Report on the Solidarity Leave in Colombia 2017

With the association Envol Vert and the magical tree project

From 2 to 11 June 2017, 8 Maisons du Monde employees headed off to participate in an agroforestry project in Colombia. The project is led by the association Envol Vert, whose founder Daisy Tarrier accompanied the group throughout the week.

After visiting the city of Cartagena to learn about the historical and cultural context of the country, the group spent the week at the project location, the village of Los Limites, on the Caribbean coast, in the north of the country. The employees met with farmers, beneficiaries of the project, who explained how important the initiative is.

The group saw how the association is engaged in helping the local community by planting Maya nut trees. Daisy described the environmental virtues of the tree (soil protection, habitat preservation) as well as the economic virtues (food for livestock and people).

The employees were able to learn about a Sustainable Development project supported by the Maisons du Monde Foundation and to appreciate the benefits of the partnership, both for the association and for the beneficiaries of the project.

“The 10 days spent with Envol Vert showed me the importance of the work of associations with local communities and renewed my confidence in these key players in the fight against climate change.”

Nathalie, visual merchandiser at the store in Thonon-les-Bains.

“The Solidarity Leave is also the opportunity to find out more about the company’s actions in the field of sustainable development. I learned more about the Maisons du Monde Foundation, its role and its relations with the partner associations.”

Fernando, Distrimag, logistics subsidiary (Marseilles).

The meeting with the community of Los Limites: a human adventure

The employees spent 10 days with the farmers of the village of Los Limites and the women of the community. They engaged with the locals, helping farmers plant trees and helping women weave and cook.

The group participated in the daily activities of the community and interacted with the villagers and their children.

I think that by coming here and working with them, we reinforced the idea that their actions are extremely important. That’s what gives this trip such a valuable impact,

says Sabine, Store Manager in Marche-en-Famenne, Belgium.

And afterwards?

Each member of the group will benefit from this experience rich in discoveries and emotions, at both a personal and professional level.

Employees who take Solidarity Leave talk to other employees about the experience, the association and everything they learned.”

Caroline, Sourcing Department, Headquarters (Vertou).

These trips foster discoveries, awareness and team-building, spreading the Foundation’s sustainability values and making the employees real ambassadors of the philosophy. The employees become actors of the projects supported by the Maisons du Monde Foundation during their stay.

And once they return, they rethink the issues of consumption, sustainability and Maisons du Monde’s corporate social responsibility policy enacted on a daily basis.

Thanks to this trip I now understand that reforestation is vital and that every single seed is valuable. I also see the potential of trees and nature to positively impact humankind.”

Julie, sales clerk at the store in Metz.

Upon their return, many employees went on to engage in other environmental actions.