Social actions and memories in different countries and communities
A school in 5' for 0$
Street-teaching in 20 cities
2 - 3 times a month, I continue my little educational experience that consists in sharing skills in the street with anyone who needs it and doesn't especially have that opportunity. (Languages, HR, entrepreneurship ...) My idea may look miserable, but when I look closer to it, I see, for example, a school built in 5 minutes right in downtown Los Angeles that has for only investments a few hours, patience and a piece of cardboard. All of this to benefit people who really need it and to provide them with skills that can help to make the difference. From an entrepreneurial point of view, it is called "lean" (?) These meetings are always interesting, former gang members, homeless people, workers, students and all types of individuals. It affects people walking by, it affects people who decide to come and help and finally, it affects a lot of curious ones that come and start talking to me. This happens every time. In these moments, some are shy and curious and just slow down as they pass. They do not dare to stop but they smile to me. That keeps you warm when you have been staying outside doing this for 5h.
New steps for former gang members
“Blood in, blood out”
Pushed or pulled, there is no minimum age to belong to a gang or sell drugs in the street for a cartel. Negative outside factors, barriers, and conditions in the social environment such as poverty, family problems, and lack of success in school, there are a lot of reasons. I've been working with different people to help children and teenagers to stay out / get out of a gang by trying to provide them with an alternative, a purpose (youth sport for example). Short-term gang members are generally able to leave the gang without serious consequences. I mostly worked on my own in the streets with former gang members. The first objective was to get their trust. The concept of street-school (article "A school in5' for 0$") was for example a great way to be visible and to introduce myself to random gang & former members. (MS13, Barrio18, TVR, Crips) You have no idea of the work they have to do, and the many barriers they face to get out of it such as tattoos, self image, lack of employment skills, lack of official documents, lack of methods for obtaining a job, personal issues such as anger issues, family conflict, mental health issues, and involvement in substance abuse. My work, I am aware of it, was definitely incomplete with the fact that I could not create a long term link and help. However, I feel that it helped them to find a new start, set goals, identify their skills, qualities and empower their self-esteem. A modest help but priceless for them.
Fukushima prohibited radioactive area
I came here with a local Japanese, we escaped from the police and we were able to enter in the area surrounding the nuclear plant. Initially the objective was to meet people who still live in this radioactive area, sometimes up to 11 mSv. I decided to go further, to see by myself what's happening here. One reason which probably justifies that there was more police in Fukushima than in Tokyo is probably (among other things) because they bury and store thousands of radioactive barrels on the ground in the fields. I went inside abandoned buildings half-destroyed by the earthquake, it was an apocalyptic vision but terribly realistic.
Génocides in South Africa
Or "xenophobia attacks"
Some people prefer to call these attacks ‘xenophobic’ but you cannot deny that these killings target specific groups of people. Men armed with machetes, trees burned down on the side of the road, the pillaging of the centre of the old CBD where dozens of men and women elbow each other out of the way to get into bread shops probably belonging to Ethiopians people, the latter being the target of South Africans who believe they are helping to reduce their unemployment rate by increase job opportunities if they kill foreigners settling in South Africa, the atmosphere over there is indescribable, apartheid has mutated
The Death Train
Freedom or the entry way to hell
Facing the "Bestia", this train killing many dailly migrants attempting to enter Mexico and to the USA. living in Mexico with a small group of Mexicans, Las Patronas. For 20 years they fed every day men, women and children who try to escape from violence in Central America. They take real risks every day, first because assisting migrants is considered as a crime in Mexico, but also with theses trains whose have no mercy for life. They sacrificed their personal lives and are an example of courage, self-sacrifice, intelligence ... and so on ! I noticed that it is both an emergency, they cross in conditions that makes their life expectancy very low ... but also a beautiful moment, a game, they tend hands to catch the bags, water bottles, some jump from the train and run with us, they try at all costs to catch something, everyone laughs, those on the roof screaming for our attention, the train noise is terrible and we must be on guard with these pieces of metal protruding from all sides ... a moment of levity where we become back children a few minutes ... before the train leave, the connection breaks and we return to our lives, we say goodbye... Standing on the cars, their silhouettes and "muchas gracias" echoing in the wind, then, silence. We go back to work preparing the next train.
Waste lands around the world
A more realistic world
I lived in 11 slums in Africa, India, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Argentina, Brazil. I wanted to give a voice to these extraordinary communities living outside the world we know. Nobody wants to live in a slum, it is a dangerous and ruthless world. But there is always one or more reasons which explain why they're here, and it is these reasons that allow us to understand, to learn, who are they, as human being and not as "Slum people". We put too many labels on people, so scared to recognize ourselves and keep the feeling, that situation, for example, is far from us, that can never happen. However... Rewarding but tough, it's a challenge, you need first of all to be accepted and to deserve their confidence. Children playing in the sewers with dead rats, drug traffickers that surround the slums, shootings, fire. I almost die twice there ... But despite the dangers, it's the most realistic world, made up of families, generosity, love and greatness. There is much to learn from slums and those who are struggling every day here to survive.
Some of the 800 stories from 2o countries
Why is this humanitarian action so important? In order to exist and perpetuate, the humanitarian message has to demonstrate its utility with words, with images, like bringing milk to children, distributing toys for Christmas or looking after wounded civilians … These are visible, perceptible and understood actions. Everything is a matter of communication. While less visible, collecting stories and giving the importance they deserve to the people sharing these stories and transmitting wisdom is about moving humanity forward throughout education, confidence (in you, in others), it’s about changing ignorance into empathy. And this empathy has a central humanitarian capacity, even if this action as evoked is less visible than others. Collecting stories is within a humanitarian action as important as supplying milk or food. Listening to people, being present, bringing them attention… All the interest is to give a voice to a story and its importance and to remember together the way things happened, the existence, the life of these people. For many of them this is a form of achievement. Sharing a story is a way of opening a window on their lives, to share important knowledge through personal experiences. It also helps lot of people to put their lives in perspective. It’s an essential action than respond to a vital urgency of these people, whose impact has no limits because it influence the day-to-day life in bringing compassion between people. With this action come trust, knowledge, and hope. And such actions can have a butterfly effect leading to a long-term changing. Click on a video or a photo to read it. More about the project?
Project for ALEPPO, click here to discover.a model for the world. Stories of heroes.
Aleppo Watchers. If you look at foreign media, we show you the ruins, Daesh black flags floating in all the streets, collapsed buildings, missiles illuminating the sky ... death, but we do not show you hundreds of thousands of people for whom life continues here despite the war with courage, tens of thousands of children who go to school every day, hundreds of shops still open ... no. It will be about life. Most of them lost everything and are forgotten but they reinvent their life everyday, learn and try despite if the war. We need to understand the reality of the war here despite of the lies in the media, but also learn from them. You can read the stories every week online on my profile or on the profile of the association.
We are superheroes
WE ARE SUPERHEROES is a non-profit organization building social programs empowering self-confidence and raising voices of marginalized communities for influencing others all over the world.