BNP Paribas plays an important role in French towns through its large network of agencies. The urban riots of October 2005 prompted the Group to launch the new Projet Banlieues initiative to help people in lower-class neighbourhoods live together in harmony.
Getting involved and promoting progress
At the end of October 2005, violence spread through the suburbs of France, revealing great social tension. As the BNP Paribas Group plays an important role in towns, it sought a way of introducing concrete initiatives. It developed a project called “Projet Banlieues”. This patronage scheme has just celebrated its tenth anniversary so it’s a good opportunity to assess the progress made and the resources provided. 35 million Euro have been allocated to this project altogether, and since 2005, the budget has been quadrupled.
To improve the situation in lower-class neighbourhoods, three main lines of action have been identified. The first one involves integration, so in collaboration with the Association pour le Droit à l’Initiative Economique (Adie), 8,000 jobs have been created. The second one is education and every year, the Association de la Fondation Étudiante pour la Ville (Afev) helps 7,000 children. Moreover, the Odyssée Jeunes scheme developed by the BNP Paribas Foundation and the Conseil Général de Seine-Saint-Denis, has enabled 30,000 secondary school children to go on school trips. Lastly, Projet Banlieues has supported local associations working towards harmonious co-existence, with over 182,000 recipients in the past ten years.
Projet Banlieues – forward-looking
Ten years later, the Group’s commitment is just as strong. Therefore, the BNP Paribas Foundation has decided to reinforce its partnerships with Adie and Afev by significantly increasing their grants. It is intensifying its cooperation with local associations and has also decided to open up the Projet Banlieues scheme to individuals and companies via the “Projet Banlieues & Connect” scheme. The aim now is to reach out to all civil society stakeholders to ensure more efficient initiatives.