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19/01/2024 News

Culture to help the most vulnerable young people gain empowerment: TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation’s new partnerships

Today in France, many young people in vulnerable situations have limited or unequal access to culture and heritage. This is the societal challenge that TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation has decided to tackle, by helping young people gain access to art and culture in all shapes and forms. These actions involve shining the spotlight on rich, diverse and living cultures. 

TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation therefore supports 20 or so institutions, structures and associations, which take action for young people who have very little access to culture due either to their social circumstances or geographical location. In 2022, more than 28,000 aged 12-25 were able to take part in one of the cultural projects backed by TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation. 

Many socially vulnerable young people are cut off from culture and heritage. So giving them access to works and getting them involved in artistic activities is crucial so that they may express their talents, learn to look at things critically, become more open-minded and thereby gain independence. 

As part of its Cultural Dialogue & Heritage priority area, TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation takes action through three levers:

Art work to reveal young people’s talents

As regards artistic creation, TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation supports art and cultural education projects that develop young people’s ability to take action and play an active role in society. 

The Foundation focuses in particular on art work programs centered on a co-construction and co-creation process, which fosters culture “for all” and encourages young people to become co-creators in their own right. 

TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation gives priority to long-term programs spearheaded by artists, with at least 20 hours’ practical workshops. 

Art work programs promote:

  • The acquisition and development of skills essential for social and professional inclusion.
  • The empowerment of young people.
  • The reinforcement of social cohesion and inclusion.

Particular attention is paid to projects deployed in the regions. 

In 2024, it will be celebrating 20 years’ partnership with the Paris National Opera and its art education programs. OpérApprentis offers students in Apprentice Training Centers (CFA) in the Île-de-France region and in French Guiana to take part in workshops designed by artists that have parallels with the apprentices’ training courses (hairdressing, beauty, jewelry, etc.). Alongside this, the Foundation has renewed its support to three partners:

  • The Paris Mozart Orchestra whose initiative Orchestre au Bahut consists in inviting middle- and high-school students in priority education areas to meet artists and create an original work.
  • Auteurs Solidaires whose program Raconte-moi ta vie ! (Tell me your life story!) organizes writing workshops during which students write a story based on their own life experience.
  • And lastly, La Source, present in 10 French departments, which organizes art work and digital art workshops for teenagers who have dropped out of school or are socially excluded.

TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation firmly believes that creation enables young people to develop skills that are useful for their personal empowerment as well as their socio-professional inclusion, which is why it has decided to continue supporting these art work programs.

Five cultural players have therefore recently joined the Foundation’s community of partners:

  • In the regions of Île-de-France and Hauts-de-France, the Concert de la Loge through the “Hip Baroque Choc” project, which enables students in vocational high schools to take part in a creation combining baroque music, hip hop, declamations, applied arts, percussions, choir singing and drama. 
  • In Roubaix, La Condition Publique has kicked off LABO148, a project providing media education (rap, photography, engraving, sound creations, web documentaries) for young people in socially disadvantaged areas. 
  • In Dunkirk, in partnership with the Frac Grand Large (Regional contemporary art fund), Marina Vandra, an artist in residence at the TotalEnergies Oleum training center talks and interacts with young people as part of workshops-guided tours.
  • In eight French regions (Sud-PACA, Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Centre -Val de Loire, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Île-de-France, Grand Est and Hauts-de-France), the initiative “Toute la lumière sur les SEGPA” (Spotlight on SEGPA) of the Alhambra Cinémarseille enables middle school students in adapted general and professional education sections (SEGPA) to shoot short films, supervised by audiovisual professionals. 
  • In Béthune, Guyancourt and Avignon, the “Classe Départ” program by the association L’ENVOL, proposes to young people, who have dropped out of school and are unemployed, a unique method for developing soft skills through the creation of a show. 

Restoring heritage and training young people in traditional craftsmanship trades

In terms of heritage, TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation contributes to conserving and promoting heritage buildings through restoration work sites, where provisions are made for young people to work as part of a professional integration program. 

Each year across France, TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation, through its longstanding partner La Fondation du Patrimoine, supports restoration projects with a socio-economic impact that involve young people who are unemployed or unqualified. Heritage restoration projects showcase valuable technical and artistic know-how and offer many professional opportunities. Heritage is an excellent means of inclusion/reintegration and a real lever for employment and training in highly sought-after professions. 

The inclusion work sites have three main objectives:

  • To help people who have been out of work for a long time or have been excluded from the system to get back to work.
  • To back qualifying projects, in which people can obtain certifications or job titles.
  • To help people find new motivation in a structured and reassuring framework that enables them to regain their self-confidence as part of a team working for a project. 

Sponsoring major cultural events that guarantee privileged access to young people

There are still major inequalities in France in terms of participation in cultural life, which is why TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation promotes inclusive access and aims to encourage equal participation in cultural activities through the projects it supports.

TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation regularly sponsors major institutions and exhibitions. Because cultural dialogue is an integral part of an international Company like TotalEnergies, the Corporate Foundation particularly supports events that promote openness to the world and to other people. Access to culture and cultural awareness are vectors for dialogue, mutual fulfillment and understanding. 

Through the programs and projects it supports, TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation facilitates access to culture, thereby enabling young people to develop their ability to take action, become more open-minded and fulfill their potential.

This is particularly the case of the Institut du monde arabe, with whom we will be celebrating 20 years’ partnership in 2024. Support has been renewed for three more years and is centered on the implementation of a significant mediation program and workshops aimed at young people accompanied by socio-cultural associations or schools. 

Supporting a cultural program contributes to:

  • Promoting and encouraging cultural and artistic awareness.
  • Opening up to the world, finding one’s place and developing one’s full potential. 
  • Fostering greater mutual understanding to break down prejudices and encourage mutual enrichment.
  • Fighting against social and cultural inequalities.

Actions deployed across all French regions

TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation makes sure that the initiatives supported concern young people in all regions, in metropolitan and in overseas France, in cities and in rural areas. The new support agreement with the Paris National Opera plans to extend the OpérApprenti initiative to French Guiana for example. The Paris Mozart Orchestra is expanding to the Centre – Val de Loire region, in Bourges, and to extremely rural areas. Likewise, the Démos avancés program led by the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra is being deployed in metropolitan France, Guadeloupe and Reunion thanks to the Foundation’s support. Its aim is to democratize the teaching of music through performance in an orchestra.

The objective of all these actions is to give as many young people as possible access to fulfilling cultural projects fostering creativity, sharing, and dialogue.