A significant number of young people from the less popular areas in the Haute Savoie basin (Arve River Valley, France) have very limited connection with the surrounding mountainous environment. Through the project, “La Montagne Prend Ses Quartiers,” the non governemental organisation En Passant par la Montagne aims to introduce the Arve River Valley’s underprivileged youth to the mountain environment (through outdoor sports and the beautiful high mountain landscape) to empower them to progressively moving outside their “comfort zone” and become increasingly aware of the effects of climate change in their local environnement.
In 2020, This project took place in Les Pelerins in Chamonix Mont-Blanc and was considered as a success. More than 200 young people, aged from 12 to 18 and living in the priority districts took part in the programme.
The project is made up of four stages:
1) Collaborate: activities and encounters with influencers to motivate and inspire confidence the participating youth : orienteering course, movie projection in the area
2) Set up a base camp in each neighborhood: a climbing wall, a zip line between buildings, a slackline, an orienteering course, teepees, show focusing on the vertical environment…
3) Take the adventure one step further: a day of outdoor rock climbing near each neighborhood.
4) Finish with a two-day adventure in the high mountains as an introduction to mountaineering and as an opportunity for each youth to step way outside their comfort zone.
This project is innovative in the way it reaches out to young people with fewer opportunities from the neighborhoods in the Arve River Valley. This kind of innovative projects of this type carry a number of risks, the main challenge being to engage and motivate participating youth and create trust within the group. This is why the project includes four phases. During each phase, if necessary, we will be able to make a certain number of changes and adjustments.
The project include a co-creation process that involve the participation of young people and local communities and the many partners of the project.
In 2021 it will tak place in Vouilloux in Sallanches.
Created in 1995, the non-profit “En Passant par La Montagne” allows kids and adults in underprivileged or difficult situations – social marginalization, failing in school / school dropouts, sickness or handicap – to use the mountains and outdoor sports as a source of motivation and support to rise above their current situation.