Once upon a time...

Gemmes is a non-profit organization.

The Gemmes team views young people as a “mine rich in gems of inestimable value”and the team’s mission is to help these precious gems to grow, sparkle, and reveal all their facets to the world.

Gemmes was founded in 2020 by Caroline Avanzo. After starting her career as a lawyer, she devoted over 15 years to the field of human rights. She worked for several non-governmental organizations in France and India, and for the United Nations in Geneva. Having faced real human tragedies over the span of several years, and eager to work more upstream on societal issues, she decided to invest in those she considers to be the builders of tomorrow’s world: youth. In 2019, she left the UN to focus entirely on her project. After carefully crafting partnerships and synergies with other innovative organizations in the field of education, Caroline created Gemmes, as an endowment fund under French law. The organization is managed by a seven-member Board of Directors.

Our Mission

The objective of Gemmes is to accompany young people aged 12 to 24 in order for them to develop and achieve their full potential, and make a positive contribution to society. To fulfill this mission, Gemmes is built around three main goals:

Educational and interactive camps

Facilitate educational workshops around introspection, inspiration, action and the arts to help young people aged 12 to 24 years to reveal their full potential and find their place in society.

Innovative educational kits

Provide educators with educational tools to facilitate meaningful discussions amongst young people from 12 to 18 and give participants the impetus to engage in service projects.

Accompany and support educators

Offer a space for discussions and mutual support among educators (parents, teachers, youth workers, social workers, etc.), and learn together how to better support young people and help them discover their immense potential.

Our Vision

◇ Provide young people aged 12 to 24 and their educators with a range of innovative and holistic means to develop their potential towards building a better world.

◇ Contribute to changing the way adults view teenagers, so that young people can be seen in a more positive and constructive light.
◇ Facilitate synergies between educators who wish to create a constantly evolving educational community that is constructive, encouraging and listening to the needs of young people.

Our Beliefs

◇ Planet Earth should be considered as one country, and humankind its citizens. This is the guiding principle of Gemmes when creating its programmes.

◇ All human beings are noble by nature, possessing qualities that can be developed to help create a better world.

◇ Every young person possesses unique assets and capacities inherent to their age, such as an acute sense of justice, a capacity for collaboration and mutual support, as well as powerful creative energies. We want to create the most favourable environment for these qualities to reveal themselves and be deployed to improve society.

◇ In implementing constructive educational projects, educators should demonstrate humility, goodwill, confidence in the potential of youth as well as learn to see the broader picture.

Our Commitments

◇ We commit to shaping a new perspective on youth, by developing our capacity to value what is embryonic and developing in them, even if it is not visible yet.

◇ We commit to creating consultative, kind, encouraging and judgement-free spaces, allowing everyone’s value to be manifested in its own way.

◇ We commit to adopting a humble posture of learning, characterised by sincerity, trust, and regular self-assessment; and to bounce back from our mistakes and adapt our approaches accordingly.

◇ We commit to collaborating with like-minded individuals, groups and institutions in a spirit of genuine cooperation.

The Consultative Council for Youth

The Consultative Council for Youth was established by Gemmes to involve young people and their vision in some of its decision-making processes.

Going beyond offering educational material for young people, we are committed to creating a real community to which young people themselves contribute, where everyone can find their place and their voices will be heard.

The Council is made up of 11 young people aged 12 to 17 years from different backgrounds, who are united by their shared desire to participate actively in building a better world.