“M’harcèle pas”, a student association committed to fight bullying in schools

In line with the CSR dimension of IÉSEG and its Vision 2025 that aims to make “changemakers” working for a better society, the students in the second year of the Grande École program have the opportunity to get an experience of the non-profit field, by developing a collective solidarity project, from the creation of the association to the application of concrete actions and the measurement of their impact. This project contributes to developing the creativity and commitment of students by having them experience a real situation of management of a non-profit organization in all its aspects.

In this framework, eight students (Benjamin SAVOYE, Laoura AGAYEVA, Paul DARFEUIL, Louis GIREAU, Maëva GUILLAUME, Julian GORY, Gauthier PELATAN and Laure POUPARDIN) chose to get involved in the association “M’harcèle pas”, which aims to raise awareness among pupils in the Ile-de-France region about the problem of school harassment and cyberbullying on social media. “We had the choice among several themes for our collective solidarity project, and we chose this subject because it was particularly meaningful to us,” says Benjamin Savoye, the association’s president.

During the academic year, the eight students visited 20 classes of 4th and 5th grade, as well as classes of secondary school, that is 525 pupils in total, in Paris and in the suburb area, in order to make them aware of and give them the opportunity to exchange on the tpoic of harassment. Each class received two interventions from the association: the first was theoretical and aimed at informing the pupils about this common issue, and the second was practical and consisted of setting up role plays with the schoolchildren, and leading debates with the secondary school students. At the end of the academic year, and with the participation of 15 volunteer pupils from the Sainte-Ursule school (Paris 17th arrondissement), “M’harcèle pas” produced a video to raise awareness on the internet.

By promoting their actions on social networks (Instagram : @mharcelepas and Facebook : M’harcèle pas) and by soliciting various parties to get sponsors, the association got in contact with Bruno GUILLON, a host of various radio and TV programs. He helped them to gain visibility and even aroused the interest of Aymeric PROVOST, in charge of child protection for the government, who became a partner of the project. In the same way, a web developer from the platform, who was sensitive to the initiative, offered them his services for free to develop their website.

By working on this collective solidarity project, the students were able to apply the skills they acquired during their studies at the School. “The collective project is really interesting because it calls upon all the courses we have taken at IÉSEG. For example, the course on cultural diversity was useful because we intervened in schools of different social environments, the course ‘writing to convince’ helped us to create a powerful communication campaign and to prospect sponsors, and the accounting courses gave us the key to managing the financial aspect of the organization…” says Benjamin SAVOYE.

A solidarity project that has shown results

This project also taught them to overcome the potential difficulties of managing an organization and to develop their adaptability, especially in the context of the health crisis.  However, the main source of satisfaction was, without a doubt, to be able to observe the actual results of their actions. “The students remembered us when we came for the second time in their classes and some of them told us that our intervention changed their perception of bullying. They became aware of the importance of respecting each other. Associations, parents of students or even students themselves who wanted to share their testimonials, then approached us.”

“M’harcèle pas” succeeded in becoming well known among different publics and in contributing, at its own level, to the fight against school bullying and cyberbullying. Beyond the practical situation that taught them how to manage an association, the collective project allowed the eight students of “M’harcèle pas” to get involved in a cause where human beings were the priority, and to contribute to a better world.