In search of lost volunteers

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Jacques FINE

President of the association AJAR (Auprès des Jeunes Adolescents de la Rue : Close to Young Street Teenagers)

Seminar Social life | Thursday December 19, 2002

The association AJAR (Auprès des jeunes adolescents de la rue : Close to Young Street Teenagers) was created in 1975 to develop a network of families welcoming young people who are under the jurisdiction of a court, and to organise holidays, in collaboration with the department concerned with probation of the Valenciennes tribunal de grande instance (high level court, presided by three judges dealing with cases of a fairly serious nature). The association started off very well but in 1998 encountered financial difficulties which led to the development of a recovery plan. This is how Jacques Fine, who had professional experience in industry and was subsequently director in charge of economic redevelopment in the Valenciennes area, came to be President of the association. He discovered a world where volunteers were gradually excluded, and where specialised youth workers lived in a sort of social ghetto. He increased the number of appointments from time to time and employed enthusiastic young people. This enabled the association to make the most of the skills of the volunteers, and perhaps eventually, to attract volunteers back.

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