The Student Solidarity Awards reward innovative approaches that contribute to sustainable development in any one of the Veolia Foundation’s three areas of action: humanitarian crises and development aid, social and workforce development, environmental conservation and biodiversity. 85 student associations – in particular from Canada, Cameroon, UAE, China, Gabon and Niger and France - participated this year.
The 2015 winners are :
- 1st Prize: The Association des Enfants et Jeunes Travailleurs in Ouallam aims to help 200 vulnerable children aged 6 to 17 living on the streets of Ouallam in Niger to rejoin the school system or access to learning a trade. Niger currently hosts 37,000 Malian refugees, including many abandoned and vulnerable migrant children.
- 2nd Prize: In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Family First, a HEC Paris student association, aims to measure the social impact of the NGO Enfants du Mekong, which since 1958 has promoted access to education for 80,000 young Asian children living in extreme poverty. The Family First impact study aims to maximize the social benefits, not only for the direct beneficiaries, but also for their families.
- 3rd Prize: YA+K, a student collective from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture and from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, aims to support people living in Seine-Saint-Denis to set up a space in Bagnolet for gardening and creating social links on the basis of an inclusive economic model: a place to learn about recycling and sustainable development.
- Special COP21 prize: Hydr’open, a student association from ENSE3 in Grenoble, aims to build a low power water turbine for rural electrification that uses open source technology, is easy to build, and uses recycled materials to reduce costs.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Environnement
«I congratulate the winners on the quality of their projects,” said Antoine Frérot. “Whether they concern the environment and the circular economy, international solidarity or social links, they all reflect the same societal issues to which Veolia has made a commitment and on which it is making positive impact through its activities: our mission "resourcing the world" embodies our aims. It could also be the slogan for these students».
How are the associations judged?
- A 7-member jury: Catherine Fraunhofer, Head of the Enterprise and Communities Department at the Ecole Nationale du Génie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement in Strasbourg; Brigitte Chotel, Head of Corporate Relations at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3; Alice Pillet, Partnerships Officer with Adie ; Thierry Vandevelde, Executive Officer of the Veolia Foundation; Brigitte Durand, Veolia Trades & Core business Promotion Director; Clémentine Fontanel, Veolia Human Resources Director Coordinator for Asia and Australia/New Zealand; Dominique Boizeau, Director of Communication for the Veolia Foundation.
- 7 selection criteria: the quality of the application, the professionalism of the proposed approach, the feasibility of the project, the project's impact, the synergies sought by the association, the support requested for capital expenditure and training, the involvement of local resources to sustain the project.
- An award of €17,500 split between the winning associations, which also benefit from the support and expertise of a sponsor - a Veolia employee.
 La Villette and Paris-Malaquais  Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Energie, l'Eau et l'Environnement
 Association pour le Droit à l’Initiative Economique