Registrations for the universal national service (SNU) have been open since Monday, January 11 on the Inscription.snu.gouv.fr site. The government seeks 25,000 young volunteers aged 15 to 17 for the 2021 edition.
Uniform, salute to the flag, republican values
The SNU will start with a cohesion stay from June 21 to July 2.
Each morning, up at 6 a.m. in the morning before salute to the flag singing the Marseillaise remembers France Bleu Vaucluse Angélique, 16 years old, from Avignon who was one of the 2,000 volunteers to have tested the universal national service in June 2019.
In order to extend to the whole of France, this experiment carried out in 13 departments, the budget has been doubled: 61 million euros, with full coverage of the costs for the volunteers, explains Sarah El Haïry, Secretary of State for Youth and Engagement, in Le Parisien / Today in France.
Distributed into households of ten, placed under the authority of a tutor, these young people aged 15 to 17 will be supervised by soldiers, firefighters, educators or teachers. All day long, they will attend workshops on “the values of the Republic, institutions, commitment, culture, access to rights, or ecology. They are going to play sports “ specifies the Secretary of State.
General interest mission
At the end of this cohesion stay, a general interest mission of twelve days or 84 hours must be done within the year. These missions can be done“in a uniformed corps, public service or association“Sarah El Haïry specifies.
Five young people have thus helped the firefighters of Loiret reports France Bleu Orléans. Others did “the same job as the other gendarmes“ by helping them to get news from the elderly, traders and craftsmen during the second confinement explains to France Bleu Creuse Colonel Philippe Vincent at the head of the departmental gendarmerie group of Creuse.
Too militarized supervision
A detailed study by Injep (National Institute for Youth and Popular Education) on the 2019 edition establishes that, if 94% of young people are satisfied, civic interest remains unclear. Many of these early volunteers did not understand what was expected of them, yet others complained aboutoverloaded schedules.
The report also deplores an overly militarized framework with, for example push-ups to do, as a punishment. Gabriel Attal then Secretary of State to the Minister of National Education and Youth recognized this, “there is a happy medium to be found“.
Compulsory from age 16 by 2026
The goal of making this SNU compulsory for 800,000 16-year-olds each year is confirmed by Sarah El Haïry, Secretary of State for Youth and Engagement. But the date of 2026 “is not consolidated and will require a bill “.