Grand défi

/ Marlène Awaad

Porte de la Chapelle (Paris), Sunday, November 13, 2016. It is more than 10 pm when a group clings in front of the back doors of a pickup truck. Malik leaves the vehicle with bags of clothing and food. Like him, a dozen young people from Sarcelles (Val-d'Oise) came to serve the refugees and homeless people the hot meal they cooked for them a few hours earlier. It is not an association that brought them together for the good cause but Facebook. All responded to the call for the Grand Défi initiated at the end of September by Malik Diallo, himself a resident of the Vignes Blanches district in Sarcelles. It is during one of his tours that this delivery driver becomes aware of the growing number of homeless people and then has the idea of reating a chain of solidarity. The concept is playful and participative: the citizens of the nominated district organize to collect and distribute food to the most deprived, film the challenge and share the video on social networks. Each district is nominated by the sector nominated before it. Very quickly, the project develops throughout France. A success that is based on a common motive: no financial interest nor even looking for a buzz, only the furious desire for these youngsters to roll up their sleeves, to serve their heart on a tray. 

On November 13th,  Malik and his friends, at the origin of the Grand Défi, supervise the challenge this time by the "little brothers" of their neighborhood. In addition to the prepared meals, the youngsters collected kilos of clothing and blankets, which they sort before loading the truck they rented for distribution. That evening, they will go in procession of cars to Paris Porte de la Chapelle and Saint Denis.

french version