“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”

- Maria Montessori

Gemmes is a French non-profit organization created in 2020 by Caroline Avanzo. Its name is the French translation of “gems” or “jewels”. The organization views young people as a “mine rich in gems of inestimable value”, and its mission is to help these precious gems grow, sparkle, and reveal all their facets to the world.

Our vision

A world where education enables each individual to cultivate all its inner "gems" and use them to help build societies that are more just, united and sustainable.

Our mission

Helping young people aged 12 to 24 to develop a new way of looking at themselves, others and their environment, and to develop their psychosocial skills so that they can flourish in a world in transition and become active players in the well-being of their community.

Our convictions

Every young person has unique qualities, as well as capacities linked to their age, such as a keen sense of justice, a capacity for collaboration and mutual support, as well as significant creative energies. It is important to create the most conducive environment for these qualities to flourish and be used to transform society.

Adolescence is a decisive period in life. It is full of challenges but more importantly full of potential if young people are properly supported. This is the time when then lay the foundations of their relationship with themselves, with others and, more broadly, with their environment. This is also the stage when they gradually establish their system of values and beliefs, while they begin a new search for meaning.

Changing the world starts with changing the way one looks at oneself and the world around us. To help young people develop this new, constructive way of looking at things, it is important that adults, educators and society in general also change the way they look at teenagers.

Our means of actions

1 approach - 2 programs


In all our programs, our approach is to create opportunities for meaningful exchanges in a safe space, to enable young people to develop a new way of looking at themselves, others and the world around them.

Develop a new way of looking at YOURSELF

• Identify your inner "gems" (qualities, capabilities) and develop new ones
• Develop self-awareness and connect with your emotions
• Deconstruct limiting beliefs
• Become aware of your capacity to act and make a difference

Develop a new way of looking at OTHERS

• Develop your capacity for empathetic listening
• Learn to overcome prejudices and adopt an inclusive attitude
• Learn to work together more effectively and build trust-based relationships
• Develop an attitude of altruism and solidarity

Develop a new way of looking at THE WORLD

• Understand the notion of interdependence, and connect with the identity of “world citizen”
• Develop reasoned optimism (as opposed to eco-anxiety, discouragement or anger) and draw inspiration from positive role models
• Strengthen your desire to work for the common good


Our action involves working directly with young people, and giving teachers the means to create their own safe spaces for meaningful and constructive exchanges. To achieve this, we have set up two types of programs:

Gemmes Camps

Between one and five days of deep reflection and interactive activities in a stimulating and friendly environment, through workshops based on introspection, inspiration, action and the arts.

Who is it for?
Young people aged 12-24.

SPARKS Program

An innovative character development program enabling teachers to facilitate interactive and meaningful workshops with their students on cross-cutting values and to create a culture of service.

Who is it for?
Secondary school teachers working with 12-18 year-olds.