Competence oriented open learning for disadvantaged learners

Café du Monde

One gate – many doors – A holistic skills enhancement approach towards inclusion

Many people find themselves in a situation in life where they need help – they then do not know exactly where to turn. Often they are sent from one service to another and lose courage and motivation.

Café du Monde provides a unique space where people can access a range of human services from a single source and where their needs and background are taken seriously. Café du Monde offers a holistic approach to supporting people in the context of their lives, building on what people bring with them in terms of experience and skills. 

Café du Monde has a physical space where people can receive support but also spend their free time, and a virtual platform where all services are presented.

Challenge Tackled

  How to involve the local population in a solidarity community project meant to promote the interests of all.

Many people would need help and advice but do not know where to turn to, or they simply do not want to ask someone because they reject the whole system. On the other hand, people that approach the human services are frustrated because they have problems in finding their way through the system – whom to address – or they are sent from one NGO to the next and have to repeat their story over and over again. Thus, they lose motivation and confidence. 

Lack of trust in these services as a result of bad experience.

People’s competences, background and experience are not taken into consideration – they are often just send to a job / training because there is a vacancy.

The lack of accessibility of human services – limited opening hours, limited visibility, unclear profiles and roles, administrative thresholds etc.

Lack of efficient service provision

Target group, beneficiaries or clients

Target group: Staff in NGOs / human service providers 

Final beneficiaries: Disadvantaged people or people that need support and advice to change their personal situation and define a response to their needs.


Establish and sustain a network of human service providers that collaborate efficiently with seamless and smooth interfaces. Each staff member in the NGOs of the network knows perfectly well what the others do and can assess the person’s feelings and needs, and refer to the service / NGO that best matches those. 

Strengthen the bonds between the NGO and create a common vision and mission.

Set up a physical and digital home for the network.

Increase the visibility and accessibility of the network by organising a number of activities in the neighbourhood all by involving the final beneficiaries.


Offer a single entry – one gate to different human services that work together in a complementary and not competitive way. Clients’ competences, background, experience and feelings are taken into consideration to find the best possible path for them.

Unique Selling Point

 A single-entry, versatile community-based project to tackle the difficulties the local residents face daily.


Individual – better services for the final beneficiaries, more involvement in community activities 

Community  – strengthen the community

NGO – increased mutual learning and exchange, better collaboration, better services, better results, more job satisfaction.


Can be transferred to other communities, for other target groups/final beneficiaries.

Café du Monde is inspired by the Bordeaux-based NGO Association Familles Laiques active in the district called Bastide.