in Pessac-Châtaigneraie, “the social work to be done in the neighborhood is lace”

A city that has been much talked about in recent months during clashes between young people and the police, ”but which can not be described with a simplistic discourse. The situation is much more complex. And the social work to be done there is nothing less than lace. Of course it takes a long time …

A city that has been much talked about in recent months during clashes between young people and the police, ”but which can not be described with a simplistic discourse. The situation is much more complex. And the social work to be done there is nothing less than lace. It takes place over a period that is necessarily longer than the media time ”.

With a predominantly young population. “42% of the population is under the age of 25,” recalls Stéphane Bellet, coordinator of prevention and mediation missions in the city of Pessac. And the chestnut grove has 4,000 inhabitants in a very dense habitat. A breeding ground for crime? No doubt, but for an ultimately limited population. Some say about thirty people; others, more like a small score. “When they make mistakes, they deserve to be punished, but we must not stop there. »

“Crime is often just a passage in their lives. They all want out.”

“And crime is often just a passage in their lives,” says Fabienne Jouard, head of the social center. Or it meets a need. Dealer is often a way to get something to eat when there is nothing at home. Also when the parents are working. But they all want out. The problem is that they feel they have no prospect. »

A collection for Ramadan

Special educator Teddy Pichou recounts how some young people suspected of participating in clashes organized a food drive for people in difficulty during Ramadan. “The initiative started on its own, without the relay of an association or a social structure. I offered to talk to them about it; they told me no one would be interested. It shows the extent to which they do not find themselves in the way we look at them. They feel that if we talk about them in a positive way, it will not be taken into account. »

“Many 14-17-year-olds experience the need to integrate as something violent”

“Many 14-17-year-olds experience the need to integrate as something violent,” adds Mattias Brunet, employment access mediator at the social center. They tell us they want more time. They say a little about a job they would like to do. “” For that, you need a click, says Ilias, social worker. I know someone who did not try to make ends meet two years ago and who works today. »

Finding a job, is it difficult when you say you are from La Châtaigneraie? “I saw it in Marseille, but not here,” Fabienne Jouard replies. “Me, most of my friends work outside the neighborhood,” Ilias adds. It is true that these are precarious jobs, but it is possible. And when you are young here, the goal is to work elsewhere. »

Create links elsewhere

On condition of breaking certain psychological brakes. Ilias is the sport that enabled him to make connections with people who live elsewhere in the big city. “But others have a hard time getting out. The neighborhood is the cocoon. In Bordeaux, we feel confronted with the unknown. Therefore, it is important to arrange excursions to the beach or abroad. Or, for ten young people from La Châtaigneraie, to attend the gathering of the Departmental Young Network of Social Centers, held in early July in Hosteins, to break the “sense of confinement,” as several professionals note.

Apart from saying that this isolation is also due to financial difficulties. Especially to pass the driver’s license. “1300 euros is inaccessible to many families in the neighborhood,” says Teddy Pichou. “And then pass on the code. It’s not easy for children who already do not like going to school.”

“A place where the different categories of the population meet is sorely lacking at present”

If it does not succeed, there are the units that must accompany the transformation of the district. The Futsal Club, whose professionals pay homage to the social role. The Moove Access residence for young workers, which will open an association café in June 2023. “The idea is to have a place where the different categories of the population meet. There is a lot missing at the moment, ”emphasizes Fabienne Jouard.

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