The Acina association provides job-seeking support for new arrivals in the Île-de-France region who are living in unfit conditions, with the help of the Eiffage Foundation. Interview with Amine Ghezali, a methods engineer at Eiffage who volunteers at the association.
Acina provides support for new arrivals in the Île-de-France region living in vulnerable conditions (camps, squats, hostels, etc.). The association makes a priority of focusing on providing unlimited assistance to help people find employment (as opposed to housing). More than 200 people have received support since 2015. The association is expanding rapidly and is being supported by the Eiffage Foundation.
60 volunteers sponsor people on an individual basis, supporting their job-seeking activities, providing French lessons or organising outings. One of these volunteers is Amine Ghezali, a methods engineer and Large Project Methods Award winner at Eiffage Infrastructures division. He told us about his commitment to the association and his role as project supporter for the Eiffage Foundation.
Why did you decide to apply to the Eiffage Foundation on behalf of the Acina association?
After a few months of volunteering at the association, I wanted to contribute to its development on a practical level via Eiffage Foundation funding, to give them a financial boost and help get one of their projects off the ground.
How are you involved in the association?
Initially, my role was to assist and coach a job-seeker (supported by the association) in their job search, by helping them write a CV and cover letter and register with the job centre and various employment websites, targeting with them job offers that might be of interest and compatible with their profile and, finally, preparing them for interviews.
I have also helped candidates prepare for French language tests to enable them to apply to universities in France to validate diplomas acquired in their country of origin.
What do you get out of volunteering?
Having understood that the situation for new arrivals in the Île-de-France region was really critical, I wanted to do something for people living in vulnerable conditions. My volunteer work at Acina has allowed me to achieve this. Talking with the various people I have supported, I realised that they were very grateful to all the associations that helped them and that, despite the difficulties they experienced, they really wanted to contribute to their adopted country that had welcomed them, as soon as they managed to find a job and housing.
What is your role as project supporter?
As project supporter I enabled the association to obtain funding to partially finance the purchase of three vehicles for social teams at three new branches of Acina. This will make it easier to travel to places that are difficult to reach using public transport, to carry out social and professional integration awareness-raising activities.
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