Presiding over the destiny of our human organization

Introduction by Jean-Charles Palau, president

On December 17th 2015, the members of the Board of governors of the Association des Centres d’Animation de Quartiers de Bordeaux (ACAQB), a non-profit making organization managing 11 community centres in the city of Bordeaux, appointed me to be their President, effective from January 1st 2016. Having already presided over our activities from 1996 to 1998 – a stint followed by a few years during which I stayed on the Board of governors – I am familiar with the inner workings as well as the aims of our organization. I’m taking over from Marc Lajugie who, in his 17 years as president, succeeded brilliantly in bringing together an incredible set of volunteer workers, cooperating hand in hand with our employees.

Our organization has grown and will continue to do so. We currently employ 400 people, going up to more than 500 over the year, and can also rely on our 400 volunteer workers. These volunteer workers are ACAQB’s life and soul, and I want to pay a special tribute to the 170 volunteer members of our 11 local animation committees who, along with our partners and our 32 administrators, form the staff of our governing body.

I shall have the honour of presiding over the destiny of our humanistic organization. I fully recognise the dedication and skill of all I those have met. Each one of them, hand in hand with our employees and alongside our partners, plays a crucial part in carrying out our objectives through a set of tangible local actions. Indeed, cooperating with our 400 volunteer workers give us the synergy we need to strive for the public interest.

This website presents and explains the objectives and local actions of our organization. Our community centres are embodiments of the values and principles of the French Republic (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity), constantly reminding their members of the importance of secularism, open-mindedness and pluralism. We are governed by the principle of hospitality and by a sense of shared responsibility. Our goal is to make individuals feel that they are valued members of their community, and to do so we believe in the power of cultural interactions based on the concepts of trust and respect.

Each one of us must play his or her part in the enactment of these values and principles. We must therefore place shared ethics at the heart of our ambition to create a rich and unified social tissue.

I am aware that the local authorities face a number of challenges; one of them being the decline of state funds, and in this, the city of Bordeaux is no exception. Up to now, the ACAQB has been spared, and it is my duty is to continue to protect our organization amidst a challenging economical and financial context. I will endeavour to diversify our financial resources so that a certain percentage of our budget will in the future come from firms and businesses with a strong social and local commitment. I will also aim to simplify our administration since paperwork has a tendency to get in the way of our raison d’être, keeping us away from the field and from the public. We must make our daily lives easier by inventing new tools, focusing on what needs to be done and anticipating any foreseeable complications as early as possible.

Here I must pause to put in a special word for the quality of our cooperation with our partners –the city council, the Child Benefit office of the Gironde, (CAF 33), and the local and national authorities. As I often say, the lasting social peace and harmony which we enjoy today in our local communities is a direct result of the work carried out by all of you on a daily basis –and for that I thank you warmly. I trust each and every one of you, and many others who may join us, to continue to take part in the life of the ACAQB and to be actively involved in your community. Together we will pursue our ambition of delivering rich sociocultural activities to the 28 000 people of all ages whom we receive regularly throughout the year (a figure to which we must add the throngs of those who attend our numerous festivals).

Welcome to the Association des Centres d’Animation de Quartiers de Bordeaux.

Jean-Charles Palau

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