Among them is the head educational advisor of a French high school, who signed up with a view to raising her pupils’ awareness about microcredit. The idea starts taking shape and, fast forward to 2011, Florence de Maupeou is in charge of Babyloan’s institutional relations. She is in charge of designing an educational kit to be used by teachers of secondary education level.

 

What is the aim of the association?

The aim is to provide materials to teach the principles of Sustainable Development, and to inspire the pupils to take action themselves. The “Ma Classe Solidaire” kit was released in September 2011 with the support of the French Development Agency and the MAIF (a mutual insurance association).

In July 2012 an association of general interest is established under the name Babyloan Networks, headed up by Florence, whose aim is now to take the educational kit further, to enhance it and give it a wider reach. The team quickly doubles in size after the arrival of Fanny Plançon who speaks in front of the pupils and assists the teachers throughout the year.

The kit is designed as a tool box: it is divided into a three-part-"know-experience-act" sequence, enabling the teacher to cover not just the theory of solidarity but real actions, while still in the classroom! It covers subjects such as global issues, the social economy, microfinance, etc.

If you think that young people are tomorrow’s central figures and decision-makers, and that informing them about citizenship solidarity is essential, then find out about the project at www.maclassesolidaire.org (only in French).

Focus on Alexandre Dumas high school in Saint-Cloud

For two years Caroline, a history and geography teacher at the Alexandre Dumas high school, has been working with her pupils on their own “Ma Classe Solidaire” projects.

Sustainable Development is part of her curriculum, and is always approached from an environmental point of view, so she has found that the “Ma Classe Solidaire” project offers a refreshingly original perspective.

Last year, after having found out about global issues and microcredit, the pupils all gave €2 out of their own pockets to support the micro-entrepreneur of their choice. This year, the new solidarity project also involves a collection, via a cake sale organised by the pupils. A team of three pupils even chose microcredit to be the subject for an interactive module to be assessed as part of their high school diploma.

This is a wonderful opportunity to be ambassadors for solidarity economy! The pupils from last year were repaid the €2 that they had lent. In the end they chose to leave the money in the pot, in order to support another micro-entrepreneur! “The project has created an atmosphere of solidarity, by developing a sense of class spirit that was non-existent at the start of the project”, Caroline observes.