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When SKEMA students and staff become solidarity ambassadors

Published on 09 February 2021

Run in partnership with the Action Humanitaire du Pays de Grasse association, a collection was organised at the Sophia Antipolis campus by a small but dynamic group of staff.

​Photo: (Left to right) Alexis Lenoir, Sandrine Charron-Paccaud, Valérie Schifflet, Corinne Bonnin, Isabelle Beck, Laetitia Bratovic, Anne-Sophie Monthuy, Stéphanie Mestivier, Karine Le Grand and Fanny Martin.

Action Humanitaire du Pays de Grasse is a social grocery store for people who are disadvantaged, in need, or unemployed; it’s also an 800m2 charity shop with clothing, small appliances, tableware, table linen, bed linen, etc., and is well-known to many SKEMA employees. Its chairman and main coordinator — Ivan Coste-Manière (professor and director of the MSc Luxury and Fashion Management) — founded it 25 years ago with his wife Laurence, independent and without subsidy.

SKEMA’s partnership with Action Humanitaire du Pays de Grasse is on several levels. 

The first level concerns SKEMA students, many of whom volunteer with the association and at the civic storehouse to support students in need (in Sophia Antipolis or Antibes). For over five months, they have been taking food donations from the campus. Around 1,800 kg has already been collected and donated by the association for students in need, with careful moral support, and with a vehicle provided by the association for deliveries.

The second level concerns campus staff and faculty. Committed to the Energic environmental challenge along with others at SKEMA, Martine Desmet and Isabelle Beck discussed the challenge offered by the Energic application, the platform that enables employees to become involved in sustainable development issues, to take convivial actions to reduce their carbon footprint. A “good deed” to design and put in place together… Following more discussions with other members of the “Energic tribe” on campus, the Action Humanitaire du Pays de Grasse idea took shape and Ivan Coste-Manière was quickly contacted.
The enthusiasm of the small team and this mutual acquaintance paved the way for direct and efficient communication. As a result, the collection was very quickly set up on the school campus from 25 to 29 January. Household linen, clothing, tools, books, and so on, were generously donated by campus staff, then taken away by an association team. Since then, the collections have continued non-stop!

The story continues through the third level of partnership: SKEMA has supported the association by printing the “Tous confinés” (All in lockdown) book, which reproduces 62 drawings by the talented artist Kristian Dessinateur, humorously caricaturing the main features of life under lockdown. The book has been published by the Action Humanitaire Pays de Grass association and enables it to develop its projects. A ‘collector’s edition’ can be ordered on the Action Humanitaire Pays de Grasse Facebook page or on Kristian’s Facebook page.

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