During the steering committee’s meeting in February 2016, the committee members had the opportunity to visit the “Maison des Volontaires” (House of Volunteers ) in the 13e arrondissement in Paris.
Anna Diarra, the founder of this structure, gave an interesting overview on its history, its functioning and its objectives.
The main aim of the “Maison des Volontaires” is to give a new impetus to the hosting of volunteers from France and from abroad in the Paris region (Ile de France).
The French government and the municipality of Paris, together with several stakeholders from the social sector took the initiative to create this space for volunteers by offering:
- safe, clean and affordable accommodation facilities for 42 volunteers – “la home”
- a resource center for volunteers – “le lab”
- a space for dissemination – “la scène”
The “Maison des Volontaires” is supposed to bring together accommodation, participation and local development. It allows the volunteers to get into contact to the local community and to mutually share their experiences.
This home of volunteers provides information on volunteering opportunities and offers shared spaces and activities to volunteers.
“You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”
As a counterpart to the offered support, volunteers commit themselves to “donate” part of their volunteering time to the local community in terms of social or civic activities.
During the visit, committee members had the opportunity to meet current volunteers from France, Mexico and Germany living in “la home” and to discuss with them on the needs of volunteers related to information, support, mentoring and integration into local structures.
Crédit photos : Marion BIDET