From our regional correspondent
“When we have nothing to support us on the outside, we must learn to draw resources from within ourselves. “ Alissa Denissova, 26, adopted this motto to overcome a complicated family history. Placed in three social assistance homes for children (ASE) between 16 and 19 years old, she now coordinates the Repairs association! 44, founded in May 2020 in Nantes with the support of the department.
Objective: to build a support network for young people aged 16 to 25 leaving ASE, who are sorely lacking in contacts in all fields – studies, housing, first job… – to encourage their take-off. “Between the start and the end of our care, we change our place of reception on average five times, she specifies. It is therefore very difficult to maintain links. “
Of the 5,910 young people supported by child protection in Loire-Atlantique, 870 will soon be 18 years old. If the department is mobilizing against “Dry outings”, coming of age remains a delicate moment. “When they have a move to make, they have no one to come and help them. When they are hospitalized, no one to pick them up ”, describes the coordinator.
To break their isolation, the association, with around thirty volunteers, offers convivial meals two Saturdays a month called “Les pieds dans le plat”. For that, Repairs! 44 goes to homes and family reception units to educate young people at the end of their care. “Many do not know their rights. We are not social workers but act as a bridge. “
In one year, the association has supported around forty young people, some of whom lived on the streets. “The most complicated is access to housing”, specifies the young woman, who relies on solidarity hosts to facilitate this transition.
A good student despite a difficult childhood, Alissa sank after the revelation of a family secret. Little, she was raised by a mother “Negligent and violent” and her father, who lives in Russia, took years to find her. “When my mom moved in with her new boyfriend, that was one change too many. I did not follow her. “
After more than a year of sleeping “With friends or in building halls”, she was taken in charge by the ASE and found the desire to learn again at the experimental high school of Saint-Nazaire. It was civic service in a Nantes theater that set him foot in the stirrup. Founder of a cultural association, she participated, with former foster children, in the birth of Repairs! 44, which has several older brothers in Île-de-France. What do all these routes have in common? “A lot of anger and incomprehension vis-à-vis their family history, but also a tremendous ability to cope despite the difficulties. This resilience commands respect and all of society should care. “