Logo L’Olivier des Sages

The Olivier des Sages K-fés fighting against the isolation of elderly immigrants

Summary : Since 2009, the association Olivier des Sages (The Wise Olive Tree) has managed two social Kfés in Villeurbanne and Lyon. These places for socialising promote access to rights and care of older people, particularly those who are vulnerable, insecure and from immigrant backgrounds through: a social venue, cultural outings, intergenerational cookery workshops, breakfasts with health professionals, themed meals, computer courses, French lessons...

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  • Start date : 2008
  • Implementation site : Villeurbanne and Lyon
  • Budget : 180000 €
  • Source and details on funding : 50% public subsidies (state, Rhône-Alpes region, City of Lyon and Villeurbanne), 50% private
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Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  30/05/2016
Solution(s) : Culture, sport and leisure activities Health Social exclusion and isolation
Country :  France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Stature of the programme :  Local
Participant :  Association, ONG
  • Beneficiaries :  Senior Citizens, Immigrants, Bottom Of the Pyramid (BOP)
  • Domain :  Social protection, Citizen participation, Human rights

Reports collected as part of the RESOLIS programme « Poverty France » (Villeurbanne)

Copyright: Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
To reference a document published by RESOLIS : Ferhat Zorah , « The Olivier des Sages K-fés fighting against the isolation of elderly immigrants », **Journal RESOLIS** (2016)

Background to the programme

Struck by the exclusion of "Chibanis", workers of North African origin who came to France in the 1970s, Zorah Ferhat founded the association Olivier des Sages in 2008 to come to the aid of older migrants in precarious social, emotional and psychological situations.

2 social K-fés, in Lyon and Villeurbanne, were thus created on the model of a social café opened in Paris in 2000 by the Ayyem Zamen association.

Objectives of the programme

- Fight against the isolation of older people by providing social venues

- Develop relationships and solidarity between generations

- Assist in the process of daily life (access to rights, access to care)

- Daily help for any approach relating to integration in France: administrative processes, access to care, creating links

- Promote solidarity and provide food aid to the most in need through a social, solidarity grocery

Implemented actions

- BENEFICIARIES: men and women from immigrant backgrounds aged over 55

- ACTIVITIES EVERY MORNING: Social premises with no appointment needed, run by the Olivier des Sages team, volunteers and a health mediator (* 1 week) from ADES to inform, guide and facilitate access to common law measures (health, aging ...)

(Eg work with CARSAT on the files, pensions, benefits, ASPA .. The city of Lyon Health workshop improves access to rights and the care of the general public including those who are most cut off from health measures in the region ...)

> Weekly: food distributions and lessons provided by volunteers (IT, French ...)
> Monthly: cultural outings (museums, European Parliament, Lyon Opera, cinema ...), intergenerational cooking workshops between young people who have dropped out of school and beneficiaries of the association, breakfasts with healthcare professionals (preventing cancer, diabetes, alcohol abuse, housing, access to rights and care ...) and themed meals (€2.5)

Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions

- Public Profile: men (3/4 beneficiaries), 80% of immigrant background (mostly of Algerian origin) and 14 different nationalities welcomed

- 2014: 620 people received at the premises, 120 participants trained in "health prevention", 145 events organised and 702 people registered for food distribution

- Winner of the Nids d’Or 2015 from the Nestlé Foundation for the workshop "Intergenerational Meetings"

Original characteristics

The activities of Olivier des Sages cater to a public whose needs are not covered by public institutions and the associative sector in the Lyon metropolitan area. At present, there is a legal loophole in terms of the protection of older persons of foreign origin. The status of "foreign worker" does not offer the same rights as "permanent resident".

Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme

Lyon City Health Workshop, social centres, Educational and Pedagogical Therapeutic Institutes (ITEP) of Prado, colleges, lycées ...


Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :

- Hard won recognition of the association, deemed too community based by institutions at the start

- Financial partnerships to renew from one year to the other

- Administrative procedures hard to understand

Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :

- Partnerships with institutions to legitimise the association – agreement with the Carsat (pension insurance fund) to improve support with pension files

- Efforts to overcome communication difficulties and ensure the full exercise of their rights

- 2 civic services actively involved in the implementation of the activities.

Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :

- Dynamic partnership: especially the sharing of cultural outings

- Strategic locations: areas where immigration is especially significant

- Premises that are open to all

- User involvement: Board of Directors + setting up an organising committee

- Advice, information, listening, conviviality and trust with beneficiaries

- Communication tools: calendar of all events available on the website + the newspaper "Gazette de l’Olivier" to follow the organisation’s news

To know more

- Video Winner of Nids d’Or: https://www.youtube.com/watch v=xM-tWMX6RaI&feature=youtu.be

- Social Café of the Ayyem Zamen association: http://www.cafesocial.org/

- Video; FR3 presentation of the association: https://www.youtube.com/watch v=FsA-kr

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