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Wake up Café

In 3 questions, Clotilde Gilbert, Director and Founder, tells us about the shared commitment to young people of Wake up Café and TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation.

The partners share their experience: Wake up Café

The partners share their experience: Wake up Café

Clotilde Gilbert – Director and Founder

Whatever our past, whatever the difficulties, the contexts of violence, hate, addiction or trafficking that many young people live in today, I believe in each and every one of them and I know things work out when they’re given the opportunity.

What’s your commitment to youth?

Wake up Café supports young people who have been to prison at least once and who say, “I never want to go back there”. Most of them left school early, have no qualifications, and no idea of what the world of work is, or of the basic social codes. 

Wake up Café is there for them as soon as they’re released. We’re by their side every day, they’re on our sites from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. We introduce them to the business world.

Here we’re on the ship Thalassa which is now devoted to hiring and training young offenders in catering professions on their release from prison. We’ve created an open-air dance hall, a restaurant, and to us it’s really important to be in a beautiful setting, connected to nature

What’s your project with TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation?

TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation for us was an amazing springboard for supporting 450 young people in these inside-out schemes. We created programs in prison that TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation supports us in. There are also programs to prepare young offenders' release. Businesses take part in our in-prison schemes to help them focus on something real, the world of work when they are released, which is essential to move forward. 

The support of TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation is financial and we also need it in terms of patronage and competencies to continue accompanying these young people. Some TotalEnergies employees come to our sites in the mornings to take part in the collective workshops and talk about the world of work.

Can you sum up “creating partnerships” in a few words?

“Creating partnerships” for us is to share the same values on the same topic. It’s looking at solutions together to address these topics. The topic of youth is fundamental for the future of our country and being in a strong partnership with TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation, who we can count on as a mainstay in the future, is essential. And to me, it’s a real achievement and a guarantee of successfully supporting young people.

TotalEnergies Foundation for youth