The Solidarity Studies Olympics: when young people study and open up to the world

The Solidarity Studies Olympics: when young people study and open up to the world

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On 30th January, young people and adults representing 1,891 young people from 40 Apprentis d’Auteuil establishments and 973 young people from 23 member centres of the International Alliance Action for Families and Youth (AFFY) took part in the closing ceremony of the 7th Solidarity Studies Olympics. This was an opportunity for them to meet up, exchange ideas and hand over the amount collected during their hours of study, to the Moroccan Association, Heure Joyeuse.

Between 5th November and 5th December 2018, 1,891 Apprentis d’Auteuil girls and boys and 973 young people from Morocco, Germany, Finland and Italy from the member centres (1) of the International Alliance Action for Families and Youth (AFFY) have worked extremely hard. And for good reason! For every hour of study, a donor paid 1 euro to fund a solidarity project. "By participating in the Solidarity Studies Olympics, we wanted to earn the maximum amount of money for the chosen project", enthuses Ounaima, 14, from the Heure Joyeuse Association in Morocco. That encouraged us to study much more – 4 hours a day – French and English. In total, 72 young Moroccans took part!"
With his words, Ounaima perfectly sums up this educational action for world citizenship and international solidarity : encouraging young people aged 6 to 21 years to engage in, for other young people, a solidarity project they choose by casting a vote...all by continuing their studies.
For this 7th year, they chose Nawahib (talents in Arabic) supported by the Association Heure Joyeuse, Apprentis d’Auteuil’s partner in Morocco. That is, renovating and organising a space in a sports hall and auditorium. In this way, children and teenagers will be able, during their free time or after school, to learn dance, judo, theatre, music, to relax, express themselves, regaining self-confidence, discovering talents and developing.  

Progress in learning and helping others

Among the 57 young people and 36 adults who came to Paris on 30th January for the closing ceremony of these Olympics, 4 boys and girls from the Apprentis d’Auteuil Don Bosco academic institutions share their enthusiasm. "I’ve been taking part in the Olympics for four years because I know that by studying I progress and  I help children and teens who really need it", says Emma, 14. As an educator, Hamid Yahi says he fulfills his mission of helping and supporting young people. "Boys and girls are not indifferent to the misery in the world", he explains, "these Olympics are raising their awareness even more. They feel useful and they put their concerns into perspective, especially by meeting other young people". "Young people have only one desire: to start again from one year to the next and take part in various projects such as solidarity projects or Operation Rice Bowl", says educator Caroline Bouy.

Children and Adults Together

Safia, Jade, Ian and Jamesley, four children from the Notre-Dame des Anges school in Toulouse are "proud and happy to have been selected by their friends to represent them in Paris", says Executive Assistant Solange Moraldi. "We really love helping people", chorus Jade and Safia, 8 and 9 years. The Leisure Centre associated with the school in effect allows children from 5 to 11 years to take part, during extracurricular activities, in storytelling workshops, drawing, circus skills, theatre, radio and cooking in connection with the solidarity project. "This year, some sixty children have discovered Morocco through its environment, culture and customs", says Solange Moraldi.
In one month, the efforts of French, German, Finnish, Italian and Moroccan youngsters over 28,103 hours of study have collected 28,103 euros. "With the Olympics, you children got behind the idea of solidarity for other children, that gives hope and joy", Leïla Cherif, President of the Heure Joyeuse Association said thanking them when receiving the cheque. "You show us adults, that solidarity can easily cross over seas, mountains and borders. As citizen of the world, you teach us that we can always do more together."  


(1) Heure Joyeuse (Morocco), CJD (Germany), Luovi (Finland) and SCS-CNOS (Italy), four Apprentis d’Auteuil partners who are also members of the International Alliance Action for Families and Youth (AFFY).  

Apprentis d’Auteuil is a deeply committed catholic foundation, recognized as promoting the public interest in France and in more than 50 countries. Thanks to the expertise and experience of the foundation and their partners, Apprentis d’Auteuil have been able to supervise more than 23.000 children in France and almost 20.000 children and families worldwide. Its main goal is to help youth in difficulty by conducting educational projects and to boost their ability to participate in society as full-fledged citizens by promoting training and insertion programs worldwide. In addition to their actions towards helping vulnerable children, Apprentis d’Auteuil and their partners assist struggling parents in their family obligations, with coeducation as the guiding principle. The key purpose is to improve the management of children under their care and to enable them to grow as free and responsible adults. To make a donation for education – Please contact the foundation for underprivileged children Apprentis d’Auteuil.