The staff at A Chacun Son Everest (“Each has their own Everest”) can’t move mountains, but they can give sick children the opportunity to climb and conquer them, and for more than 17 years, they’ve been doing just that.
A Chacun Son Everest is a French nonprofit organization (NPO) started by doctor and alpinist Christine Janin in 1994. Christine witnessed how children who have serious illnesses are all too often defined by their illness—both in their own minds and in the minds of others. She started the organization to arrange mountain-climbing trips for these children. The trips help kids get past their identity of being sick and get them into the fighting spirit by testing their internal strength. These liberating experiences are often catalysts that motivate children to face their illnesses with optimism.
For example, for a recent climb, one of the children, Antonin, “appeared on the station platform radiant and full of energy. It was a long time since anyone had seen that much light in his eyes.” The inspiration Antonin got from his climb will stay with him as he battles his illness.
However, like many nonprofits, A Chacun Son Everest recognized that new technology could increase the efficiency of the organization and enable them to bring more children on more trips.
The organization turned to AdB-SolidaTech, the TechSoup Global partner in France, to access Microsoft software through the nonprofit donation program. A Chacun Son Everest received a donation of Windows and Office, which helped them greatly improve trip coordination—coordination vital both on the mountain and in the office. Their updated email management and scheduling tools provide for better inter-office collaboration, which translated to smoother and safer climbs and more efficient communication and coordination with the families of children on the climbs.
Furthermore, the software donation meant that A Chacun Son Everest could focus its precious resources on something equally precious. “All the funds saved by the organization have made more activities possible and have helped more ill children participate in the mountain trips,” says Carole Herbert, Assistant Director of A Chacun Son Everest.
After conquering his own Everest, Marion beamed, “I left [for the trip] worried, but I’m back and I conquered change. Thank you to the entire team for welcoming me so kindly and giving me confidence in myself.”
The needs of children battling disease drive outing options for A Chacun Son Everest. Choices are based on age, sporting ability, and the evolution of the illness. Options are exciting—snowshoeing, cross country skiing, dog sledding, alpine hiking, canoeing and wall climbing.
Microsoft is proud to help organizations like A Chacun Son Everest move proverbial mountains. To learn more about free or donated resources for nonprofits around the world, visit www.microsoft.com/nonprofit.