Can you tell us about the Salvation Army Foundation?
Sophie Jansen, Director of Lyon Cité: the Salvation Army is an international movement created in 1878 in England and active in 132 countries. The Salvation Army has been working in France since 1881, and since the year 2000 has been divided into two separate yet complementary entities: a Congregation, recognised as a church and run by officers and soldiers, and a secular Foundation, an official non-profit organisation whose mission is to serve the public interest and work for the good of society, providing support for thousands of people.
What does the Foundation's work consist of in Lyon?
Lyon Cité is a network comprising a range of facilities and services in shared accommodation and apartments. We also have a community restaurant and a Food Truck that together distribute over 700 meals every day. We run work integration projects that provide jobs for 120 vulnerable individuals. A total of over 300 people are employed at Lyon Cité to carry out this work.
What does the Festival of Lights mean for your organisation?
We are delighted to have been chosen by the City of Lyon this year to take part in organising the Lumignons du Cœur installation. The Festival of Lights is always a great opportunity for our residents and employees to come together in a festive atmosphere and take home beautiful memories to warm our hearts during the harsh winter months.
What is your plan for the Lumignons du Cœur this year?
The Lumignons will enable us to help the people we work with by providing funding for the projects that are so important to us. It is also a way of shining a 'light' on the wide range of activities organised by the Foundation.
Do you need volunteers for the Lumignons du Cœur? What will their role be?
We want to create a genuinely magical atmosphere with this installation, lit up by thousands of flames, and we need you to volunteer! We have many roles to fill throughout the Festival of Lights from December 8 to 11: helping to prepare the set, keeping the lumignons alight in this collective installation, serving visitors a heart-warming drink at the bar, selling the candles... There are many different jobs to do so there will certainly be something for you – don't wait, come and join us!
What do you plan to do with the money raised?
All of the money raised will go towards the "Les vacances du Cœur" project. In 2023, thanks to you, we are hoping to fund 2 days of free holidays for every one of the children in our centres. These holidays away from our residential care homes are a vital stage in every child's development, as they are an opportunity to meet new people and discover new adventures and experiences.