The English word “care” is used as a concept in French to denote a supporting relationship, whether in a family or professional setting; it equally designates care directed towards a person and care received by that person, with its singularity residing in this sharpened combination of technical and emotional competences. It is a method of taking care of the other person by taking him or her in his or her entirety. Within CALICO, the goal is to integrate this “care” in a mutual and integral way within the co-living environment.
Project CALICO is also about building an interaction with its surrounding neighborhood; this is especially true within the context of the setting up of a care system. Care being considered an integrative and community approach, it seems essential to co-construct it.
Within the framework of UIA financing, the partnership committed itself to bringing together a yearly “strategic committee”. The purpose of this committee is to mobilize stakeholders who may be interested in one or several of the many themes that the project touches upon. There are two main objectives to theses strategic committees: to keep our stakeholders updated and to gather their outside advice and opinions on the project’s progress. Given that mutual care is a central theme to CALICO and that we had met a large number of associations and services interested in this topic, it seemed natural for us to dedicate our 2020 strategic committee to mutualized community care.
The partners had the privilege of organizing the event not far from CALICO, at the newly renovated Forest Abbey, and free of charge thanks to the commune of Forest. Invitations were sent out to people working in the many dimensions of care and health, professionals from volunteers’ and caregivers’ organizations, organizations active in community living, the future inhabitants of CALICO and more specifically the members of the care committee, feminist organizations, neighbourhood associations, etc.
With help from association Collectiv-a, the partners set up an open forum in order to encourage active participation from attendants. Open forums favour autonomous organization of workshops and group discussions, in order for every participant to find the appropriate place for him or her to comfortably talk and contribute.
The event was successful, attracting over 40 people, including 30 entirely new contacts for the CALICO partnership. Fifteen workshops were spontaneously set up during the event, with themes as diverse as:
- “Until when should one intervene when the other gives up on him/herself”,
- “A recreated gender balance, which tools and solutions”,
- “What type of support for caregivers in collective housing”, or
- “Equipping volunteers”.
Thanks to these various workshops many ideas surfaced and partnerships formed for an afternoon, partnerships which we intend to further nourish through CALICO.