest of Massif Central. A part of the
canton is in the same situation however up North of Montendre the landscapes are much more touched by the agricultural
activity.
Since several years now, La Maison des Bateleurs has chosen to orientate its priorities toward the protection of the
environment in order to make itself progressively recognized at the local level as a alternative and experimental place
in the field of sustainable development. Indeed we want to be coherent with the respect of our planet in our daily life
(consumption/management of water and energy, responsible feeding, waste management...)
In parallel, La Maison des Bateleurs is a hosting centre for groups such as groups of disadvantaged young people
(social centres, association specialised in prevention...), groups of local young people but also training groups (animation
training,…).
Moreover, we are actively involved at the level of local development through activities run in partnership with our local
associative network. Each of the inhabitant of the hosting centre is lead to work with the associations and the
institutions present around (extracurricular workshops, going in highschools, etc.). Each year we take part in the
organisation of cultural, artistic and festives events such as the “festival de la terre” (the earth festival) organised in
the town.
During the summer time, the association organises volunteers workcamps in the region.
Generally, these activities are organised in projects of three weeks and take place in some villages of the area. These
workcamps can be the renovation or restoration of local heritage (old well, ancient wash house...), the promotion of
local cultural heritage (rebuilding the historical memory and cultural identity through the realisation of documentary,
exhibition...), the protection of the environment ( to clean the banks of a river...), the organisation of cultural and
artistic events ( organisation of a festival...). One of the interests of the workcamps is to put in contact people coming
from all over the world with people from the local community, living mostly in rural area with few contacts with the
international. For the host volunteers within our organisation, they have the possibility to become in their turn camp
leader of international workcamps during the summer

Proposed activities for EVS volunteers
***********************************************
The volunteer comes with the will to share a collective life (preparation of the meal, washing up the dishes, cleaning
of the house…) but also to do workcamps with the objective to train himself and to learn manual techniques, a
foreign language, as well as a will to take responsibilities at different levels and to explore creative and artistic
activities… The volunteer takes part in the development of associative project.
Moreover the volunteer gets the opportunity if he is willing to, to develop a personal project which fits in the context
and the collective project of the organisation. It is important for him to evaluate his interests, his objectives, his limits
as well as what he still needs to accomplish to reach his goals. This approach is a recurrent tool of our philosophy
aiming to concretely build peace through responsibilization and supporting the independence for an active
citizenship.
The activities organized with the volunteers are mainly workcamps and activities of local development around artistic
projects. A lot of the organised activities take place at La Maison des Bateleurs but some are also organised in
Montendre, in the neighbouring towns or with others associations.
The rhythm of a month includes technical trainings on renovation projects (masonry, carpentry, woodwork…) or on
educational projects about sustainable development (organic garden, green building, etc.). The participation in or the
development of various activities such as French courses, artistic, musical workshops according to the propositions
and the competences of each of the inhabitant of the hosting centre and of people who intervenes in it.
Exemplification week:
FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY:
07:30am - 08:00am : breakfast
08:00am – 08:45am : collective cleaning of the house
09:00am – 10:30am : workcamp
10:30am – 11:00am : break
11:00am – 12:30am : workcamp
12:30pm – 14:00pm : lunch and cleaning
14:00pm – 17:30pm : workcamp and personal project (2times/ week)
19:30pm : diner
Saturdays and Sundays will be dedicated to the discovery of the region, French culture and regularly to host some
groups and/or cultural events.
During their stay at la Maison des Bateleurs and with the support of the other volunteers and the supervising team,
the volunteer is involved in :
animation of the hosting and meeting centre whose main thematic are intercultural exchange, citizenship and
environment;
participation in animation and local development of the region by working in cooperation with local authority and
structures of animation and education (leisure centre, youth clubs, highschools…);
supporting the projects of the municipalities or organisations, especially in the frame of the international workcamps.
Mobilization and hosting persons in situation of difficulty in their social and professional inclusion



Specific needs
***********************
In line with all the projects of Solidarités Jeunesses, La Maison des Bateleurs hosts disadvantaged young people.
A specific support is organized to respond to the volunteer's needs and problems and an individual follow up is
organised during the project to achieve some specific goals agreed upon with the sending organization.
The disadvantaged young volunteer join the pre-existent group and we check his integration both within the group
and in the local community.
The tutors of the hosting centre organise a welcoming process including explications about the global functioning
of the association. In this way the volunteer can understand better his role within the project and the context.
The tutors will have as often as needed individual discussions (interview) with the volunteer. These discussions
are used to elaborate his project and to support him in his learning and empowerment process. The tutors will
support him all along the project.
The tutors of La Maison des Bateleurs organise some realistic and manageable activities with the volunteer; The
activities should allow the volunteer to get fully involved his new social context and to know where and how his
volunteering is useful for the community.
The tutors will ensure a good communication with the young volunteer as well as with the other partners
( sending organisation, coordinating organisation).
In addition, the tutors will work with the volunteer for the realisation of the objectives fixed beforehand. At the end
of the project, the tutors will inform the responsible of the sending project of the outcomes.

Project environment
*********************************
The hosting centre « La Maison des Bateleurs » is situated in the Haute Saintonge area and more precisely in the
town of Montendre where around 3200 inhabitants live. The municipality and the local councillors organise since the
beginning of the 2000 some activities to welcome young Europeans and is strongly involved in the associative life and
interested by international dynamics.
Nearly 60 associations exist in the town of Montendre. These ones are places of citizens' expression mainly hold by
local volunteers’ involvement. They allow the education to life in society and to educate to citizenship. The civil society
organisations have a big place in the town and are the support of a lot of actions which are taking place here.
In a rural context, the main economic activity is the production of pineau and cognac. Moreover for several years the
countryside tourism, thanks to the proximity of the ocean, (70km) has improved. Relatively hilly for the region, the
landscape is nice and covered with pine trees. The population of this area is rather from the working class but there
are more and more people working in Bordeaux (the 6th biggest French city) which is the biggest town in the department.
Montendre is located at the edge of a forest. It is a continuation of the forest of Massif Central. A part of the
canton is in the same situation however up North of Montendre the landscapes are much more touched by the agricultural
activity.
Since several years now, La Maison des Bateleurs has chosen to orientate its priorities toward the protection of the
environment in order to make itself progressively recognized at the local level as a alternative and experimental place
in the field of sustainable development. Indeed we want to be coherent with the respect of our planet in our daily life
(consumption/management of water and energy, responsible feeding, waste management...)
In parallel, La Maison des Bateleurs is a hosting centre for groups such as groups of disadvantaged young people
(social centres, association specialised in prevention...), groups of local young people but also training groups (animation
training,…).
Moreover, we are actively involved at the level of local development through activities run in partnership with our local
associative network. Each of the inhabitant of the hosting centre is lead to work with the associations and the
institutions present around (extracurricular workshops, going in highschools, etc.). Each year we take part in the
organisation of cultural, artistic and festives events such as the “festival de la terre” (the earth festival) organised in
the town.
During the summer time, the association organises volunteers workcamps in the region.
Generally, these activities are organised in projects of three weeks and take place in some villages of the area. These
workcamps can be the renovation or restoration of local heritage (old well, ancient wash house...), the promotion of
local cultural heritage (rebuilding the historical memory and cultural identity through the realisation of documentary,
exhibition...), the protection of the environment ( to clean the banks of a river...), the organisation of cultural and
artistic events ( organisation of a festival...). One of the interests of the workcamps is to put in contact people coming
from all over the world with people from the local community, living mostly in rural area with few contacts with the
international. For the host volunteers within our organisation, they have the possibility to become in their turn camp
leader of international workcamps during the summer

Proposed activities for EVS volunteers
***********************************************
The volunteer comes with the will to share a collective life (preparation of the meal, washing up the dishes, cleaning
of the house…) but also to do workcamps with the objective to train himself and to learn manual techniques, a
foreign language, as well as a will to take responsibilities at different levels and to explore creative and artistic
activities… The volunteer takes part in the development of associative project.
Moreover the volunteer gets the opportunity if he is willing to, to develop a personal project which fits in the context
and the collective project of the organisation. It is important for him to evaluate his interests, his objectives, his limits
as well as what he still needs to accomplish to reach his goals. This approach is a recurrent tool of our philosophy
aiming to concretely build peace through responsibilization and supporting the independence for an active
citizenship.
The activities organized with the volunteers are mainly workcamps and activities of local development around artistic
projects. A lot of the organised activities take place at La Maison des Bateleurs but some are also organised in
Montendre, in the neighbouring towns or with others associations.
The rhythm of a month includes technical trainings on renovation projects (masonry, carpentry, woodwork…) or on
educational projects about sustainable development (organic garden, green building, etc.). The participation in or the
development of various activities such as French courses, artistic, musical workshops according to the propositions
and the competences of each of the inhabitant of the hosting centre and of people who intervenes in it.
Exemplification week:
FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY:
07:30am - 08:00am : breakfast
08:00am – 08:45am : collective cleaning of the house
09:00am – 10:30am : workcamp
10:30am – 11:00am : break
11:00am – 12:30am : workcamp
12:30pm – 14:00pm : lunch and cleaning
14:00pm – 17:30pm : workcamp and personal project (2times/ week)
19:30pm : diner
Saturdays and Sundays will be dedicated to the discovery of the region, French culture and regularly to host some
groups and/or cultural events.
During their stay at la Maison des Bateleurs and with the support of the other volunteers and the supervising team,
the volunteer is involved in :
animation of the hosting and meeting centre whose main thematic are intercultural exchange, citizenship and
environment;
participation in animation and local development of the region by working in cooperation with local authority and
structures of animation and education (leisure centre, youth clubs, highschools…);
supporting the projects of the municipalities or organisations, especially in the frame of the international workcamps.
Mobilization and hosting persons in situation of difficulty in their social and professional inclusion


Volunteer profiles and recruitment process
***************************************************
La Maison des Bateleurs hosts all kind of person in the respect of its values of social equity. Our will is to
allow each host volunteer to develop competences but also to transmit his knowledge to others.
One of the main values is the recognition of each individual within a group, in order that he can develop
himself on the personal level in the respect and the consideration of the other. Our will is to build a collective
project that is to show that with cultural differences of each others we can live together and do something
constructive. It participates to the promotion of tolerance and respect values of human beings beyond all
political and ideological differences.
Solidarités Jeunesses does not ask for any particular competencies from the volunteers who wish to apply
for the medium and long term we offer, and so we have never established a volunteer profile. At the same
time we make every effort to provide our partners and future volunteers with as much detail as possible
about the projects so that they have everything they need to make an informed decision.
Moreover, according to the recommendations of the Youth in Action program, the European Voluntary
Service must be open to all youth, without distinction of competencies, social background or sex. In sound
accordance with the spirit of the program, Solidarités Jeunesses considers it necessary to make volunteer
projects accessable to everyone who is motivated and interested in participating.
We expect the volunteer to have a good understanding of the global project and that he or she will have a
desire to be a part of the group and contribute to the collective life. We look at volunteer service as an
exchange between a volunteer who offers their time, talents and energy to benefit a project of collective
interest and the hosting community which offers the volunteer a place where they can learn, experiment,
and grow personally.
Considering these principles, the most important element for the association is the motivation and
commitment level of the volunteer. The volunteer also needs to keep in mind that the project is situated in a
rural area, and that they will be somewhat isolated.
The idea of partnership is one of the fundamental values of Solidarités Jeunesses. Our voluntary activities
are founded on the principle of exchange and are made possible by the grace of solid and dependable
partners. A good understanding of the partners allows for the establishment of a working relationship that is
based on reciprocity and trust. However, that does not inhibit us from establishing new partner relationships
with associations that have the same values as Solidarités Jeunesses and who also desire to create
projects of significance for the youth. In effect, thanks to a sprawling network of partners and an
uninterrupted participation in international activities – as part of the Youth in Action program, among others
– we also have the possibility of coming in contact with new associations and collaborating with them. Our
open projects are not only broadcast within our network, but also in those of dozens of other partner
associations, as well as in virtual networks such as Youth NetWorks.
As a general rule we have regular contact with the partner associations who respond to our calls concerning
open places in our volunteer projects. These partners are the first to broadcast our projects to youth
interested in participating in the European Voluntary Service. The rôle of the partner associations is
essential as it assures not only the broadcasting of information but also the contact with future volunteers for
the purpose of clarifying to them the value of these projects, the responsibilities of the volunteers and the
hosting association, and the practicalities of the specific projects.
After the first contact, the volunteers send their application to Solidarités Jeunesses and we take it, along
with their letter of motivation, to the hosting organization, acting as an intermediary. These elements are
used at the end of the project as educational tools and help to evaluate the project and the experience of
the volunteers. Solidarités Jeunesses works to insure a good mix of cultures, genders and nationalities in
each project in order to create conditions which enable a rich and fertile intercultural dialogue.


Number of volunteers
******************************
A mixed group from 6 to 7 volunteers minimum lives permanently at the host venue, in this way they have the
possibility to meet, to confront, to built projects together with their cultural and personal differences. The
associative project of La Maison des Bateleurs allows the volunteers to learn how to make compromise in order
to build something together and to live collectively. It is a way to apprehend democracy.

Risk prevention, protection and safety
**********************************************
The hosting team insures the working environment of the volunteers through the application of security precaution
strategy and risk prevention. Our project use the tool of workcamp, that is why it is even more important for us to
explain security norms to the volunteer.
We also explain to the volunteer before and at his arrival the importance of collective life in our project. We
favours as much as we can his well-being within the host centre and we are always ready to listen to his needs.
The associative project allows a collective and democratic approach to the decisions making process, that means
that once a week we hold a “house meeting” with all the inhabitants of the place and the staff in order to discuss
and exchange point of view and feeling of each person of the group. This time of sharing allow to defuse conflicts
that could have been generated by lack of communication.
Once a month the tutors hold a interview with the volunteer to evaluate his volunteering and the ongoing projects
as well as a follow-up of his personal project. This interview can be hold more often if there is a need and for
disadvantaged young person.
The communication that we established in between the members of the project is for us an essential element to
apprehend the crisis.
La Maison des Bateleurs put in place a support system during the working time but also during the activities and
free time, above all if the volunteer is minor. A person is referent of the host volunteer and is in charge to secure
his essentially when it is a minor.

inclusion topics

This organisation is willing to involve volunteers who face situations which make their participation in activities more difficult, from the following categories for different types of project:

  • Educational difficulties
  • Social obstacles
  • Cultural differences