A hot drink, pastries and orange juice in front of the Opera Garnier in Paris... All for 6 euros. From Tuesday until Friday, June 16, the Café de la Paix, located Place de l'Opéra in the ninth arrondissement of Paris, offers this attractive formula for a good cause. Since 2011, the establishment has been a partner of the "Breakfasts of the Heart" operation, orchestrated by the Mécénat chirurgie cardiaque association: every euro from these breakfasts is intended to finance France operations for children with heart defects from disadvantaged countries.
"In their country of origin, children do not have access to cardiac surgery and above all, it is very expensive: 12,000 euros to operate on a child," explains Charlotte Gely, in charge of partner relations at Mécénat chirurgie cardiaque. So the Café de la Paix takes things very seriously. "We have given them the best: the terrace of the café and our teams are mobilized voluntarily," enthuses one of its managers. From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., guests can order these solidarity breakfasts on the terrace or to take away.
"Good time spent with them"
The children are at least 6 years old and come from all over the world, including Africa and Asia, through Aviation Without Borders. They are hosted by host families, volunteers of Mécénat chirurgie cardiaque, for six to eight weeks. This is the case of Frédérique, red polo shirt and heart-shaped balloons in hand, a volunteer for ten years. "We set up all kinds of actions to collect donations, we have to give ourselves so that there is money coming in," she explains.
Even when they are not aware of the actions of the association, customers enjoy taking part by ordering a simple breakfast. "I often come to the Café de la Paix but here, it's not expensive and it benefits the association. I plan to do it several times! " enthuses Nadjette, a client.
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A little further on the terrace, Christian finishes his breakfast. Since 2010, it has welcomed seven children. "From the beginning, it was something that touched me," he recalls. It's just good time spent with them and it doesn't feel like they're sick. Ludivine, his companion, abounds. "Their only attachment is us. Strong links are created. As a foster family, "we are responsible for the children and it's quite time-consuming. You have to put your life on hold," adds Christian.
Since 2012, 15 children operated
Mom, 8 years old and Aïda, 16 years old and from Senegal, have just been operated. "I am treated and delighted, the operation was successful," she says, relieved. It is an extraordinary experience, with my host family I felt at home. I will miss them very much. »
"One child in 100 is born with a heart defect, recalls Inès de La Fressange, godmother of the association for 13 years, present this Tuesday for the launch of the operation. I was immediately moved by this cause, it is a matter of life and death for these children. This initiative is pleasant for everyone, a real joyful generosity reigns today. »
Paris (IXth) this Tuesday. From left to right, Inès de La Fressange, godmother of Mécénat chirurgie cardiaque, Aïda, who benefited from an operation, Francine Leca, professor who founded the association, and Christophe Laure, general manager of the Café de la Paix who holds on his lap Maman, a young boy who has also been operated.
Since its launch, the device has always met with great success. "It's a simple and sincere operation, people ask for it regularly. Every year, at least one child is saved," says Orso Chetoshin, director of the association. Since 2012, 15 children have been operated on thanks to the breakfasts of the heart.