Computer renovation, individual lessons at low prices… In Var, this third center combines environmental transformation and digital inclusion

Klein blue walls, cork pendant lights, a communal library, large colorful frescoes… Located on the outskirts of Solliès-Pont, on the top floor of a building in a charming commercial district, it is vibrant in a beautiful setting.

On this late spring morning with a real summer feel, we opened the door (open to the four winds, in fact) to third place Var Kanopée. The writing workshop is about to begin, as coffee cups are emptied as couples take their places in the co-working space, in front of computer screens.

Canopy Photo by Aurélie Sylvie.

The place was created two years ago by committed citizens, originally in 2016 from the La Vallée du Gapeau en Transition association.

It was the era of documentaries tomorrow [de Cyril Dion et Mélanie Laurent]. It was an impromptu meeting bringing together people from Souliers and the entire valley. We all shared the desire for a unified environmental, social and environmental transition, coming not from the top but from the citizens.”follows Jean-Pierre LeCand, co-president of the association.

Communicate digitally…with others

To implement this on the scale of their territory, these passionate people have created countless groups and numerous projects: a cooperative grocery store, a citizens' renewable energy cooperative, shared gardens, local currency, eco-building… but also actions in favor of digital inclusion.

“The idea was to mix audiences but also to advocate the right balance between communication by digital means and with others, to explain how these tools work but also what their risks are if we push the needle too far.” explains Lea Letellier, the association's coordinator.

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“By sending the message that digital technology has an environmental cost.”Jean-Pierre LeCand agrees.

Extend the life of computers

Luis Graca, volunteer, at the computer refurbishment workshop. Photo by Aurélie Sylvie.

Behind a half-open door, Luis Graca, volunteer leader of the GapOrdi team, works to reduce the environmental bill… This small room is his stronghold, where 5 volunteers who are not bothered by tinkering also take turns.

Because here we are, every Monday and Tuesday morning, repairing computers, cleaning hard drives, and installing software. “We collect them here and there, through our network, last year, the University of Aix-Marseille gave us 50 computers, which could be companies, departments or schools…”, He explains.

“To build a tower with a keyboard and mouse, you produce 900 kilograms of carbon dioxide.”Luis Graca, volunteer facilitator.

Using a checklist, Louis and his gang make sure to delete data from the computers, reinstall Windows, and make sure everything is working before giving the devices a second life, which makes sense.

“To make a tower with a keyboard and mouse, we need 900 kg of CO2. The machines we have are 6-7 years old and can be used for simple use. With them, we reuse for a social purpose.”He said.

Families helped by Heart Restaurants, People's Relief, former prisoners undergoing professional reintegration, young people from political areas of the city, refugees, etc. “We recently set up Ukrainian Cyrillic keyboards”“, explains this electronics retiree, who promised himself that, after his career was over, he would learn to play the piano, ping-pong and get involved in the community.

Concepts and connections between generations

Fabienne, a National Education retiree, and her digital advisor, Thomas, 23, make a complicit pair. Photo by Aurélie Sylvie.

Retirement was another incentive for Fabienne Bertuca, a former teacher: the desire to finally master computer tools, in particular to write and format a memorial book, to leave to her grandchildren.

“I already had a very negative preconception about digital technology. During my career as a school teacher, I always asked for training focused on digital tools… and they were always rejected. Without any knowledge, I refused to use the Internet connection I was offered in my later years, There is no doubt about its abuse!

“When you stop working, you have the impression that society is rejecting you.”Fabian is a beneficiary of a digital workshop

Over the past year, for 3 hours a week and for about ten euros, she has taken advantage of a private lesson with Thomas Favrot, 23 years old, one of the young digital consultants working for Kanopée. The collusion between these two things is clear.

“I have a social life, but only with people my age, never with younger people… When you no longer work, you have the impression that society is throwing you away. What I also like about this exchange is the intergenerational aspect, and we laugh.” We eat together sometimes “Françoise smiles, “proud” To gain independence on the computer.

“Of course, I already knew how to use the mouse, set up a sequence for my class… Now, I also know how to do things online, get train tickets and many other things.”Says the person who in return offers yoga lessons in third place.

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Over 480 individuals supported in one year

Thomas, a recent graduate of the Professional Baccalaureate in Digital Systems, “I have been passionate about computers since I was young”also opened up prospects for this mission. “We also travel to senior housing, to a residence centre, with job seekers, or even young people with disabilities, which is always enriching.” I smile.

“Digital technology tends to make me anxious,” says Dominic, 74, with the help of digital consultant Charles. Photo by Aurélie Sylvie.

In the next room, digital consultant duo Charles, also 23, and Dominic, 74, look absolutely adorable. It is quiet, educational and discreet. She, an actress, is fiery “It's a little bit like a tree in spirit“, she laughs.

Today it is working on transferring data and files to a new computer. “Digital technology tends to make me anxious. I have the impression that it steals my creativity. Charles is healing me a little. I feel much better.”Says. “I like to share my knowledge”slips out shyly.

In 2023, Thomas and Charles provided 481 individual support and 57 group workshops. Always with the social link as a common thread.

More information about Kanopée is in third placevia email at [email protected] or at 07.85.73.39.77.

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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