Not all families can go on holiday, for reasons that are usually budgetary. In France, according to a 2018 report by UNAT, a solidarity tourism association, nearly 3 million children do not go on holiday, which represents more than one in three children. The summer season is a special time for children and families to get together leaving the usual places and sharing good times. In order to allow these families and children to also relax and enjoy a moment to recharge, many reference companies in the tourism sector have gathered around the foundation I leave, you leave, it leaves, carried by Germain Lelarge since its creation in October 2014.
Solidarity holidays supported by tourism leaders
Since its inception, the foundation of Germain Lelarge has had the ambition to help families living below the poverty line with incomes of less than 964 euros per month. This represents nearly 9 million people, who cannot afford to go on holiday during the summer. Thanks to the establishment of an endowment fund in the summer of 2015, the foundation allowed 50 families to enjoy a few days of family vacation. A success that allowed Je quis, tus qui, it leaves to continue its development with the gradual arrival of new partners who support this project, as well as many special patrons, companies and other foundations. Today, more than 500 families have benefited from this programme, whose future already seems to be as promising if not more so.
In the summer of 2018, the foundation received the support of major players in the tourism market in France that facilitate access to holidays: the Pierre group and Holidays Center Parcs, the National Agency for Holiday Checks (ANCV), the AirBnB platform, Madame Vacations or Odalys Vacations. These partners for the year 2018 have made it possible to offer free of charge some fifty housing units to families benefiting by sea, mountain or countryside, all over France, as well as travel to allow these families to be able to move to their destination.
Bordeaux, a solidarity metropolis
In Bordeaux, many initiatives and associations also help the most needy. Apart from the inability to go on holiday, some people are unable to find a stable job and have a comfortable enough situation to live normally. Thus, the association Alternative Urban offers alternative tourist walks to tourists, walks provided by people in reintegration, thus giving them a job. This initiative allows tourists to discover areas of Bordeaux that are not accessible with the usual tourist buses, while benefiting from the look of locals who know unique places. It also allows these walking guides to find a job and earn income.
There are also other associations in Bordeaux, such as Seeds of Solidarity Bordeaux, which works with people in need. To help homeless people, marauders are organized by this association that comes to bring them hot meals and blankets. The association also offers language courses in French, for example, to help people who want and need to learn and improve, especially in order to better integrate into the working life afterwards. Finally, in Bordeaux and even throughout the country, some associations help people who are victims of isolation, by (re)creating a social link between the inhabitants and the merchants, thanks for example to the concept of suspended coffee, a phenomenon originating in Italy. Some coffee shops or solidarity bars allow customers to pay for a “suspended coffee” that will be paid for but not consumed, so that if a person in need comes and asks for a coffee, he can benefit from this coffee.
All over the world, and at all times, solidarity helps those in need. Whether it’s helping families go on vacation to offer respite and allowing children to enjoy moments away from their habits, giving a hot meal to people who can’t afford to live decently, or helping others get into professional life, associations and foundations offer a real hand outstretched throughout the year.
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