Interview with Aude Ducros, Communication Director of Association Familiales Catholiques (France)
What's new in the field of «Chantiers-Éducation» (Construction Sites - Education)? Are there new initiatives on the levels of the professionals or of the content in this field?
The main “novelty” is the participation of very young mothers. Seeing the “lack of reference points” pushes us to work on the fact that a «Chantiers-Éducation» is a place of exchange and sharing, which should lead to the emergence and the transmission of reference points that everyone is free to make his own. In addition, there is a new training module (internship that lasts several days) for facilitators and reference people: “Reference points in education.” This new module is intended to:
• Help animators facilitators and directors of the «Chantiers-Éducation» to establish a compendium of reference points for education and enable them to bring forth and / or propose reference points at meetings.
• Experience how this compendium can be used to explicate educational issues shared in the «Chantiers-Éducation».
• The program of this module focuses on three areas:
• The educational practice: What is a reference point? What is its use? How does it work?
• The child: Who is he/she? What is he/she called to become? How does he/she build himself/herself?
• Education: Who are its actors? What are the stakes, the principles, the fields of application and the means? What are its possible crises?
Finally, the «Chantiers-Éducation» have developed in rural zones and in a number of departments that did not have any. It should also be noted that some Catholic schools are working with «Chantiers-Éducation».
Have you thought of new ways to involve fathers in the «Chantiers-Éducation», fathers generally reluctant to participate actively?
Fathers increasingly take part in “Chantiers-Éducation”, not directly by being present at the meetings, but in the preparatory exchange, and in the exchanges that follow them. More and more groups propose a quarterly meeting with the fathers, and some fathers participate in groups in their homes. Conferences on educational issues often represent an opportunity to discuss with the fathers.
Training (especially listening skills) is open to all, including the participation of fathers. Our texts in “Chantiers-Éducation” are for parents and not for mothers only. Some “Chantiers-Éducation” groups are mixed. We have chosen to associate fathers-family heads more closely, and we are gradually orienting “Chantiers-Éducation” in this direction.
Your initiative is characterized by the fact that you work in close collaboration, in many social areas, with State institutions. What are the new projects that you are thinking about starting soon?
The opening of «Chantiers-Éducation» groups (in partnership with Catholic Relief Services, “Le Rocher,” socio-cultural centers…) in order to respond to requests to open «Chantiers-Éducation» in social environments that are experiencing greater difficulties. We would like to deepen even more the cooperation with the Listening-Support Networks and Counseling in many departments.