To alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 policies, many initiatives have been developed by civil society organisations – NGOs, local governments, or citizens. A team of national researchers from the RESISTIRÉ project has collected and highlighted a set of particularly relevant initiatives in 27 European countries and in Iceland, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. These Better Stories cover eight specific domains: gender-based violence, the labour market, the economy, gender-pay and pension gaps, gender care gaps, decision-making and politics, environmental justice, human and fundamental rights.

This Better Story was collected by Suzanne de Cheveigné


Building safe homes

Compagnons Bâtisseurs Haut de France is a regional Community Service Organization (CSO) based in northern France and is an integral part of a national network. Their core mission is to support vulnerable families in improving their housing conditions, utilizing a unique approach that involves teaching families building and decoration techniques while actively involving them in the improvement process. The CSO primarily focuses on assisting single-parent families, often of migrant origin, and operates through workshops conducted either on-site or within the beneficiaries’ homes. By enabling the community to renovate their houses, the organization empowers families to regain confidence and autonomy, providing them with access to a healthy and safe home.

The initiative encompasses multiple objectives, including:
• Enhancing living conditions for families facing difficulties
• Promoting citizenship, volunteering, and associative life
• Initiating and guiding residents in building techniques
• Fostering a sense of collective and associative well-being within neighborhoods

Thriving during lockdown

Even during the challenging lockdown period, Compagnons Bâtisseurs Haut de France maintained strong connections with the families they assist. They utilized internet resources to stay in touch and distributed pre-prepared kits to provide necessary materials for ongoing projects. Additionally, the organization organized Zoom conferences, enabling participants to share their handiwork and discuss future plans. This approach fostered a sense of community and prevented individuals from feeling isolated during challenging times.


Find out more about the initiative

Photo by Annie Gray from Unsplash