Alliance Française de la Grenade marks 65 years of service in Grenada

Alliance Française de la Grenade, The Villa, Saint George's

by NOW Grenada

This year Alliance Française de la Grenade (AFG) marks 65 years of service in Grenada. It was established in 1953 to promote French language and Grenadian cultures and facilitate cross-cultural exchange between Grenada and France.

Ilona Forte-Gilbert, the current director, is responsible for day-to-day management of AFG. She is supported by an executive and a team of teachers who have done specific training in Grenada, Martinique and France.

Forte-Gilbert said that at a February meeting in St Lucia of regional Alliance Française directors and presidents, most AFs are experiencing serious finance and human resource challenges, and for those who own their buildings, structural problems. “In Grenada, our greatest challenge is the location of our building because there are people interested in learning the French language, but our present location is not convenient for everybody.” From the Carenage, the AFG’s olive green building can be seen on the hilltop overlooking the fire station.

AFG reminds members to renew, as the AFG depends on membership fees as its main source of financing. This is supplemented by class fees, donations, venue rental, and a subvention from the French government which covers less than half of the annual budget for salaries, projects and building maintenance.

Benefits of membership:

  • Invitations to cultural events, exhibitions and cocktail parties
  • Access to member’s only events
  • Discounts at paying events
  • Access to the library with over 2,000 books

The AFG offers DELF, a French language diploma at the secondary level to facilitate studying at French universities. Forte-Gilbert said, “This diploma being offered as a complement to CXC to be able to open doors for students to have direct access to French Universities for almost free of cost. University study in French is free for French nationals paid by the state; a foreigner who wants to study in France will pay a minimal administrative cost, and we try to encourage that.”

There are 4 persons on island certified to grade the DELF/DALF exams: Ilona Forte-Gilbert, Roger Williams (Happy Hill Secondary School), Kymmala Francis (JW Fletcher Catholic Secondary School) and Ikashacu Hamlet (MacDonald College).

Forte-Gilbert said the AFG needs to take its French-language service into the various parishes to facilitate people wishing to have French classes at night and on the weekends. She believes this move would increase the number of people taking French classes, increase AFG membership and its financial position. However, due to a lack of human and financial resources, this is a service the AFG cannot at the moment provide.

The AFG continues to offer its services despite these challenges.  Each term of French language class runs 10 weeks. The first term begins 24 September 2018. To join the AFG or to find out more about its services, please contact the office.

Services offered:

  • Classes:
    • French language to schoolchildren including CSEC support
    • French language for professional and business executives, company staff, civil servants, religious persons and political leaders
    • English as a second language to visitors and new residents to Grenada
  • Certifications
    • French Language Studies Diploma (DELF and DALF)
  • Certified translations
  • Interpreters
  • Venue rental for meetings, conferences, weddings, exhibitions, performances, etc

As part of its cultural programme for this year, the public is invited to UNTITLED: artist talk, art show and sale on Friday 21 September, from 5 to 730 pm. Part proceeds will support the work of Alliance Française. RSVP 440 0984 or 415 2702 or via [email protected].

UNTITLED: artist talk, art show and sale in support of the work of Alliance Française

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