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Tutoring in disadvantaged areas

Coping with the consequences of the health crisis through an anti-school dropout programme for children in the northern districts of Marseille

The Air Liquide Foundation supports the anti-dropout program setting up by the association Le Rocher Oasis des Cités to face the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The objective is to provide personalized monitoring of children through tutoring and educational activities.

COVID-19 lockdown, a catalyst for school dropout

Children from the disadvantaged neighbourhoods in which Le Rocher is active are more likely than other young people to break with the school system. Confinement and the health crisis further reinforce these inequalities: illiterate parents, little equipment (computers, printers, internet access), large families in small flats and lack of links with school. The children and their parents are weakened: some have experienced violence behind closed family doors, others suffer from anxiety, and still others have developed screen addictions to smartphones.

a 4-year-old child from a disadvantaged family hears 30 million fewer words and masters half as many words as a child from a well-off family (Borloo report, 2018)


Ensuring pedagogical continuity

To ensure pedagogical continuity, the association has set up an anti-dropout programme 4 days a week, at the rate of 2 slots per day where individualised tutoring sessions are organised. 

The expected results of this programme are:

  • transmission of a taste for learning

  • acquisition of the know-how and interpersonal skills necessary for the success of the school career,

  • the relief of disadvantaged parents faced with their child's educational needs and their involvement in his or her development,

  • the creation of a network of young adults to support every young people.


The follow-up of each child/adolescent is formalised by a personalised form in which the diagnosis, areas of progress, strengths, attendance, behaviour, and the relationship with parents, schools and educators are recorded.

This support for schooling is completed by activities to establish a global relationship integrating the educational and playful dimension. In July, youngsters from this neighbourhood took part in holiday camps with tents in the Loire department and in Vaucluse and a trip to the Sanary-sur-mer zoo (Var). Storytelling for children and educational outings to parks were also organised. 

Facing the increased risk of school dropout during the confinement, 75% team members from Le Rocher were in lockdown with beneficiaries and 100% of the teams remained mobilised. The members of the association are becoming the neighbours and friends of the beneficiaries. For nearly 20 years, the teams of Le Rocher Oasis des Cités have been living in the so-called priority urban neighbourhoods of France. Teams from le Rocher are working with the inhabitants and local actors to set up educational, social and cultural actions in the field of education, parenting support, social and professional integration.

60 Children benefiting from the anti-dropout programme

400 Indirect beneficiaries (parents, brothers, sisters)

What the Air Liquide Foundation is doing

The Foundation's endowment is allocated to the team's salaries for schooling support and funds part of the costs of the premises allocated to the project.


“By sponsoring this association with the Foundation, I was able to give it my support and it obtained financing for one of its projects”

Augustin Savy, Digital Analyst, Hub Europe

“I have been made aware of Le Rocher's issues before joining the Group, and I think its actions are beautiful and essential. By sponsoring this association with the Foundation, I was able to give it my support and it obtained financing for one of its projects. The Foundation is one of the vectors of Air Liquide's positive impact, in which each employee can be a player.”