In Herald, Save the Association supports children through philosophy

Essential
Supported by the EDF Group Foundation at Hérault, the Save Association conducts workshops on the philosophy and practice of mindfulness with children and adolescents. Meeting with Dorothy Pieret, South Regional Representative of the Association.

Can you introduce us to the Save Association?

It was founded in 2016 by Frederick Lenoir and Martin Roussel-Adam, following a marked attack in 2015. The purpose was to help children and adolescents develop their critical thinking. We start with an observation: there is a risk of lack of backwardness in social networks and children ready to think. Moreover, our world is facing new climate, environmental, social, health and moral challenges that have made the future less and less predictable. So children need to be equipped to help them grow in wisdom and humanity. To this end, the association organizes workshops with a philosophical goal almost everywhere in France. Our challenge is to help them develop the ability to think, to judge for themselves, to question the value of values, to respect their differences in others.

How does this workshop work?

Made up of regional entities, Save works thanks to volunteers and facilitators who work in schools, from large kindergarten departments to high schools. In the former Languedoc-Roussillon region, where we have 80 active contributors, we have organized more than 1,000 workshops in the 2021-2022 school year, mainly in the city’s political districts (QPV), where demand is highest. These are places of free speech, which allow children and adolescents to confirm their thoughts, form ideas, find the right words, debate, listen and possibly change their minds. These workshops are an opportunity to strengthen psychological-social skills, self-esteem and respect for others.

Who are your beneficiaries?

It is not a philosophy teacher, but we train people from all walks of life in the art of questioning as well as in the practice of meditation, a practice that introduces us to each workshop.

Which topics are covered and which ones are prohibited?

The topics covered are very wide and of course adapted to each age. We say, “Can we be alone?”, “Is death the end of everything?”, “Are we free?” Or “What is beautiful, what is ugly?” We only deal with philosophical issues and try to position children so that they do not give too much personal things; It is a question of moving towards a universal question beyond their experience. Some themes, such as religion or death, may be sensitive, but there are no taboos. We are within the framework of freedom of expression; It’s all about how you approach the discussion.

The EDF Group Foundation assists you within the framework of the Call for Education project “Work for Our Territories”, an area where it is committed to promoting equal opportunities. Is it a project?

We were already working at a Montpellier school in the Pass du Loop district. We had already organized about thirty workshops there and wanted to go further by reaching eleven classes. So we responded to the call of the EDF Group Foundation for the project and were selected. The 7,450 Euros we have provided has enabled us to organize more than 110 workshops since 2021-2022. As a result, the impact of our actions is much stronger at the school and surrounding levels.

Why do you think it would be wise for a local player like EDF Group to be committed to education in this way?

It seems to me very important that the EDF, which is actually a player registered in its territory, is concerned about what is happening there and participates at its level for the good of the residents. It is a social responsibility that goes beyond his job.

The school year is coming to an end. Would you like to follow up on this Montpellier project?

First, with the teachers, we are going to organize a small exhibition at the school to report what has been done to the children. Parents must be involved in this event. This is very important for us in the argument of the educational alliance. And of course, we want to repeat this action next year.

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