Merci is a place created in March 2009 in the heart of the historic district of Haut-Marais. Bernard and Marie-France Cohen, founders of BONPOINT the children's fashion label, realized that Paris lacked a place which would bring together the best of the world of fashion, of design, of household goods with welcome refreshment areas.
A business established in the heart of its region and of its country, Merci has already created more than 70 permanent jobs. Merci is, moreover, very pleased to act as a developer or launch-pad to the young designers who, thanks to this sounding-board, can make themselves known to the many customers and international personalities who visit Merci.
Merci is a commercial enterprise "like the others" founded by shareholders "not like the others". The founders decided that the proceeds of this investment would serve to fund an endowment to pay for educational projects and development in south-west Madagascar.
Bernard and Marie France Cohen therefore want to say MERCI to life, MERCI to the talents and to the designers who made this success possible. It is this success which makes their generosity possible.
Thank you to our clients who make this project possible.
The endowment fund
The Merci endowment fund was created to finance acts of human development, particularly in the education area.
The endowment fund is supported by the profits generated by Merci, by gifts from the Cohen family as well as by outside donors. More than 300,000€ have already been given to the funds.
This original idea of entrepreneurial philanthropy is founded on the idea of creating, here in France, a business which, thanks to its success, allows it to guarantee the regular and perennial financing of projects supported by the funds from its subsidies.
To ensure good results for its projects, the funds rely on the experience of specialists in human intervention in hostile situations. ABC Domino is an organization subject to Loi 1901 whose aim is to improve the living conditions of people in extreme conditions, particularly in educational areas (more information on www.abcdomino.org).
The first actions were undertaken from 2010 onwards:
• 2010/2011 : a payment of 35,000€ for the reconstruction and the costs of running the school at Ankilimivony (280 children have been received since the start of the September 2011 term)
• 2012 : 2012 : the funding (90,000€) of the construction of three buildings in the schools at Ankilimivony, Ankilibory and Ambola, intended to become school canteens in partnership with PAM (World Feeding Programme) organisation, dependent on the UN.
Since the end of 2012, more than 900 children have benefitted from the pleasure of enjoying a well-balanced daily meal. The medium-term aim is to do everything to integrate education into the heart of this micro-region of south-west Madagascar and to make the school, the only solid and stable institution, the center of a human eco-system which ensures a real development, and not just one happy exception in the region.