The ACAQB is a republican organization
Our organization was founded in the spirit of the 1st article of the French Constitution of October 27th 1946: the Republic is “indivisible, democratic, secular and social”. This phrase reappears in the Constitution of 1958, adding that the Republic “respects all religious beliefs”. The ruling precept of the French Republic is “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” (“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”) and as such the Republic is based on the principle of secularism, a concept which guarantees unity amidst pluralism. Democracy gives us individual rights but also creates duties, the most important of them being to respect the rights of others, gender equality, human dignity, and a certain open-mindedness towards the world and its diversity. Our founding principles since 1963 underline our organization’s independence towards political parties and religious groups. “All political or religious propaganda is proscribed” in our community centres.
The ACAQB is an organization dedicated to sociocultural animation
The ACAQB’s core activity is sociocultural animation. We like to link this with the Latin etymology of the word “animation”: animare, in the sense of initiating, putting in motion. “Social” is to be understood in the sense of a commitment to human relations. Our social and cultural community centres are open to people of all generations, promoting human relations, encouraging and co-driving all kinds of projects. The roots of the ACAQB lie in the principles of ethics, meaningfulness, general interest and common good. Its ambition is social and educational and as such it is dedicated to art, culture and leisure.
The ACAQB is a state-approved organization for youth and popular education
It contributes “to the constant transformation of society by building educational, social and cultural alternatives, thereby empowering individuals to take their future into their own hands”.
Our sociocultural animators work with and for people.
A sense of emancipation, cooperation, social justice and a certain ideal of shared knowledge guide their actions.
The individual is at the heart of our sociocultural project. The community centres must be exemplary in their belief in humanity, more specifically, in men and women’s capacity for embracing freedom and creativity. These essential traits of humanity must be placed first and foremost, serving as a goal in everything we do.
The ACAQB is an association with a social ambition
10 of the 11 community centres are officially approved as “social centres” by the Child Benefit office of the Gironde (translator’s note: the Gironde is a département in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of South West France). An approved social centre serves as a meeting place; somewhere for individuals to find information, get guidance, and become involved… nothing can be achieved without the total commitment of both the people themselves and of our partners.
Four major themes (listed below) constitute the definition of a social centre by the Child Benefit office of the Gironde. These themes are shared by our association and the local and departmental authorities, and each community centre has its own version of them, taking account of local characteristics.
- A social centre should be a local amenity, set in a neighbourhood, with an overall social ambition.
- A social centre should be a place which is both family-friendly and open to individuals of all ages.
- A social centre should be a force breathing life into the local community.
- A social centre should be capable of initiating new community-oriented projects that are approved of by the local inhabitants.