In response to the twin crises threatening our economy and our climate, the Foundation has shifted its focus. Over the next five years, we’ll dedicate the majority of our non-profit partnerships and the bulk of our €4.5 million annual budget to helping the most vulnerable young people find their place in society.
The SNCF Foundation supported over 700 projects in 2020
The Covid-19 crisis has raised the school dropout rate, increased financial hardships for young people and disrupted their future. And the blow has been even heavier for those who live in rural areas or disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and/or were already contending with a disability or a precarious situation. From 2021 through 2025, the SNCF Foundation will concentrate on helping the most vulnerable teens and young adults (ages 11-25) find their place in society.
The second emergency we face is preserving our planet—a major concern for young people.
These two focus areas are the heart of the Foundation’s new mission, and they dovetail perfectly with the social and environmental efforts outlined in Tous SNCF, the Group’s corporate strategy. In it, SNCF has fully committed to promoting sustainable mobility, forging close ties with the communities we serve, and revitalizing regional economies.
Building a life
For the past decade, SNCF Foundation has backed education initiatives that enable students to master the core skills of reading, writing and maths, and give them access to digital technology. Over the next five years, we’ll help young people build their futures as responsible citizens and architects of their own careers. To do that, we’ll focus on three goals.
Support and motivate youth throughout their academic career
In the youngest group, the task is to reduce the risk of dropping out of school through sponsorship and education assistance, and to help them identify their own talents and gain confidence in themselves and their own potential. Another priority is to give young people access to digital technology from the first years of secondary school, especially when they don’t have devices of their own.
Help young people choose a career path
The Foundation will focus much of its support on projects that help young people think through their career options. We’ll help them create and follow a roadmap to success, especially in the industries of the future, such as the environment and digital tech. And we’ll encourage them to cultivate social skills, critical thinking abilities and civic responsibility along the way.
Cultivate entrepreneurship and good citizenship
To help young people meet the challenges they face and build a life that’s meaningful for them, the Foundation encourages them to become fully engaged citizens through community service. We’ll back projects that further this goal by fostering social cohesion, openness to others, and respect for other people and for diversity.
Working for the environment
We’ll support young people who want to take action for the environment by backing local projects that deliver tangible results and help revitalize communities over the long term. This is a new focus area for the Foundation. We’ll work with kids as young as 11 who want a better understanding of the environment and environmental issues, but we’ll also target adults up to age 30. Many people in that cohort are brimming with ideas for their local environment but need a leg up to get their projects going. The Foundation’s efforts are organized around three priorities:
- support environmental education
- promote the circular economy
- back local environmental projects
Our goal is to encourage young people to get involved in practical, useful projects that are rooted in their local community—and can help revitalize their regional economy.
Depending on their ages, the Foundation may focus on raising their awareness of environmental protection and sustainable consumption. This could mean encouraging them to plant trees, create kitchen gardens or expand organic urban farming. Fighting waste, another key issue, could translate to projects in areas such as bartering, composting, materials recovery, and recycling, repairing or reusing digital devices and other objects. And civic engagement for the environment might range from collecting bottles to clean-up and litter-picking campaigns on beaches, along rivers, in urban environments and more.