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Mrs Mireille Lambert Azmayesh the Manager of the E.N.F.A.N.C.E. Institution :

The history of the processing activity of the Manager of the Institution…

I entered to the volunteer procedures when my children had already entered the university and destiny made me acquainted with a young lady that I was so interested in her activity in the Secours Populaire Français “SPF” (French Popular Assistance) of Arles, my town.

I had not got any training and diploma in this respect from the Ministry of Education and Training of France, though I had some experiences as a mother of three children who had grown up in a big family from father side. I was living with this big family since 1970 and this lead into lots of changes in my personality and I could go through sweet and bitter experiences with them.

The first stage 1999 By entering the SPF in 1999, I became in charge of cultural programs of the children who were in the last year of kindergarten and was being prepared for entering the preliminary school.

These children who had some problems at this stage had encountered with other difficulties during the term of their study life and this problem was that their parents were trained at very low levels and even in some cases had no literacy knowledge and were residing against the study system at school.

A program has been organized for education of 30 children in the kindergarten and pre preliminary stage at Fourchon in Arles. It was supposed that this program would be performed in different levels for different groups of children however unfortunately encountered with the negative reaction of the mothers of those children in acceptance of the volunteer training program and all the action collapsed.

The good faith of the volunteers against the cold reaction of some of the children within the starting months of activity was waning. I was the only volunteer who in accompany with the lady in charge of SPF continued efforts for attracting the children’s interest for getting trained to the stage of entering the preliminary school.

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Second program from 2000 – 2001 :

As I was still in charge of cultural events of SPF, I arranged a program for assisting the children who had difficulties in their education through being trained at home. I started working with 3 children from the previous group.

This program continued during the whole stage of preliminary school and terminated by the entrance of the students to the guidance school.

This program had been arranged with the Manager and Teacher of the school that the children were there in assistance of the SPF. Our effort was to provide the best understanding of education for the children and to provide a condition free of stress and anxiety for starting the first year of education at guidance school.

During the term of my cooperation with these three children that took long for 5 years, while definitely the method of education at school had a major role in its failure, I was trying to calming down the tendency of the students and their parents.

In light of education at home, I could bring relaxation, self confidence and progress for continuing study for the students in assistance with their teachers. Each of those students had different conditions and status but one phenomenon was shared which was having no literacy for both or one of parents. This matter was important for the parents and was encouraging them for looking their daughter or son to become better than themselves in their future and to not encounter with the same problems that they challenged. There was this tendency that they should have become aware of the problems of their children at school while they could not help it or make any progress for their children at school and could not help their children to be at the same level with the other students in the class.

The third program was held in the scholar years of 2001-2004

The SPF, in light of request of the humanitarian institution of “Yakai Gipsies” which its target was promoting the life of gipsies, Roms and Gipsies, put me in charge, with assistance of one of the other active volunteer ladies (who was the retired teacher and manager of one of the preliminary schools) to bring the level of literacy of four gipsies’ children, who just one of them had gone to school, to the level of the other students in the class. These children had 6-9 years old, three girls and one boy who were talking with their mother language frequently as they had no fluency in French language.

This process made me to look at this as a battle and in the course of my colleague’s efforts, resistance, confrontation, love and rigidity, I was prosperous for success.

At first we had to put aside all the prejudged thoughts regarding these children and smoothly made ourselves familiar with their custom and tradition. We had to resist against the attitude and treatment coming out of their family ignorance that was because of their isolation from the society and involvement with their special and ancestors’ life.

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Oral transfer of the history of their life from the beginning till present and also their custom and prevention of such transfer through books and written forms, lead to the fact that book would not be one of the using goods.

I and my colleague were so shocked when the children after the Christmas Holiday informed us that their mothers had put the books that were given to the children as a gift into trash! While the children themselves were so proud of owning a pictured book. It was under question that why they were sending their children to the school? The answer was that from administration point of view the children should have been registered at schools otherwise the families could not receive public fund. Their family could not understand the requirement for having knowledge and literacy. Such families were living isolated from the society, were forgotten and were living with no adequate living utensil.

My life has been divided in two countries since 1970: my own country (France) and my husband’s country (Iran) which is considered as my step country (like stepchild) and such “step” is mutual: I have accepted that country and that country has accepted me!

I could establish a humanitarian institution named “TAK” which was dealing with the problems of children of labour and street.

Recognition of the centers of keeping these children in various areas of the city and recognition of the children was a difficult task: study, medical treatment and most importantly their reception in public by people with this concept that they have the same rights as others was a very difficult major. Furthermore, the government was not a good model for people in this respect as well.

In the meantime, I could join another institution called “Javane” a word full of meaning including “young sapling”. This institution was getting larger day by day and its goal was promoting hospitalization of deprived children at hospitals under urgent conditions by considering the need of their fathers and mothers and their disadvantaged situation.

Through holding 3 events and gatherings in Arles we could gain some fund for helping these children.

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Now it is the time that we announce the goals of the institutions that we have established:
To break the taboo and prefabricated ideas that people have against the other people from another country or generation. To reach this goal we needed to make familiar these people with each other, with the atmosphere of the place of their living, with their routine life and to make understood this concept that each human being has an inner grand worth either be an employee, a clerk, burglar or a president.

We understand that the grownups are established in their lives either positively or negatively while we decided to refer to the children (either in accompany with their parents or alone) as the children build the future of human beings and some of them from the very beginning were encountering a very harsh and disordered life. Some are lucky enough to live with their parents in love and peace and be protected by family. While a large number are forgotten, not appreciated and are being under harassment, are being sold by their parents in order to afford their lives.

We hope to bring “hope” in their life, to open a new gateway for them to the world showing that they are not alone and under this concept they can communicate with other children in other parts of the world.

If they can or cannot write, by a pen and paper they can paint and draw pictures and reflect their thoughts and desires. In case their language would be different we will translate their letters while painting has its own language.

The children may be in custody institutions, elementary or guidance school in cities or far away villages or may be hospitalized; we would always provide the facility for expressing their thoughts and desires.

Accordingly, we will show the paintings of these children, holding the first names, in the fairs. While they can forward us a picture of their village or the place they live as well.

They will be asked to write their biggest wishes that may surprise the readers!

We will hold conferences for getting know the children. As many people have forgotten the fundamental element of humanity from childhood till maturity. The period during which the young people become adult individuals and build up future of a society.

My purpose was to make the children from different countries close. As experience has shown difference in cultures can lead to enrichment of thoughts of humanity and can open new horizons to humans and to teach us tolerance and moderateness and to remind us respecting and exchanging views with others.

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