Social and solidarity Christmas at Les Minguettes: “We were not able to welcome everyone”

Wednesday, December 21, the Vénissieux cultural solidarity association (VSC) organized a social and solidarity Christmas for the families of the Minguettes, in Vénissieux. A breath of fresh air for a precarious population marked by rising prices. Report.

The party is in full swing, this Wednesday afternoon, in a hall of the holiday and family house, in Vénissieux. At the foot of the Minguettes towers, nearly 200 people gathered for the “Solidarity and Social Christmas” of the Vénissieux Cultural Solidarity Association (VSC).

With the “kiffance” deep in their ears, the children run from one stand to another, on a floor strewn with confetti. The inflatable balloon stand is taken over by toddlers. Next door, a few of them are dancing and jumping in front of a DJ dressed in a luminous futuristic disguise, in an air disturbed by the smoke machine. A few also take advantage of the make-up stand.

At the table, teenagers and their parents watch the little ones move around. Among them, Nabila, a resident of Minguettes, chats with friends. At 50, this mother is a regular at the social and solidarity grocery store run by the VSC association. “This year, I hardly went to Carrefour, I find almost everything at the grocery store,” she says. This Wednesday, she gave a helping hand to the organization. Like many, she came with her family with her daughter and her nephew, in particular.

With “all these rising prices”, the party is particularly welcome. Santa Claus must bring gifts, widely expected by the youngest. Over our shoulder, Ismaël, 8 years old, tries to read what we write, impatient to know the surprise. “Stop, you’ll know when Santa Claus is here,” reprimands him, kindly, his mother.

The gifts had a particular importance during the social and solidarity Christmas of the Minguettes. ©PL/Rue89Lyon.

A social Christmas for low incomes on the Minguettes plateau

For the occasion, Vénissieux solidarité culturel called on Solidarity donations to distribute gifts. This Parisian structure brought back a hundred figures from the “Minions”, from the cartoon “Me, ugly and mean”.

“It’s the gesture they are making, really, it’s great,” smiles Nabila. It’s nice that they give gifts to children. Frankly, they are expensive…”

In loop, the Vénissiane blocks on the question of the price. It must be said that, in this winter marked by high inflation, the question of purchasing power is central. For some families with low incomes, sometimes affected by unemployment, the increase in prices hurts. “Sometimes I eat less, to pay my rent,” Nabila slips into the conversation.

Inevitably, Christmas shopping does not help. “People fear a price increase, many are cutting back on gifts this year,” says Clothilde Ulrich, from Dons Solidaires. According to an Ifop survey carried out for the association, 47% of parents will totally or partially give up giving presents to their children this year. The helping hand is therefore not too much.

On another table, another mother, Fatima Loucif Hamidouche, also observes the room. It abounds:

“It’s an event that brings together a lot of precarious people,” she notes.

This municipal councilor, resident of Minguettes, also came with her children, her nephews, etc. She finds it important to have “marked the occasion” in this New Year’s Eve week, and is delighted with these festivities.

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Municipal councilor Fatima Loucif Hamidouche, with her son, at the Minguettes social and solidarity Christmas. ©PL/Rue89Lyon.

A context marked by the fire in Vaulx-en-Velin

“Almost nothing had happened since the Covid on the set, notes Fatima Loucif Hamidouche. And then, with inflation and everything that’s going on right now… That’s welcome. »

In this “everything that is happening at the moment”, many of them describe a difficult general climate. In addition to the rise in prices, the difficulties in paying the rent… Several parents evoke the fire which happened in Vaulx-en-Velin. “Frankly, when we see how we are housed…”, breathes Nabila. Clearly, the event marked the spirits and arouses fears.

“We have a special thought for those who have lost loved ones there”, abounds Saliha Prudhomme-Latour, deputy in charge of social policies and the fight against extreme poverty at the town hall. This Wednesday, she notes that the room has been made available to the City of Vénissieux. The town also organized a big evening of solidarity in Vénissieux.

In the midst of the hubbub, Abdelghani Skandrani, president of the association, gets busy. Between the gifts, the dishes to distribute… “Ghani” is not idle, like the volunteers of the association. He too speaks of “a great expectation”, left unanswered after the covid.

At his side, Shirin, in training to become a social worker, opines:

“We feel a real demand, we could not accommodate everyone. »

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The Minguettes social and solidarity Christmas brought together nearly 200 people. ©PL/Rue89Lyon.

At Les Minguettes, the social is based on recycling

For Shirin, who is gradually taking over the reins of the association, the next step will be to find premises to open a thrift store. According to her, there has been a real “precariousness” for clothing since the first confinement. Grocery store customers are in high demand on this topic.

In his discourse, there is no question of the environment although, indirectly, his social action responds to ecological needs. At the grocery store, the products, mainly from recovered food, make it possible to feed precarious families and avoid waste. Similarly, when “thrift stores” avoiding throwing away clothes become fashionable again in downtown Lyon, the Venetian association wants to put them back in the spotlight to help the most precarious.

Before that, a few families, mainly from Vénissieux, will have taken advantage of this event which “warms the heart”, to use the expression of a mother. A breath to rediscover, for the space of an afternoon, the spirit of Christmas.

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A DJ came to animate the social and solidarity Christmas of the Minguettes. ©PL/Rue89Lyon.

Social and solidarity Christmas at Les Minguettes: “We were not able to welcome everyone”