A young interior designer speaks out on how she is helping the youth of troubled neighbourhoods with her arts and crafts association.
Hi I’m Lucas Chedeville, a reporter at StreetPress. We’re here in Garges-les-Gonesse, Val-d’Oise, to meet Hind, a young interior designer.
So here we are at Hope and Creation. We run workshops dedicated to art and decoration. There are quite a lot of workshops in crafts and sewing, in general, everything that is art.
Did you create this? How long ago?
I founded the association in 2008 when I saw that art was not very accessible to neighbourhood residents. It frustrated me, because even myself being a resident of a rough neighbourhood, I did not always have access to lots of things.
One day I thought, I must make things accessible to the inhabitants. When I had this place in 2013 I said to myself, ‘Now I can do a little of what I want’. I could see the young people in my neighborhood just hanging around the apartment blocks.
I figured if there was potential, why not do something with them. We really started taking care of the youth following the death of a young person in my neighborhood, bless him.
That’s when I thought we cannot just leave them like that. Because I feel indirectly responsible for these kids.
Do you follow politics a little?
A little, but from a distance. It doesn’t really interest me. I’m one of those people disappointed with politics, so it’s not my interest.
After all, we have to work with politicians. In fact, I’m one of the jaded people.
So will you not vote?
I will, it’s still important. And I urge everyone to vote, it’s very important. Actually, I will vote against Marine Le Pen.
I’ve seen a lot people maimed from politics. They give their lives and they come back super disappointed.
So no, I’m not for any party. My beliefs are associative and human, that’s all. I think the gap is too big between neighborhood residents and politicians.
A young guy who sells hash has been in jail for three years, and then there are politicians misusing public funds. You see them, they’re still there representing you.
It’s a shame. And what really irks me is that the French population is brought up against each other. I would like them to stop that.
When I talk to you about Islamophobia, I’m concerned because I’m Muslim. I wish they’d stop this stupid game.
If the president came to your association to see what you’re doing, if you could talk to him or her, what would you tell them?
I would talk to them about social misery and the priority to create employment for young people. For me the youth are the priority. I would concentrate on that.
And that there are a lot of single-parent families, and they need employment. For me, the minimum is employment.
My priority would be youth, because there are too many young people who find themselves in prison for nothing, who foolishly die for nothing.
For me politics has its responsibility. We’re not going to say that everything comes from this, but politics is greatly responsible for the social misery that one finds in the suburbs.
_Producer: Thomas Seymat, euronews in association with Lucas Chedeville, StreetPress
Editor: Nathalie Texier
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