The Fondation VINCI pour la Cité
Since 2002, the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité has been sustainably assisting local communities by supporting projects promoting social or professional integration.
Many VINCI Energies employees are personally involved in the work of the associations and help them to obtain funding to continue their activities.
Four fields of intervention to fight exclusion
- Access to employment
The Foundation supports those working to access to jobs for people far from employment, and access to training for people without degrees or qualifications: structures that target integration through economic activity; sheltered and adapted work structures for the disabled; and organisations targeting dropouts (literacy, basic skills training, etc.).
- Inclusive mobility
The Foundation accompanies initiatives that foster mobility for people facing social or professional exclusion: social driving schools and garages, socially-supportive hire companies, mobility platforms; projects to assist spatial-temporal orientation; and mobility assistance services.
- Integration through housing
The Foundation encourages those who enable vulnerable people to access and stay in housing: social and very social housing creators and managers; associations working with the homeless, poorly housed or at risk of expulsion; projects favouring inter-generational and social diversity and participatory housing.
- Social ties in priority neighbourhoods
The Foundation provides its support to associations that act to build social ties, and fight isolation and social exclusion among inhabitants of priority neighbourhoods: general purpose associations (youth centres, support groups, workshops, academic support, neighbourhood events); literacy centres; associations fighting youth dropouts (integration through sports and culture).
The sponsor: in the centre of the action
The Foundation VINCI plays the role of bridge between the skills of the Group’s employees and associations serving a social purpose. In addition to a grant (€15,000 on average), all the projects that the Foundation supports are accompanied by one or more VINCI employees called ‘sponsors.’ The sponsors are present throughout the partnership, from the submission of the project grant application to the final report at the end of the first year. Geographic proximity between the project leaders and sponsors is therefore indispensable.
Taking action to integrate young people
“Since 2010, the Réseau Étincelle association has been helping young people without a diploma enter the job market. We help them identify their interests and put together a plan. We offer them an immersion programme: for nine days they visit companies, explore jobs and meet managers who also have an atypical career path. The association was sponsored by a VINCI Energies employee who submitted the proposal to the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité. Ultimately, the foundation awarded us a €10,000 subsidy to buy 16 laptop computers for use in the training programme. Local VINCI Energies business units host the training in their premises and hold workshops to simulate job interviews. Half the young people we have supported have found a job and some of them have even founded their own companies.
Sylvain Breuzard, Founder and president of the Réseau Étincelle association and head of Norsys (France).
Social integration of troubled youth as part of an ecological project
“The Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU)* works to rehabilitate young offenders by means of employment contracts with an educational purpose. The participants are made aware of environmental protection issues and receive training in horticulture and forestry. The project is sponsored by a manager from VINCI Energies Deutschland Industrietechnik. In 2015, these young people helped to complete the Großes Moor (“Great Marsh”) renaturation project in the district of Gifhorn (Lower Saxony). The Fondation VINCI pour la Cité funding was used to provide participants with a vehicle, tools and work clothes, and mentoring sessions were also provided by Actemium. The funds raised in 2015 helped to recreate heathland that shelters many rare and endangered animal species.
* German Federal Association for the Protection of Nature and Biodiversity.
René Hertwig, Leader of the Großes Moor project, NABU, Gifhorn district federation (Germany).
Organising volunteers to serve the community
“The Racynes association works to promote the social inclusion of young people and adults with social integration problems by involving them in community projects. Housing construction and renovation is one of the main areas in which the volunteers help out. As a sponsor of Racynes, I provide technical support during the construction phase and I supervise the participants’ work. In September 2015, VINCI Energies Belgium organised its annual fundraiser and contributed €15,000 to the association on behalf of the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité. VINCI Facilities Belgium also organised a cycling race that helped raise an additional €3,000, which was used to provide a community launderette and emergency accommodation for large families. My experience with these volunteers has been very rewarding. They are highly motivated, with a real desire to learn and to do things properly.
Ludovic, Team leader, VINCI Facilities Gosselies (Belgium).
Widening the impact of the VINCI Foundation
Set up in 2015, the VINCI UK Foundation promotes economic and social development in local communities. We support these communities over the long term by facilitating access to employment, housing and mobility. We also encourage our employees to get involved by sponsoring projects themselves and to present new organisations to us. In fact, seven of them have become local coordinators for the Foundation, whose funding enables organisations not only to buy equipment and materials but also to invest in training. We have close ties with the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité and the other branches, which have given us a great deal of support, both financially and by sharing their communication tools and practices.
David, Marketing Director, VINCI Energies UK (United Kingdom).