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Giving the homeless a voice

Homeless people are perhaps the most marginalized group in society. Those who sleep rough on the street are often ignored by the wider public, but Paris local Martin Besson has more empathy than most.

Despite having a home to go to, the 18-year-old chose to spend a night on the street to see what it was like to be homeless. The experience was confronting, and spurred the high school student into action. Last year he launched Sans A, an organization that aims to draw attention to the plight of homeless people – by giving them a voice on social media.

Martin spends his free time getting to know the less fortunate in Paris, and uploading their stories for the public to read. The idea, he says, is to break down the barriers between homeless people and the rest of society.

Listen to the report by Fabien Jannic-Cherbonnel in Paris. 

Martin Besson

Martin Besson helps the down and out in Paris (Photo: F. Jannic-Cherbonnel)

Sans A facebook page

Sans A shares the stories and portraits of Parisian homeless people online

Martin & Cyril

Martin wants the public to get to know homeless people like Cyril (Photo: F. Jannic-Cherbonnel)


Sans A hopes to lend an ear to the less fortunate (Photo: Fotalia)


Tuesday 22.04.2014 | 13:05



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The empowerment plan

With her multi-functional coat, design student Veronika Scott is helping the city’s homeless in ways she never dreamed possible. She devised the “The Empowerment Plan,” a project providing employment, financial independence and hope for the community’s vulnerable.

Listen to the report by Nadine Wojcik in Detroit:



Veronika with her coat blanket

Veronika has had to rethink her approach to design

Anis makes a coat blanket

Working with Veronika has helped Anis turn her life around

Alisha works on a coat blanket

With her new job, Alisha can now pay her rent and care for her sons

Veronika's workshop
Veronika employs six women in her workshop


Find out more the Empowerment Plan website


Tuesday 16.04.2013 | 14:36



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