WHAT DO WE DO?
Since 2009, Coexister has chosen to transform diversity of conviction into a vector for social cohesion and innovation, thanks to the local Active Coexistence programme.
Active Coexistence is a philosophy that translates into a grassroots method to help all citizens, especially 15-35 year olds, to live together better. This model of society is based on a threefold conviction: diversity exists, it is an opportunity, and it is even necessary to create social links.
DISCOVER THE 45 LOCAL GROUPS IN FRANCE
It’s a 3-stage process that takes place in 45 local French groups and 7 European groups, to help us live together better thanks to our differences.
Coexisters are among the primary beneficiaries and players of Coexister. Throughout their experience as volunteers, they implement a three-stage local programme that includes dialogue events, solidarity operations and awareness-raising workshops in schools. The philosophy implemented is known as Active Coexistence. It is a pedagogy of working together, teaching young people to build unity, not ‘despite’, but ‘thanks to’ their differences.
THE JOURNEY OF THE COEXISTING
Dialogue is a way of getting to know each other. Each local group can organise visits to places of worship, debates, conferences, shared meals on the evenings of religious festivals, exhibitions or film screenings. These events enable everyone to develop a better understanding of themselves and of others.
Example: Le Kawaa is a café-debate on living together and secularism. Its aim is to create a space for friendly exchange on the levers of interfaith cooperation for better living together. In 2016-2017, our groups organised 60 Kawaa across France. Coexister also offers Coexistants training to run a Kawaa.
Solidarity allows us to go beyond simple dialogue by acting together in the service of society. Under the slogan “diversity of convictions, unity in action”, we organise clothing and toy collections, blood donations, work with the homeless and orphans, and many other activities.
Example: During Solidarity Week 2016, 15 volunteer Coexistants from 8 local groups spent a week in Grande-Synthe with the Utopia 56 association to help manage and run the refugee camp. During this experience, they were able to take a fresh look at the issue of welcoming refugees in France.
3. RAISING AWARENESS
Awareness-raising enables people to become agents of Active Coexistence. Active members who so wish can receive training from our professional trainers to learn how to run workshops in secondary schools to share the Coexister message with them.
Example: At the René Caille public vocational high school in Marseille, Coexister has been working since December 2015 with 200 high school students in the building trades aged 14 to 21. Workshops on deconstructing prejudices have been set up to ease the tensions reported by the teaching staff and support their teaching on secularism and citizenship. Following very positive feedback from students and teachers, Coexister repeated the experience twice in 2017.