Our story

The Hirondelle de l’Avenir NGO is first of all the story of a meeting between Sophie Thouvenel, who was an environment student in Paris in the 2000’s, and Romaric Tchokpon, a young Beninese who spearheaded the project.

A shared vision and a common passion pushed them to found Hirondelle de l’Avenir Bénin.

Romaric then became the President of the organization with their friend Rodrigue, general secretary, while Sophie was coordinating actions in France.

For two years, near 25 French volunteers went on the field, and multiple environmental, sanitary and social projects took shape. Everything worked extremely well, but they felt they wanted to do more… They therefore decided to launch a more consequent social project by creating children sponsorship in the villages.

Sophie then decided to create Hirondelle de l’avenir France.

Since 2008, the set up of the French branch allows fund raisings in France in order to finance children’s sponsoring in Benin.

A €12 sponsorship permits a child to attend school, to get necessary medical cares and a meal per day. Families obviously are more than numerous and the children, especially girls, are not enrolled and most of them start working very young to sustain all the family.

Thanks to generous donors, 500 little Beninese are glimpsing improvements. Their sponsors maintain them, they support their education and it is only the beginning. Hirondelle de l’avenir is present on a major part of the Beninese territory:

  • To the South (Aguégués, Porto Novo, Sakété, Allada and Houéyogbé)
  • And to the North (Parakou and Tourou)
TODAY, MORE THAN 400 SPONSORS AROUND THE WORLD ARE SUPPORTING 500 CHILDREN IN BENIN. THANKS TO THEIR GENEROSITY, HIRONDELLE DE L’AVENIR IS CARRYING OUT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES WHICH EACH DAY BENEFIT 500 CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ON THEIR WAY TO THEIR SELF-GOVERNANCE.
SOME DATES with pictures

The Hirondelle de l’Avenir NGO is first of all the story of meeting between Sophie Thouvenel, a environment student in Paris in the 2000’s, and Romaric Tchokpon, young Beninese who spearheaded the project.

A shared a vision and a common passion pushed them to found Hirondelle de l’Avenir Benin.

2006 HIRONDELLE DE L’AVENIR IS FOUNDED


Rodrigue with the Tourou sponsored children

Romaric became then the President of the organization with their friend Rodrigue, general secretary, while Sophie was coordinating actions in France

Our first programs were launched, such as environmental sensibilization in Beninese villages, et first fund raisings were organized in France thanks to a benefit concert.

2007 OUR FIRST ACTIONS IN FRANCE TOOK SHAPE 

For two years, near 25 French volunteers went on the field, and multiple environmental, sanitary and social projects took shape. Everything worked extremely well, but they felt they wanted to do more… They therefore decided to launch a more consequent social project by creating children sponsorship in the villages.

Sophie then decided to create Hirondelle de l’Avenir France as to ease the fund raising.

2008 CREATION OF HIRONDELLE DE L’AVENIR FRANCE AND CHILDREN SPONSORSHIP

Since 2008, the French branch enables fund raising in France in order to fund children sponsorship in Benin. 

A €12 per month sponsorship allows a child to go to school, to get the necessary medical care and to have one meal each day. Families are obviously more than numerous, most of the girls therefore are not enrolled and start working very young to support their families. 

2008 – 2017 CARE FOR 300 CHILDREN THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY IN 7 LOCATIONS, TOUROU AND PARAKOU IN THE NORTH, PORTO-NOVO, ALLADA, HOUÉYOGBE AND AGUÉGUÉS AND SAKÉTÉ IN THE SOUTH.

Implementation of a cybercafé thanks to the funds raised in France

1st Amazones calendar from Hirondelle de l’Avenir France organization

1st container sent to Rwanda thanks to Kigali Rotary Club

2009 THE START OF A LONG LINE OF AMAZONES CALENDARS WHICH WILL BECOME THE MAIN POINT OF THE ORGANIZATION’S ANNUAL MEETING. 

First calendar launch party at the Bellevilloise in Paris with the singer Imany

1st container sent to Benin thanks to Ateliers Sans Frontières organization

1st partnership between the clinics of the villages and Hirondelle de l’Avenir Benin

1rst well built in Benin with the fellows Scouts Notre Dame du Liban and HDA Benin

2010/2011 Our actions and our links between France and Benin are getting stronger and are materialized through scouts de France and Hirondelle de l’Avenir Benin’s achievements. 

2nd well built with the fellow team BAM Batignolles Molitor Auteuil and the Scouts and Guides of Parakou as well as with HAD Benin. 

Building of a library in the village of Haya with Saint André de Lille fellows (Scouts and Guides de France) and Hirondelle de l’Avenir Bénin. 

2nd container sent to Bénin with Nose organization and in partnership with Fnac

Myopia screening campaign in partnership with Afflelou

2012 A YEAR FILLED WITH ACTIONS ON THE FIELD


The Hirondelles’ race in partnership with Adidas and sponsored by Ladji Doucouré


Sewing Workshop Creation

3rd container sent to Benin thanks to Ateliers Sans Frontières

1 40-foot container of Andros jam

Establishment of a health care mutual within Hirondelle de l’Avenir Bénin

1st vaccination campaign in Benin North villages with Hirondelle de l’Avenir Benin

2013 ACTIONS PROGRAMMES FOR MEDICAL CARE ACCESS KEEP SPREADING

4th container sent to Benin in partnership with Hachette and Marriot which launched fund raisings all over France. 

Creation of the Hirondelle de l’Avenir brand by Amé&So (bags, tote bags, wax breast pockets made with Salesian sisters of Don Bosco) made in Bénin.

3st well built in Tourou, Bénin thanks to a French private donor

Creation of computer initiation training center in North Bénin by Hirondelle de l’Avenir.

2014 CREATION OF HIRONDELLE DE L’AVENIR’S BRAND WHICH CAUSES A REAL CRAZE FOR THE ORGANIZATION.

1rst Amazones photography exhibition at the Panam Art Café

1rst fund raising in Bénin thanks to Zumwithnao

1st rewarding activities project for women from the Aguégués

1st epistolary correspondence project between France and Benin ensured by Rendez-Vous Aillleurs organization created by students from Sciences-Po Lille (2 elementary school classes)

1st Hirondelles cinema, a travelling cinema which allows children to watch cartoons outdoor during the nightfall.

2015 HIRONDELLES CINEMA, A MAIN ASSET FOR THE ORGANIZATION’S CULTURAL STRAND 

Big charity concert at the Bizzart

Establishment of financially rewarding activities for women in Aguégués villages

2016 HIRONDELLE DE L’AVENIR IS 10 YEARS OLD
2017 :

A turning point for the organization, a thousand of sponsors got involved in barely 24 hours due to the diffusion of our movie SMILES, Hirondelle de l’Avenir gets itself known on the social networks after the trip of December 2017 followed online across the world.

Hirondelle de l’Avenir works with three new orphanages in the North and to other villages in the South.

The Amazones calendar takes another dimension and is joined by influent and valuable women who want to spread their words as Inna Modja, Marie-Cécile Zinsou, Rokhaya Diallo, Valérie Shlumberger, Marie Grimaud, Nantenin Keïta, Adama Paris, Jenaye Noah, Madjissem Birigaye, Flora Coquerel, Ophelie Meunier and Thiané Diagne.

The Jamel Comedy Club joins Hirondelles de l’Avenir and plays pro bono for an evening which resulted as a great fund raising.

2018 :

Send and reception of a 40-foot container in partnership with ULLMAN, specialized in blackboards and school supplies production.

The second movie of the organization named Tears.

Athletes rally and organize Sporting Sundays with fitness and yoga classes, all the profits from which are donated to the organization.

2017 Kho Lanta winners participate to the Raid des Alizés.

The Hirondelles brunch at the Panam Art Café emerges, which permits to raise a lot of donations just in one afternoon.

RODRIGUE’S TESTIMONY, HIRONDELLE DE L’AVENIR BENIN SECRETARY GENERAL

« 2005 now, and the adventure keeps on for over 10 years. As having coordinated the NGO activities on the field, right now, All I can feel is pride, a pride for everything that has been achieved during all this time with the means we are disposing. The work wasn’t easy, however our devotion to bring underprivileged children some happiness and dignity really pushed us to carry on with our goals.

We are aware that our actions only represent a drop in the ocean, but we are determined, with the help of our partners and all the good wills to do our bit for a prosperous, worthy and developed Africa. As I often say, we do not profess to bring the spring but to announce it.

This is the time and the place to thank,

  • All these people who supported us with their expression of love towards these disfavored children by their donations, sponsorship and support
  • All the volunteers who came with us for their humanitarian work,
  • The Hirondelle de l’Avenir team in Benin and in France for their commitment. I would especially like to thank Miss Sophie THOUVENEL for her big heart and her devotion to our cause, and to M. Romaric TCHOKPON for having allowed us to live this beautiful adventure.” 


Rodrigue MEHOU HOUNSOU