For one full week, the streets of Garges-lès-Gonesse, in the northern suburbs of Paris, became the setting for some extreme cleaning, and the phenomenon has since spread everywhere in France.
“Ma Cité va Briller”, translated as “My City Will Shine”, is the new challenge launched late July, and the concept involves teams of young volunteers getting together to pick up trash they find in their neighborhood, before challenging another city to do better via social networks.
Some are young kids, others are approaching thirty, but together, with pliers and trash bags, they find themselves to give a clean blow to their neighborhood.
This is the “Garges Clean Challenge”, a challenge launched Wednesday, July 31 by the association Hope and Creation , in order to educate residents to respect the environment and encourage them to maintain cleanliness in their city.
On its Facebook page , the association is delighted by the success of the operation:
“We are proud to convey a positive image of our youth. We believe in them, just give them the opportunity to excel and get involved in their environment. We respect and salute agents who go to great lengths to clean up our neighborhoods, but we believe that it is not their job to clean each other’s garbage on a daily basis. For us (young and old) to take back our neighborhoods and transmit values such as respect for the environment and the Earth that hosts us.”
Since then, the challenges have spread to new towns, with many more people saying they are ready to set up the challenge in their city.
The rules are: the named city must assemble a small team of volunteers, and embark on a major cleaning of the common areas by collecting a waste found on the ground. At the end, a photo immortalizes the young people and their “booty”. They then challenge another district to try and outshine them.
Beyond the obvious benefits for the community, mobilizing young people also helps to give them a positive way to appropriate their neighborhood. In the end, the challenges also tighten the bonds between people who work hand in hand or support and congratulate each other.
“Today, we were lucky enough to be offered a gift by a lady who saw us from her window. She offered us € 10 to give young people a drink. Of course we refused; but she insisted. She thanked the young people and explained to us how proud she was of THE young people”
We think it’s a great idea and communities around the world should take inspiration from it.