Citizenship : the breakthrough by the 'general of the suburbs'

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Emmanuel de RICHOUFFTZ

Former deputy military governor of Paris, Management representative for employment, GDF SUEZ

Seminar Social life | Thursday December 11, 2008 - 9h - 11h30

In 2004, General Emmanuel de Richoufftz, the deputy military governor of Paris, became interested in the relationship between the nation and the army. He was seriously concerned about the suburbs because too many young people who live there hardly feel French any more. In order to create a feeling of belonging, he focussed on three factors : knowledge of the French language, access to jobs, and the importance of history. He launched a project the aim of which was to enable young people, after a six-month training period, to pass their driving test and get a job. Apart from learning the Highway Code and how to drive, the training included learning French, playing sports, carrying out training in companies, ten days of military training, doing social work, and so on. The young people were also introduced to the history of the army in Africa in order to discover the role played by their parents and grand-parents in the history of France. The results were extraordinary, and during the riots which took place in France in 2005, the media praised the actions of the 'General of the suburbs'. After he left the army, Emmanuel de Richoufftz revived the operation as a civilian in 2008.

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This session was published in issue n°77 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Fiertés locales.

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