Le Rocheton was the property of the Rochefoucauld family until the early 19th century. In 1816 the nuns of Saint-Joseph de Lyon settled there and devoted themselves to the education of children and medical care. They had to leave in 1904 when the property was bought by Mr. Kayser, director of a private institution in Paris. In 1918 his wife became the educational director in La Rochette with a syllabus aiming to train young people for the baccalaureate. In 1933 she wrote: "We seek to encourage a liberal, university spirit, welcoming students from all over the world, whatever their religion". In 1945, in collaboration with the American army and the YMCA movement, the property was used as a transit centre for Eastern war prisoners who couldn't or didn't want to return to their own countries.
Relevant dates : 1946 : The YMCA purchased the property. Within a 24 acre park, Le Rocheton has: a Château with 26 rooms, a warden's pavilion and annexe buildings such as the Charmilles. 1953 : Le Rocheton became an international centre welcoming groups and drop-outs in trouble with the law or on probation.(1000 children). 1956 : The centre welcomed 135 Hungarian asylum-seekers (Budapest revolution). They were given their first French classes. 1960 : Le Rocheton was Melun's recreation centre for 15 years and then became the La Rochette holiday centre in 2007. Many artistic and cultural activities began to take place. Le Rocheton built on a mini-farm in their park. 1964 : Creation of the Hostel for Young Immigrants with full board for 45 students (14 to 16 years olds) receiving French, maths and social skills classes over a period of 14 weeks, 3 times a year. 1974 : Creation of the Department of Pre-Training teaching French, maths and basic knowledge of maintenance jobs and horticulture. There were live-in teachers responsible for the social life. 1977 : Partnership with African groups involved in development projects (Senegal, Togo, Cameroon). Partnership with Latin America (Colombia, Uruguay, Chile). 1990 : Creation of the "Employment initiatives".
The International Holiday Destination of Le Rocheton ', located near the forest of Fontainebleau and the city of Melun (Seine-et-Marne, France), is a welcoming place with a non-profit approach.
Since 1946, Le Rocheton has been a secular run affiliate to the UCJG, the French branch of the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association). The Christian values of the association in Le Rocheton are emphasized with particular importance given to the most disadvantaged people, listening to each other and respecting the other person's differences.
An International Holiday Destination: As an International Holiday Destination, Le Rocheton offers accommodation and catering in beautiful surroundings, favouring cultural exchange and the meeting of different people. The building has rooms available for tourists visiting the region as well as people taking part in the activities, conferences and events within the centre. Furthermore, the centre has three social accommodation buildings to welcome, protect and care for vulnerable families and people at risk.
The activity of Le Rocheton is structured into 4 departments
Community Tourism Service In the heart of a 24 acre park, bordering with the forest of Fontainebleau and a 1 hour drive from Paris, Le Rocheton is the perfect place to spend your holidays in the Paris region (Ile-de-France). Le Rocheton has 146 beds spread over 38 rooms and a dining room and catering service ready to adapt to the requests of guests. Keeping in mind the importance of helping the most disadvantaged, the centre actively participates in the program 'Holidays for all in Seine-et-Marne' by welcoming the families who are not able to afford to go away on normal holidays.
Youth service and Popular Education Following the lead of the YMCA, Le Rocheton also encourages self-sufficiency, skills development and responsibility by proposing several activities and workshops to encourage youth potential. Many leisure activities are also arranged during the educational stays of schools and leisure centres. Led by professionals, the children are able to develop their own skills through circus activities, tree-climbing, sound and image, land art, storytelling and theatre. In addition, Le Rocheton organises and hosts BAFA training sessions (a Youth Leadership Certificate in Holiday Camps & youth activities).
Social services Le Rocheton respects the individual and aims for equality and secularism so we can work in solidarity with the disabled and the uprooted. At the moment, the centre has: 1 CADA (Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers) 1 CPH (Temporary Accommodation Centre) 1 CHRS (Accommodation and social rehabilitation centre) Plan "Bail Glissant" This plan offers financial help to people so they can manage their own accommodation
Travellers' mediation service Le Rocheton accomplishes two tasks with travelling communities : mediation and a prevention & awareness campaign. The centre has had an agreement since 2003 to work with local authorities and travelling communities with the aim of establishing constructive dialogue and resolving conflicts. The centre also organises specific actions to raise awareness and help the communities in their everyday lives. Workshops such as eco-citizenship, education or parenting support have recently taken place.