Thanks to the support of Rosalie Project donors, who made it possible to finance 2/3 of the project, we were able to start the creation of the Earth Workshop. A generous donation was then made to complete the budget and we continued the work on the basement: fire safety with partitions and fire doors, water and electricity. This work to bring the building up to standard took 6 months.
A modelling workshop that had closed down due to lack of space gave us its technical equipment, which helped us a lot. Neighbours gave us shelves and helped us with the interior design of the room.
The painting work was carried out with the help of people in precarious situations, then the school directors finalised the interior design.
We were then able to start setting up user groups and to propose the social mix project to the teachers of the school and the college as well as to various associations that work with people in very precarious situations.
A few people (teachers, neighbours, etc.) interested in this perspective received a basic mini-training course in order to accompany the first steps of future users as "assistants".
In short, everything started well....
Not to mention the Coronavirus which suddenly appeared, resulting in containment which blocked everything.
Nevertheless, we had time for a few good stories:
Having lived on the streets for many years, a man finally got a studio in a maison relais. Thanks to a few sessions between the two confinements, he had made a bread basket "so that he could invite his friends with dignity when I cook for them". He also writes many poems and draws and has just started the creation of a (technically complex) box to store pens and brushes. "Art calls for art," he says.
A woman had just been given access to an independent studio in a hostel. An association offered her a microwave and she wanted to create a trivet "to put the dishes I can cook for myself now. »
The soil supplier, during the exchange I had with him when I first bought the clay, moved by the project, offered us several kilos of soil.
The project is finished in terms of its layout, but not in terms of setting up user groups and sales exhibitions: we hope that it will continue and develop after the pandemic.
So far, the situation is complicated to measure the real impact of this beautiful project but there is no shortage of phone calls to ask me when the workshop will start again.
In the meantime, on the occasion of the return to school after deconfinement, the pupils of CM1 and CM2 were welcomed in half classes in 8 workshops of 7-9 pupils in the open air. The aim was to introduce them to the earth and to begin a process of creativity.
Let's hope that this epidemic will end soon so that we can resume the rhythm of the workshop as normal!
A big THANK YOU for your generosity !