A large table with coffee and pastries, a carefully decorated living room and a large open kitchen. You only have to push the door of Providenti’elles to feel warmly welcomed. The only condition is to be a woman, regardless of her age and situation (student, retired, with or without a job, retraining, burn-out, etc.). “We do not address women in emergency situations accompanied by social services,” says Anne Huc, 42, co-founder of the place. But to all those who are in search of social links and wish to find well-being, who want to act and think. “
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This place, designed by and for women, was born in full confinement at the initiative of two forty-something years, supported by ten volunteers. “Even though I have lived in Nantes for a long time, being married and having four children, I sometimes feel alone or have less good days”, continues the former teacher, founder of a support network. between mothers. She met Anne de Rocquigny, 47, within an association to help managers in retraining. “We wanted to found a place that allows women to exchange views to lighten their burden a little, whatever it is,” says the latter, who worked in financial management before being elected local and following her husband to Nantes. .
Workshops of all kinds
Preparation of the activity planning of the Providenti’elles association. / Sidney Léa Le Bour for La Croix
On loan from the Fondation de la Providence, this former caretaker’s house located not far from the city center has been renovated and furnished with the help of numerous patrons. For 15 € per month (5 € for students), members can come as they please, to have a coffee or to follow workshops, offered by each other according to their skills or by volunteer experts. They affect the professional sphere, relationships with others and well-being or health.
Since October, the house has also been welcoming a 100% female coworking space. You can work there for free by offering a half-day per week to the association as a welcoming person. The opportunity for Nolwenn, 37, founder of a fashion brand, “to meet very different people” and “to talk about everything without taboos”. The same satisfaction for Vanessa, a coach of the same age: “I am not used to talking easily about myself, but here, we can be ourselves without feeling judged, talk about our lives as mothers, education of children. children, daily difficulties. “
A place “just for you”
As such, the exclusive presence of women seems important to them. The founders deny themselves from carrying a militant project. “We are not in a feminist position and have no animosity towards men. Simply, this place is not open to them. No more than to children. When we come here, we only come for ourselves. “
Cooking workshop in Providenti’elles. / Sidney Léa Le Bour for La Croix
Maëlyse, 65, who has lived alone since her divorce, enjoys forging new links. “The cooking workshops are the perfect opportunity because we prepare the meal together, then we have fun. Hélène, a 32-year-old unemployed young woman, has for her part regained her self-confidence and also the taste of others. “I hesitated for a long time, but now I come every day, she confides. Before, I didn’t speak to anyone all day. Elise, dismissed after having suffered moral harassment, sees these shared moments as a bulwark against depression (1).
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That day, she came to learn about the preparation of kefir, a drink with probiotic properties. A workshop led by Laurence, 42, who patiently details the recipe. Recently dismissed for incapacity due to health concerns, she has to get used to a life punctuated by something other than work. “Sharing your skills is revitalizing,” she says. We feel interesting again in the eyes of others. Providential for each other. A ready-made definition for this house, which should spread to Angers (Maine-et-Loire) and Rezé (Loire-Atlantique) in 2022.
Women more isolated than men
According to the barometer of solitudes published in 2021 by the Fondation de France, isolation affects women more strongly than men (26% against 22%).
The health crisis has exacerbated these differences : young women restricted their relational network to regular contact with their neighbors (43% versus 38%) while young men more often maintained their contact with their friends (49% versus 44%) or work colleagues (44%). % versus 39%).
In January 2021, 24% of the population aged 15 and over is in a situation of relational isolationand no longer has any connection with his entourage or very rare exchanges.