Created by the Tirelires d’Avenir association, which became Chapter 2 in 2024, Côte à Côte brings together young people aged between 18 and 25 who are in highly vulnerable situations and volunteers of the same age but from a different social background. Almayuda supports this programme, which is based on horizontal mentoring in pairs where the relationship of equality replaces that of “helper to helpee”.

Young people in highly vulnerable situations are often isolated. In most cases, the contacts they have with the outside world are limited to those established with the social work professionals who support them (educators, social workers) and with other young people experiencing the same difficulties as them. Created in 2020, the Tirelires d’Avenir association has set itself the mission of supporting those young adults who, with no resources, fall through the cracks.

The Tirelires d’Avenir teams met them in the course of their close collaboration with other social support structures and provided them with financial assistance. They quickly realised that providing an allowance to meet basic needs was necessary, but not sufficient. It was necessary to go further, by bringing the beneficiaries out of their isolation and into a “horizontal” relationship.

Financial support and “horizontal” relationships

A relationship is said to be horizontally oriented when the other person is perceived as a fellow human being, a member of the same environment or the same community. The other person has the same status from the outset, and is neither superior nor inferior: the relationship is therefore open to collaboration or competition, to mutual aid or challenge. In short, sharing between equals!

Entering into this type of relationship produced almost immediate results, with a change in behaviour on both sides. Renewed energy and desire to get involved in a project on the part of the young people. Development of listening skills and cultural and intellectual enrichment on the part of the association.

At the same time, Tirelires d’Avenir became Chapitre 2 and strengthened the effectiveness of its actions by merging with Capitales, an association specialising in helping people find work.

It was in this positive context that the “Côte à Côte” horizontal mentoring programme was set up.

The “Côte à Côte” programme

Côte à Côte is six months of horizontal mentoring with a volunteer of the same age, to help people break out of their isolation and work on the life skills that are essential if they are to become self-sufficient. The six months are divided into three two-month phases, each of which meets specific objectives for consolidating the relationship within the pair.

The volunteers are young people aged between 18 and 30, living in Paris or the Paris region. 

Whether they are students, young professionals or job-seekers, they say they are available, open to meeting new people and willing to create links with their partner.

The first two months are devoted to group workshops and participation in fun activities, such as an evening of board games, a meeting with an inspirational person or non-verbal communication. This introductory phase makes it easier for the two members of the pairing to get to know each other and helps to increase the number of positive identification references for vulnerable young people.

Challenge and action

Rompre l’isolement des jeunes et leur permettre de réussir leur insertion professionnelle, grâce à de nouvelles références et compétences.

Phase two is the challenge phase! The two members of the pair choose challenges together from a list provided by their mentor: a treasure hunt, a day’s voluntary work, discovering their respective passions, an unusual activity, and so on. For two months, they learn to help each other, listen to each other, work together and communicate. By increasing the number of horizontal exchanges, vulnerable young people gain or regain confidence in themselves and in their ability to help others.

The third phase, which lasts the same length of time as the previous ones, encourages young people to become independent by taking action. How does this work? By getting them to carry out a joint project (defined between them) or a personal project, for which they will receive support from their partner. During this final stage, the young people change their attitude and become more at ease with others and more proactive. They can then focus again on their life project or professional integration.

Assessment and objective

At the end of this programme, the young people in vulnerable situations have been transformed, as the integration organisations with which Tirelires d’Avenir works / Chapter 2 can testify. They have acquired the “soft skills” (listening, communication, collaboration) that they often lacked. Their self-esteem and confidence in themselves and in others has improved spectacularly.

The Côte à Côte programme is supported by the Ministry of Education and the Commissariat Lutte Pauvreté en Ile de France. It has brought together 101 pairs in 2022 and 130 in 2023. 

Almayuda is proud to be part of the target of 200 pairs by 2024.

Photos : DR

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