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ACCR (Association caritative de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs)

December 2014 - Where are we now?

"We try to help those less fortunate than us"

As our President Yam Atallah mentioned so aptly in a speech given at the General Assembly of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs last July, we – at the Chaîne – not only promote gastronomy and oenology, but he continued “we also try to help those who are less fortunate than us”.  Thinking in particular about the children who are suffering in the world, he also told us that “a simple glass of milk is much more precious to some than all the meals we have had this week”.

For several years the ACCR has been involved in several initiatives to provide food aid to those who need it most. It now concentrates its efforts on establishing cookery schools to teach a profession to individuals who would otherwise not have had that opportunity.

Teaching a profession associated with culinary skills means that this is not only helping them on a long-term basis, but also enabling them in turn to help those closest to them. We are extremely committed to this aspect of our efforts. We are very proud to see the logo of the Chaîne on the walls of these cookery schools and, of course, we hope that there will be more of them”.

In fact it is the fulfilment of the saying we all know: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

This is actually the aim of the ACCR’s Committee with the support of the Board of Directors of the Chaîne. We currently want to make the ACCR go in a different direction so that it provides more of this aid which we wish to bring to those who need it so much, namely children!

This aim is, moreover, expressly included in the statutes of the ACCR, Article 2 of which states: “The mission of the Association is to provide aid as part of a programme of social, cultural, educational or humanitarian assistance with regard to food, in particular the fight against hunger and malnutrition, to people of all nationalities, without any distinction on the grounds of race or religion".

As you know, as part of the new direction we are taking, we have established and are currently supporting three cookery schools: one in Évora in Portugal, and two others in South Africa, namely one in Durban and the other near Cape Town in Riebeek Valley. Through donations we are also supporting two other charitable ventures in Cairo, Egypt: at Ana El-Masry and the orphanage of Alexandria (but we hope to establish cookery schools there soon).

We are also providing assistance to the Senzaconfini project in Huanuco, Peru, where an Italian NGO is offering aid and support to the most disadvantaged children. We also envisage recommending the establishment of a cookery school there rather than providing further funds.

These cookery schools, therefore, not only train kitchen brigades, but also service brigades in the widest sense of the term. At the end of their training these children – very often taken off the streets with all its associated dangers – will have acquired a profession that will enable them to feed themselves and their families.

The circle is therefore complete and the ACCR will have fulfilled its honourable role of providing assistance and support. It is with the aim of creating more of these cookery schools to comply with the wishes of our President and to carry out this remarkable mission that we have set ourselves the target of launching an extensive information campaign which we will carry out during the next few weeks so that you are fully aware of the initiatives and activities accomplished by these schools.

We wish to keep you informed on a regular basis through photos, short films and other news flashes so that you are always up to date with what has been undertaken with your donations. Please be generous to help these children and enable them to find a rewarding place in society. Setting up a cookery school requires funds!

When the Final of the International Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition was held in Durban (September 2014), we had the opportunity to return to the Ikusasa School in Durban, then to the one in Riebeek Valley. There we were delighted to see one of the children who had taken the course at the Ikusasa School last year.

At that time we met a shy, insecure child lacking in confidence at the start of the course, whilst we now found that this young man – who in the meantime has been employed by a major, high quality hotel-resort in South Africa – had undergone a fundamental transformation to become full of life, sharing with the other youngsters who were more impoverished than him all that he had learnt as part of the Ikusasa School. This was an extremely moving meeting for us, one which showed us with absolute certainty that we are on the right track in helping those who need it!

Thank you for helping us to pursue this rewarding mission.

Member of the ACCR Committee
Member of the Conseil Magistral