Naila Gautier is president of the organization Les Mamans du Cœur, a partner organization of Trustbuilding Program project OUI ACT in France. She also works as a facilitator for children-parent workshops. We asked her work and how the collaboration with OUI ACT benefits the families in her community.
What does Les Mamans du Cœur do?
The organization has different divisions:
- Dialogue and exchange - with workshops and projects around different forms of influence that particularly influence sensitive neighborhoods, like for example: drugs, social networks, sectarian movements and radicalism.
- Humanitarian solidarity - to develop solidarity between residents. Using this solidarity to help homeless people, like with the daily distribution of unsold bread from the bakery, weekly distribution of water in a shelter without drinking water, occasional distribution of meals in shelters without a kitchen, and distributing meals in the region of Paris region for homeless people in the streets.
- Culture - intergenerational activities in open-air in different neighborhoods to create bonds of respect between younger and older residents. This in order to increase the livability in the neighborhood.
- Active citizenship - in order to stimulate active citizenship, we organize several activities, like: neighborhood parties, recycling workshops, setting up a communal garden with edible plants, and cleaning workshops for the whole neighborhood.
- Emergency - we have set up and run an emergency number for people living in shelters that face different needs, like food or clothing shortage. There are nurses volunteering to help these people in need.
Who do you work with?
I work with people of every age, origin and background, who live in troubled neighborhoods in Trappes, which is a suburban city near Paris. Also, we collaborate with other organizations with similar activities in the region, in order to be more efficient and effective.
Why did you create this organisation?
My mom was a foster family for other kids, so I’ve always been involved in this field of work.
What is your reason for collaborating the OUI ACT?
I collaborate with OUI ACT because I found solutions for the needs of the people I work with. The programme covers topics that range from not-knowing yourself and lacking confidence, to not having knowledge about French laws, history and values. OUI ACT also matches with Les Mamans du Cœur’s values in the sense that OUI ACT to do not try to impose their ideas on people but empowers them to take matters into their own hands.
What is the difference between OUI ACT and similar programs?
The difference is the respect that OUI ACT has for everyone’s beliefs and values. They do not come to lecture people or stand a moral high ground. They come with respect, willingness to share and trust.
What do you see as the greatest challenge?
My biggest challenge is not finding enough time to do everything that I need and want to do. Like reading books. It’s hard to find the time to do so.
What are changes that you have seen recently?
One of the stories of change I’ve seen is the result of my collaboration with OUI ACT. I’ve asked them to adapt their program for the moms I’m working with. I’ve asked them to trust me, I’ve asked the moms to trust me, and the result was beyond my hopes and expectations.
What is your hope for the future?
My dream would be to bring the opportunity to the many people who would benefit from OUI ACT, to have them go through the program.
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The Trustbuilding Program is aimed at addressing divisive issues at the international and national levels, on the premise that only those who have undergone the internal process of becoming trustworthy themselves can close gaps across the globe. The Program was launched by Initiatives of Change International in 2019 with projects in Kenya, Canada and France.
NOTE: Individuals of many cultures, nationalities, religions, and beliefs are actively involved with Initiatives of Change. These commentaries represent the views of the writer and not necessarily those of Initiatives of Change as a whole.