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A birth in the still turmoil of confinement ...

The Lyon Student Solidarity Collective was born at the end of March 2020, when the whole country had suddenly entered a period of strict confinement. The shutdown of economic activity, the closure not only of university restaurants, but also of most associative structures to help people in difficulty, the inaccessibility, finally, of the solidarity grocery stores of the universities, they- same constraints to a strict administrative closure, have alarmed us about the material fate of Lyon students who are economically most fragile. There was no doubt that for the large number of them, who are forced to work in order to finance their studies, the period of confinement was going to be very difficult to go through, because it was about to exacerbate in proportions up to 'then unknown the material difficulties with which too many students often regularly face.

Pendant le confinement

During confinement

April 2020 - May 2020
Primum vivere

Helping students cope with this primary need - to eat - was the first goal that CSE-Lyon set for itself during confinement. To avoid forcing students to travel for which we did not know to what extent they would be possible, so as not to encourage gatherings of people and, with them, a potential transmission of the virus, we chose to provide assistance food in the form of substantial parcels which were given to the interested parties, after making an appointment, at the entrance of their university residence or their accommodation in town. Thanks to the very generous financial or in-kind donations made to us and the partnership established on this occasion with local producers, also thanks to the unwavering commitment of our volunteers, more than 1,400 students from Lyon and of its agglomeration which were able to be supported during this so special period.

To enable this large-scale distribution, we have organized ourselves into premises, scattered around Lyon and Villeurbanne, all of whom are responsible for specific sectors.

Those responsible for the premises


Capture d’écran 2020-04-01 à
Après le confinement

After confinement

May 2020 - June 2020

After coming out of confinement, the food action was able to continue until the end of June in the form of a solidarity grocery store temporarily installed at the Halles du Faubourg, before the latter's final closure. But the Collective did more. Having received the spontaneous reinforcement of volunteers, who are professional psychologists or psychotherapists, he was able to provide students who requested it with precious listening seven days a week and a real follow-up to alleviate the many anxieties and traumas engendered by this period. The Collective also tirelessly informed the students about the social assistance schemes to which they could claim and its volunteers sometimes helped students in difficulty (computer failure, wifi failure) to put together their administrative file.

Le collectif aujourd'hui

The collective today

CSE Lyon intends to learn from this episode. We sensed it at the time of our creation and the facts confirmed our initial intuition: too many students are, rightly, obsessed with the need to pay their rent and they sacrifice their food needs to it. To help students on a daily basis in the gloomy economic context that is ours, to alleviate the constraints weighing on the small budgets of each, the Collective hopes to create a social and solidarity grocery store that is specially dedicated to them. To this end, it is looking for easily accessible premises in the city to allow a more flexible and secure supply, freed from the constraints imposed by the universities that usually host them, even though the latter, in a COVID context, still remain under the threat of 'an administrative closure. But spring 2020 will also have been for us the awareness of the absolute isolation in which foreign students in Lyon are often plunged. International student mobility is admittedly almost non-existent this year, but it would be good if once the page of the current epidemic had been turned, foreign students in Lyon would find, when they arrived in our beautiful university city, a warmer welcome, referrals - godparents - who accompany them during their stay, and that they have opportunities to forge solid human links, which would facilitate their integration as well as the success of their studies, at the same time as they would protect them against high risks of ill-being and depression that we saw at the height of the crisis.

Since June 2020