Manufacto's rollout across France has been bolstered this year thanks to a new partner school board in La Réunion. The first overseas department to join the programme, pupils in La Réunion will participate alongside others in the boards of education of Amiens, Besançon, Bordeaux, Créteil, Lille, Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Normandie, Orléans-Tours, Paris, Reims, Toulouse and Versailles, making for a total of fifteen boards that have partnered with the Foundation to raise awareness of craft skills amongst younger generations.
Thanks to this expansion, this school year will see more than 2100 pupils from 89 institutions – 42 primary schools, 42 middle schools and 5 high schools – discover artisanal skills. Under the guidance of a craftsperson and an assistant, participating students of all ages discover the gestures, tools and techniques related to the skills of carpentry, plasterwork, leatherwork and leather upholstery. Over the course of twelve sessions that take place during school hours, step-by-step they create a contemporary object according to technical specifications adapted to their age group, with each moment offering them a chance to engage with particular notions linked to classic materials. Beyond the pleasure of making, they will learn to work with precision and concentration, as well as with solidarity, as they accompany one another in the craft process.
After the final session and the personalisation of each of their objects, the pupils present their creations to the rest of the school. Designed to promote manual craft skills, this programme was inaugurated by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès in 2016 with the Paris board of education, in collaboration with the Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France and in partnership with the École Camondo (Paris). By encouraging values such as transmission, rigour, and mutual support, Manufacto helps pupils flourish in a new learning context.