Apart from two pugs who stand guard and noisily welcome the visitor and a man busy boning wooden pallets, on this December afternoon there reigns a somewhat gloomy atmosphere in the reception area. travel people at Rheu, a town located to the west of Rennes. Each family thus goes about their daily business, avoiding going out too much to protect themselves from the cold. At the entrance to the site, which accommodates a dozen or so caravans, a brand new screen-printed truck is nevertheless intriguing by its presence.
Called AGV Connect, it is owned by the public interest group Accueil des Gens du Voyage en Ille-et-Vilaine (AGV 35). For several weeks, he has been crisscrossing the forty areas in the department with a very specific mission. “We come to meet travelers to help them with their online procedures,” emphasizes Hanane Maskali.
Illiteracy and illiteracy
Digital advisor, it is she who drives the truck and welcomes families on board with a hot drink. This Monday afternoon, however, it is not the crowd inside. Only Jessy (the first name has been changed) is present to try to fix a problem with CAF. “My file is in order but I haven’t received anything for two months because they lack an email indicating my working hours”, annoys the mother of the family. Usually, the latter carries out her procedures directly from her mobile phone. “But there it does not pick up, she says. And then I’m not too good with the Internet. »
A far from isolated case among Travelers who, in addition to illiteracy, also bear the brunt of the digital divide. “With the dematerialization of public services, all procedures are now done online,” emphasizes Hanane Maskali. It seems simple for some but it is very complicated for travelers who often do not have a computer or WiFi access. Some still manage to get by, helped by their more connected children. But for others, digital is still a great mystery. “Some don’t even have an email address so I help them create one,” says the digital advisor.
People away from institutions
As she travels, she also helps Travelers to make a medical appointment online, to choose their domicile or to understand all the intricacies of the French administration. “A gentleman who is self-employed came to see me the other time because he had received a letter from Urssaf and he did not know what it was,” she says. A distance from institutions that does little to promote the integration of travellers, who are also often victims of prejudice.
Hence AGV35’s approach to “go towards” this population with this truck to strengthen social cohesion and promote access to rights. “It is all the more important that these families mostly live in precariousness and are very vulnerable with a lifespan fifteen years less than the average for the population”, assures Caroline Roger-Moigneul, vice-president of the Ille-et-Vilaine department and president of AGV35.
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The digital divide accentuates the exclusion of Travelers
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