Discover the Villages Project: an international initiative for local schooling and development

The Orange Foundation is setting up the Villages Project in all developing countries in which the Orange Group is present. The Villages Project consists of providing "a water source, a healthcare centre, a school" in the heart of the most underprivileged villages in order to encourage the education of young people and as much local economic activity as possible. The first villages have just been inaugurated in Côte d’Ivoire and the first building sites have been started in Tunisia, before moving on to other countries in coming months.

Base on its international experience in the field in the creation of schools and healthcare centres, the Orange Foundation now favours, for these villages, a systematically integrated approach to health with education.

 

Projets Village

 

These two drivers, both essential for the development of the poorest communities in certain African countries, are indeed indissociable: the proximity of the water source avoids young girls having to travel too far from the school; that of the healthcare centre encourages families to settle near the school and the healthcare facilities protect the population, while playing an educational and preventive role.

The creation of the villages is managed by the Orange Foundation in each country, which adapts its approach to the local situation. So, the Villages Project, launched in Côte d’Ivoire, has already resulted in 5 villages in the country, based on the construction of vital infrastructure. In Tunisia, the project includes an economic aspect to encourage local production and develop women’s independence, for example.

Employees of Orange subsidiaries are involved in the project through a variety of volunteer activities, including proposing a village, contributing to construction work, or donating books. Beyond construction work, these projects involve the necessary consultations with ministries in the countries, international bodies and the NGOs that are also present, to guarantee that the structures work properly, and that medical staff and competent teachers are available for the long term.

The programme was initiated by the Orange Côte d’Ivoire Telecom foundation, and the first five villages were inaugurated on 21 and 22 March 2013.

In Tunisia, the construction of the first village was started on 12 May 2017 by the Orange Foundation for an inauguration in early autumn.

The project is moving forward with the construction of villages in Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Tunisia, Niger, Cameroon, Senegal, and Armenia.

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