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17/02/2023 News

Opening new ‘paths to the future’ for isolated young people

TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation provides support as the Chemin d’avenirs association moves up a gear. The aim is to open the way for young people living in areas far away from the major urban centers, so that they can grow their ambitions and achieve their full potential.

In rural areas and small towns, families face several challenges including financial insecurity, lack of access to digital technologies, self-censorship, mobility difficulties, etc. A whole host of obstacles that make young people’s professional fulfilment harder to attain, despite their incredible potential. In the light of this situation, the Chemins d’avenirs association works to overcome the material, cognitive and psychological barriers young people come up against so that they can aim high when it comes to their personal and professional futures, and their lives as French citizens. The association also undertakes communication actions to promote young people’s talents. 

Since its creation in 2016, Chemins d’avenirs has already supported 6,400 middle- and high-school students as well as those in further education. It now wants to shift up a gear and aims to support 25,000 young people by 2025. The association also wants to bring about a real grass roots change at a local and national scale, by developing appeal actions to change public policies and business practices in favor of territorial diversity and equal opportunities.

TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation works with its partners to help young people and, in 2020, committed to a three-year partnership with Chemins d’avenirs. This support means that the association is in the throes of a decisive turning point in its development, by deploying initiatives in new territories throughout France. By the end of 2022, 300 new students from 12 educational establishments had already received support in the Finistère, the Ain, the Loire, the Isère, the Eure, the Nord and the Pas-de-Calais departments. 

The partnership has also opened new possibilities for the association to enhance its support methods. For example, Chemins d’avenirs works in close collaboration with the Collectif Mentorat, which kicked off the “1 young person, 1 mentor” program, backed in particular by TotalEnergies. Moreover, Jacques-Emmanuel Saulnier, General Delegate of TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation, is himself a mentor for a young woman in the Chemins d’avenir program. 

Lastly, through the Corporate Foundation, Chemins d’avenirs was able to access Share it expertise to design a webapp so that through digital technologies, even more young people will benefit from the program, and the aim is to reach out to 10,000 of them by 2025.

All these actions aim to maximize the positive impact of the association, and it’s an impact that can now be accurately measured using a method established with the social impact assessment agency Improve.

Our partners’ voice – Chemins d’avenirs

Four questions to Jacques-Emmanuel Saulnier, General Delegate of TotalEnergies Foundation

What is the remit of TotalEnergies Foundation?

The mission of TotalEnergies Foundation – and its partners of course – is to help and offer solutions to socially disadvantaged young people, those who are the most vulnerable. So that through education and inclusion we may find solutions to help these young people on the path toward the most fulfilling future possible.

What is the founding principle of the partnership between TotalEnergies Foundation and Chemins d’avenirs?

The first choice we made together was deployment, meaning that we accompanied Chemins d’avenirs in extending its solutions, its offer to new departments in France. We have also supported the development of digital tools, which facilitate access for young people and helped Chemins d’avenirs upscale its action.  

Why is it important for TotalEnergies Foundation to take action in rural areas and small towns?

One of the characteristics of the Company, TotalEnergies, is that it is established across France; we are therefore aware that there are inequalities, weaknesses that we do our best to try and make up for with our partners, particularly in terms of education and inclusion for the young people who do not have access to all sorts of programs and initiatives. This is why the partnership with Chemins d’avenirs is so strong, because it helps bridge gaps and provide solutions for young people, who are further away than others from all academic schemes.

How do TotalEnergies employees take action alongside Chemins d’avenirs?

Around 15 TotalEnergies employees are currently working as mentors with Chemins d’avenirs. I'm happy to say I'm accompanying a twelfth-grade student called Léa who lives in Provins. All of this falls within the scope of the Action! program, which enables TotalEnergies employees, if they so wish, to get involved in public interest initiatives. It fits in with the actions of the Foundation and with the territorial footprint of TotalEnergies.