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European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.


ABEJ Solidarité - Lille

EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
EVS accreditation expiry date 01/05/2016
Location LILLE, France
Organisation topics
Inclusion topics

EVS accreditation number


For more information about volunteering and European Voluntary Service in particular, visit the Voluntary Activities section of this website.

Please note, information about organisations and projects is only available in English.
Project Environment

Project environment
Lille is the largest city in French Flanders. It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in France after those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium. It is the capital of the Nord-Pas de Calais region and the prefecture of the Nord department.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, the region was faced with some problems after the decline of the coal, mining and textile industries. From the start of the 1980s, the city began to turn itself more towards the service sector.
Work on Euralille, an urban remodelling project, began in 1988. The Euralille Centre was opened in 1994, and the remodeled district is now full of parks and modern buildings containing offices, shops and apartments. In 1993, a high-speed TGV train line was opened, connecting Paris with Lille in one hour. This, with the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994 and the arrival of the Eurostar train, put Lille at the centre of a triangle connecting Paris, London and Brussels.
In 1994 the "Grand Palais" was also opened.
Lille was elected European Capital of Culture in 2004.
Lille and its region offer nowadays many touristical, cultural and sports opportunities.

The volunteers will be accommodated in the Maison relais Martin Luther King. They will have an independent and fully équipped 3 rooms flat. Both volunteers will be flatmates.

Proposed activities for EVS volunteers
The volunteers’ activities will take place in the two « maisons relais » hosting homeless people in social rehabilitation. At first, they will alternate the service place from one week to another, so that they will know the places’ organization and they will be identified. Then they will operate in function of the needs and of the set up projects, according to their wishes. The schedule will be defined in advance and the competences of the volunteers taken into account.

Through this experience, the EVS volunteers will have the opportunity :
- to discover new linguistic and cultural horizons and to commit himself to people in difficulty.
- to participate to the place’s life and to contribute to the hosting quality and to the residents’ accompaniment in bringing a supplement of humanity.
Moreover, this enriching international experience will help them to make future carreer choices. Indeed, discovering a new envrionment with the opportunity to increase their knowledge of another language, to address different professions and people with diverse life histories, will contribute to their social and human enrichment.

The role of the volunteers in the Maison Relais will be to establish a contact with the hosted persons with the aim of reducing isolation. They will participate to the accompaniment and to the well-being of the residents and also to their social rehabilitation in a pluridisciplinary team.

The residents’ accompaniment will be the most important task of the volunteers’ service (60%).
At first place, it means to approach the residents and to understand their needs, while keeping the necessary distance.
On a daily basis, the volunteers will accompany the residents in their daily tasks and handlings (make shopping, go to the post office etc…).
The volunteers, after they created a climate of listening and trust, will for example propose with the team of volunteers outside leisure activities (sport, cinema, concerts…), and share these moments with the residents.
During this task, they may be requested for the transport by car of the persons with reduced mobility.
Several times in the months, convivial meals will be organized with the residents. The volunteers will have the possibility to share and make discover their cooking traditions.

The volunteers will also have the opportunity to propose activities developed in connection with their mentor and with the « homemaker » in a personal project (25%).
According to their competences and to their wishes, they will for example propose cooking, writing, language workshops, or any other activity.

The ABEJ has an important team of voluntary workers at his disposal (some of them in Civic service). The volunteers will be therefore invited to participate to the team meetings of the voluntary workers and to the trainings of the Civic service volunteers (10%). In that way, they will be well integrated to the ABEJ.

The volunteers will have language classes (5%).
Their weekly schedule will be of maximum 35 hours per week.

Volunteer profiles and recruitment process
In the light of the target group hosted in the Maison Relais (alone men with social difficulties), we will prefer to host male volunteers.
The project requires a certain maturity.
Motivation and initiative are the most important criterias for us.
A driving license would be a plus.

The description of our project is in the European Volontary Service database, and is also available through VISA-Année Diaconale, the coordinating organization we work with. VISA-Année Diaconale gets the applications from the volonteers. After examining them all, they select one that could fit our project and sends it to us, with a summary of the interview they had with the applicant. In case we decide to accept this application, the volunteer is asked to call our institution so that we can have a first contact, answer questions he might still have and prepare his arrival.
The project starts at the beginning of September and ends in June of the following year, i.e. it lasts 10 months. The applicants need to contact the coordinating organization VISA-AD from December to January to start the selection procedure.

Number of volunteers : 2 for any increase according to NA permission
Risk prevention, protection and safety
On arrival in France, the volunteers are welcomed by the coordinating organization VISA-AD during 5 days. This is an opportunity to make acquaintances, to answer their fears and theirs expectations, to make them feel more confident, to foster group dynamics…and to explain them the important aspects of their service.
The coordinating organization also hands them over a booklet containing the information needed in case of problem, emergency and also the contact information of the various partners involved in the project at the beginning of their service. They also make sure that all volunteers are covered by the AXA insurance. A copy of the AXA booklet is also handed over to each volunteer.

Following measures will guarante the good development of the service :
- the mentoring of the volunteers will be well defined : Mr Patrick Pailleux, General Director, will be responsible for the administrative part of the project and will help to the good integration of the volunteers in the local community. Mr Dominique Quique, head of the department, will be the field referee in connection with the « homemakers ».

Motivation and EVS experience

European voluntary service is very interesting for us for many reasons.
In the first place for our professional staff : the young volunteers always bring a kind of dynamism which is benefic for our workers. Besides, the come from abroad is always enriching : the volunteer will bring his own culture and a different attitude, and that will force the hosting staff to adapt to him, to make efforts to integrate someone new. This is a necessary challenge for a service existing since many years and approaching fragile persons. In other words, the volunteers will bring who they are and will lead us to open up more to the other.
For our recipients, the European volunteers mean also an important enrichment : they bring « free » relationship and a different culture. Their presence and their time involvement show to the residents of the home that they are worth of interest. They may think : « These young people came from far to be next to me and to accompany me a litlle while. ». Eventually, they bring new ideas of activities and allow more personalized accompaniment.

Description of the organisation

The project of Abej Solidarité is in the first place a hosting action to give a shelter to the people living in the street.
We are convinced that everybody can get out of an exclusion situation, and that is the reason why the Abej Solidarité made the choice to take care of the most helpless people that are the homeless. Her aim is the global accompaniment of the homeless people, taking into account all the obstacles to their social integration.

To reach this aim, the ABEJ uses in a conjugated action as well motivated voluntary workers and professionals.
Several areas were created :

• Day centers
• Night shelters
• Health center
• Rehabilitation workshops
• Homes
• Social accommodations
• « Maison Relais » (long term accommodation)
• Rehousing service
• Cultural mediation

• Chaplaincy

The accommodation service was created in 1991 to develop the offer of accommodations meant for homeless people supported by the Abej Solidarité. It takes in charge isolated persons, a majority being men. The aim of the service is to contribute to the access to accommodation of homeless people and to the durability of the housing.

The staff of the accommodation service of the Abej Solidarité is composed by 5 specialized educators and a head of the department.
The EVS project will take place on two different locations : the Maison relais Martin Luther King in Lille and the Maison relais of Tourcoing. Both places are well connected with public transports.
The Maison relais are administrated each by one so called « home maker » during working hours. A team of volunteers is also involved in the animation of the places.

Contact details
Please note, the selected organisation cooperates with a different EVS organisation to handle enquiries on its behalf.
Street 1, rue de l'ancienne digue
Postal code 67100
Country France
Email address info@visa-ad.org
Telephone number +33(0)3 88 35 46 76
Fax number +33(0)3 88 35 33 56

Last update: 03/09/2013