Led by Jacques Saadé’s wife, Madame Naïla Saadé, the CMA CGM Corporate Foundation launched in 2013 its first call for proposals that focus on the personal development of children with disabilities. At the end of the process those that were selected receive a grant to help them realize their project. The Foundation’s Board of Directors selected eight projects put forward by 37 French and Lebanese associations.
Five associations in PACA region (France)
Zim Zam: purchase of utility vehicle to expand circus activities
The Zim Zam association, based in Marseille promotes circus activities for everyone, particularly people with a physical disability or mental illness. The association offers workshops, courses, trips to the circus, shows and an itinerant festival with other circus companies.
Zim Zam did not have a suitable vehicle to visit establishments and associations outside the city center. Through the projects appeal, the Foundation is funding a utility vehicle so the association can take its circus equipment to establishments that are much further away, giving many more children the opportunity to learn circus arts such as juggling, balancing on objects (wire, rubber balls, etc.) acrobatics and even aerial disciplines.
Saint-Ange Institute: equipping a sports facility
The Saint-Ange Institute in the Vaucluse is managed by the Fouque association and supports children with multiple disabilities or psychological problems. The grant will enable it to buy sports equipment, including a dojo facility to introduce the children to martial arts.
An important educational tool for physical, mental and social development, sport helps build appropriate behavioral patterns, but more importantly makes children happy as it improves their self-esteem as they discover their potential.
La Chrysalide: project to equip kitchen adapted to teach children in the medical-educational center Les Figuiers
La Chrysalide is an association of parents of children with disabilities that was founded in Marseille in 1958. Today it accommodates more than 1,250 kids with a disability from the age of three in 39 facilities and services, and supports their families with the help of nearly 900 employees.
The Foundation chose the medical-educational center Les Figuiers, which caters for 46 children with autism and multiple disabilities, for the specially adapted kitchen. Equipped with modular components, the kitchen will be accessible to all the children, whatever their disability. Cookery is an excellent way to promote motor and psychomotor development as it stimulates all the senses, particularly sight, touch, taste and smell. The center will also be able to devise cookery courses and may even be able to train adolescents in some of the catering trades.
ARI association: interactive touch screen for teaching children and teenagers with multiple disabilities
ARI (Association Régionale pour l’Intégration) aims to do everything possible to facilitate the social, educational, cultural and professional integration of people with disabilities or learning difficulties.
Its latest project is to buy several interactive touch screens for 170 children with multiple disabilities aged 3 to 20. The purpose is to work on communication, learning skills, and the sensory and motor development of infants and teenagers. The project appeal will enable ARI to acquire its first touch screen.
The children can use them to draw shapes, identify colors or interact with an image or sound. It’s like a window opening to the outside, giving them access to computers, culture, learning and their right to be full citizens.
La Bourguette: balneotherapy facilities for Le Petit Jardin resource center for children with multiple disabilities and autism
Le Petit Jardin is a resource center for the very young run by the association La Bourguette based in Avignon, whose mission is to act as early as possible with severely disabled children.
The center is creating balneotherapy facilities that can take up to 30 children with multiple disabilities or autism and 12 able kids to develop their motor skills in the water.
Le Petit Jardin plans to invite nearby nursery schools to use these facilities occasionally, thereby creating opportunities for all the children and professionals involved in their care to meet. The aim is to raise awareness and get the able ones more used to mixing with those with a disability.
Three associations in Lebanon
Friends of the Disabled Association: a multisensory stimulation room for autistic children
Based in Mechref, this association provides outreach and rehabilitation services for children with learning difficulties. The aim is help them become more independent and to encourage social integration.
The project chosen by the Foundation is to buy a sensory stimulation room, called a “Snoezelen” for autistic children aged 2 to 12 years. It’s a space that is designed to awaken the child’s senses in a secure environment and to fill in the cognitive, perceptual, behavioral and physical impairment gaps in a way that gives them a feeling of independence and relaxation.
To begin with, 45 children will benefit from this sensory treatment in the Snoezelen room once to three times a week, depending on the individual.
Rayon d’Espoir: equipping a games room for children with learning difficulties
The Rayon d’Espoir (literally “Ray of Hope”) Association based in Zahlé has set up a medical-psycho-educational-institute and an ESAT (center helping disabled people back into work) for children and teenagers suffering from mental, learning, medical and physical problems. It offers special education, educational, extracurricular and pre-vocational activities twinned with mainstream schools, as well as paramedical follow-up.
The Foundation will fund equipment for a specially adapted and safe games room in the childcare center. Here Rayon d’Espoir will be able to run all the educational and play activities that help children become more self-confident, independent and to thrive.
Le « Foyer de la Providence » : aménagement de la cour de l’école Mosaïk accueillant des enfants déficients intellectuels
Based in Sidon, the Foyer de la Providence provides special education to youngsters with learning difficulties in Southern Lebanon at the Mosaik Special Education School.
In 2014, this school will have 80 pupils aged 3 to 15 with mild learning difficulties or behavioral problems.
Foyer de la Providence’s project is to design a suitable recreational area outdoors to encourage children at the Mosaik School to open up and develop physically and intellectually in a safe, specially adapted environment.
We will be giving you an update in 2014 on the progress of these eight projects focusing on the personal development of children and teenagers with disabilities, supported by the CMA CGM Corporate Foundation. Some are already underway. Others, where there is a lot of work to do, will take longer and should be completed by next year.