Federation of Youth and Cultural Houses in Ile-de-France region Reviewed by on . Rating: 0

Federation of Youth and Cultural Houses in Ile-de-France region

The Federation of MJC in Ile-de-France region (FRMJC-IdF) runs a network of 74 autonomous local MJCs associations.

MJC means « Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture » that can be literally translated as « Youth and Cultural House ».

A little bit of history…

The « popular education » movement was created in France by the Resistance during the Second World War. After the atrocities of Fascism and Nazism, French people came together to prevent these horrors to start again. The French government played a major role in the creation of MJCs in 1948. That’s the reason why MJCs are autonomous local associations, while maintaining strong relationships with public authorities in a co-managing working system.

As part of the popular education movement, the aim at the creation of MJCs was to provide learning spaces of citizenship where young people could recognize theirs attitudes, develop their personality and be considered as active and responsible citizens. Today, MJCs are open to people of all ages and promote inter-generational knowledge exchanges.

A South African delegation
 visiting a MJC in Paris

The existence of MJCs relies on strong values

DEMOCRACY >> In MJCs each day is about democracy. MJCs promote innovative teaching methods based on debate culture by dialogue and confronting points of view.

SECULARISM >> In a plural, open society where people follow many different religious and non-religious ways of life, MJCs provide a space where everybody can meet on equal terms, without any condition, highlighted in republican values.

SOCIAL JUSTICE >> In a world where rich people get richer and poor people get poorer, MJCs want everybody to identify these inequalities and act to reduce them in order to build a fairer society.

SOLIDARITY >> MJCs defend participation, collective actions and mutual support instead of competition and individualism.

OPENING UP TO THE WORLD >> Opening up to the world is considered as the best way to fight ignorance and better understand complexity and contradictions of our societies.

CULTURAL RIGHTS >> MJCs affirm that everyone can choose his/her own culture and has the right to express it and promote it in an individual or collective way. No culture is superior to another and all of them are a way for people to meet and share.

What a MJC looks like?

Every MJC has his own identity. This is the product of a local history and territories characteristics in terms of demography, governmental structure, economy, geography, etc. These features have an influence on the communities concerned, the type of actions carried out, the human resources involved (staff and volunteers), etc.

MJC’s aim is to respect these features while defending common missions and values.

Every MJC is a place in which everybody is welcome. We love to think that no matter who you are, where you come from, how old you are, you can always walk through the door of a MJC and find someone to have a chat with, take a coffee, read a comic, but also learn to dance, help children to make their homework, do some gardening, attend a play, debate about societal issues and many other things.

Values are learned not in a “theoretical” way but in a “learning by doing” way. People are invited to get involved in their environment issues and to carry on activities that encourage their initiative, taking of responsibility and citizenship practise.

MJCs are recognized as leaders in educational methods based on practise and sharing.

Who makes MJCs?

With several generations of volunteers engaged in the voluntary sector and its employees, 74 autonomous local associations (localized in 8 departments of Ile-de-France) are actually members of FRMJC-IdF. Globally, the network represents 82 centres in Ile-de-France, with:

  • 54 567 affiliated members, of all ages and from all social classes,
  • 327 400 users,
  • 2 300 volunteers,
  • 1 850 employees: educators, administrative and reception staff.

Young people under 26 years are 41% of total affiliated members.

FRMJC-IdF is administered by a Board of people, elected by thirds every year by the General Assembly. It meets several times per year. Its accounts are certified annually by an auditor.

Since the last election in summer 2016, President is Ms Carole Sprang.

Young people leaving to Senegal with Road Tree’P project

Which are the regular activities of FRMJC-IdF?

With the help of its partners, FRMJC-IdF helps MJCs members associations to exchange information, issues and good practises. It develops interactions with others Ile-de-France associations and networks. Its purpose is to support their members to better apprehend the issues of democracy, culture and popular education and to contribute to geographical, political and social transformations of Ile-de-France territories.

FRMJC-IdF also manages 5 centres in Paris by obtaining public procurement for multi-annual management: Centre Paris Anim’ Pole Simon Lefranc in the 4th district, MJC Paris-Mercoeur in the 11th (in co-contracting with a local association), Centre Paris Anim’ Montparnasse (14th), and most recently Centre Paris Anim’ Réné Goscinny (13th), Centre Paris Anim’ Oudiné (13th) and Espace Jeunes Olympiades (13th).

And on the national plan?

FRMJC-IdF is a member of the Confederation of MJCs in France (CMJCF) recognized public utility since 2009. The CMJCF affiliate 11 regional federations, as FRMJC-IdF, and 750 local and departmental associations. FRMJC-IdF actively participates to confederal committees and actions: Committee on Culture, Youth, Vocational training, communication and trans-national events.

The CMJCF was also approved in 2010 to host young people under the “Service Civique” volunteering programme. About 35 MJCs affiliates to FRMJC-IdF host every year around 50 volunteers spending between 6 and 9 months working mainly in culture and educational activities.

In February 2020 FRMJC-IdF will host the Ile-de-France edition of a national youth event led by CMJCF: the BazaR. This event was born in Occitanie in 2017 and continued in Gaillac-Graulhet area in 2019. In 2020, he will continue in Alsace, Provence and return to Occitanie.

It’ll be a 4 days creative event open to 250 French and European young people, a suspended time to exchange, experiment, have fun and invent together corrosive, disturbing, funny, transgressive artistic forms and debate about societal issues.

The challenge in Ile-de-France will be to promote a network of French know-how and participate in a national dynamic concerned with building, sharing and transforming practices, open up its network of partners to create spaces allowing involvement of new generations.

Meeting the president of ARCI Emilia-Romagna and the italian artist Emanuele Sferruzza Moszkowicz

And on the international plan?

FRMJC-IdF is firmly convinced that getting involved in internationals projects is a real opportunity for MJC associations to questioning old assumptions and established practices. This kind of projects contributes to fight prejudice and stimulate opening up to the world by dealing with linguistic and cultural diversity.

Our main international projects:

From October 2019, several MJCs members of FRMJC-IdF will host European volunteers by European Solidarity Corps, the EU’s new programme for promoting solidarity as a value, mainly through volunteering.

European volunteers will bring new energies to develop and reinforce the activities realized with/for Ile-de-France communities and will help to raise awareness about trans-national mobility by sharing their experiences and motivations with French young people. The project will also enable young European people to realize theirs attitudes acquire skills and competences, improve critical thinking in order to share the solidarity values promoted by MJC associations and FRMJC-IdF as democracy, non-discrimination and justice.

In recent years some MJCs have already started hosting European volunteers, in particular German ones, by VEFA, French-German Ecological Volunteering, offering the opportunity to young people to spend a year in France (or in Germany) and acquire skills in the field of environmental protection.

Between 2017 and 2018, our federation was commissioned by the EU under the Dialogues Facilities programme to facilitate exchanges between South Africa, in particular their Community Arts Centres, and Europe (France, Ireland and Flanders). In February 2017 a South African delegation came to France to discover the functioning and practices of the MJC. We’re currently working on a project that would deepen our relations with South Africa through artistic creation, but also strategic advice about participatory democracy based on the French model. Two examples of popular education presents in South Africa.

In 2017 a comparative research between France and Italy allowed establishing relations with the Italian associative network ARCI and in particular with the network ARCI of the Emilia Romagna region. FRMJC-IdF and ARCI are actually deepening the mutual knowledge and developing joint projects about volunteering, thematic visits, exchanges of good practises, youth exchanges, etc.

“Road Tree’P” is an ecological and solidarity project led by the Oudiné Centre. Involving 10 young people and 5 mentors, it aims to combat desertification by planting trees in Senegal in July 2019. It’s an opportunity for youth to become aware of and realize the importance of protecting our planet and, in the same time, reinforce solidarity between French and Senegalese people.

For further information about our international projects please write to Ms Graziana Lucarelli : glucarelli@mjcidf.org

FRMJC-IdF, 65, rue Voltaire - 93100 Montreuil - 01 49 72 51 90

La FRMJC-IdF est affiliée à la Confédération des MJC de France.
Elle reçoit le soutien du Ministère des Droits des Femmes, de la ville, de la jeunesse et des sports et de la Région Ile-de-France.

Retour en haut de la page