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In 1994, Henri and Christina Tezenas du Montcel decided to create a place inspired by a summer camp for children with serious illnesses founded in 1988, in the U.S, by the actor Paul Newman.

Henri Tézenas du Montcel devoted all his energy to introduce and adapt this innovative concept in France. He then encountered the foundation « Maison des Ailes – S.Deutsch de la Meurthe » who put to use the beautiful property of Echouboulains, in Seine-et-Marne.

To turn this castle into a fully medicalised leisure center Henri Tézenas du Montcel obtains the compulsory approval of the Social Security which covers a major part of the cost of the children’s camps.

Between 1997 and 2011, L’ENVOL welcomed around 600 children per year on the site of the Château de Boulains.

When Henri Tézenas du Montcel passed away, his wife Christina Tézenas du Montcel ensured the presidency until 2006. The current President is Tatiana Nourissat-Rosenfeld, their daughter.

In 2013, a new L'ENVOL

In 2011, the organization left the Boulains castle and decided to develop its business model based on the following directions since 2013:

  • financial resources almost exclusively of private origin (foundations and companies, individual donors);
  • occasional rental of sites to welcome children;
  • a large network of volunteers rigorously hired and trained in recreational therapy.

Faithful to its mission, the organization has succeeded its transformation while preserving its values, the quality of its camps and the fact that they are completely free of charge for the families. It remains an organization with more than 25 years of experience in the field of psychological and social support for children with serious illnesses and a reference in this field in France.

In 2017, L’ENVOL celebrated its 20th anniversary

The celebrations organized in 2017 aimed to bring together the community of friends and partners, from France and from around the world, who have accompanied L’ENVOL during its first 20 years, and thank them for their commitment.

More than 7,500 children with illnesses, parents, brothers and sisters have been welcomed since 1997

Among the festivities scheduled throughout the year, L’ENVOL brought together 400 children, families, volunteers, former employees and partners on September 30th for a magical day at Disneyland Paris!

In 2022, L'ENVOL celebrated its 25th anniversary

2022 was a festive year for L’ENVOL: the organization celebrated 25 years of responsive and recreational programs for children with serious illnesses. 25 years of cheerfull and serious programs, who marked forever thousands of children with illnesses, parents, siblings and grandparents.

More than 23 0000 beneficiaries supported by L’ENVOL since 1997

On the agenda of this extraordinary year: 3 key events, many guests, exclusive testimonies and always a lot of joy !

Learn more (French)

L’ENVOL's key dates:

1994   Foundation of L’ENVOL as a non-profit organization (law of 1901)

1997   First camps in the Château de Boulains, Seine-et-Marne

2001   L’ENVOL becomes a recognized public-interest organization

2012   Change in L’ENVOL’s business model due to a health insurance reform

2016   Programs offer expanded to children with illnesses’s siblings and families

2017   L’ENVOL celebrates its 20th anniversary and launched hospital workshops and recreational field trips

2019   Camps now offered to young adults with illnesses from 18 to 25 years old

2020   L’ENVOL celebrates its 10,000th beneficiary since 1997 and launches a new program: online activities

        2021   Despite the worldwide health crises, L’ENVOL takes charge of a record number of 5155 beneficiaries

2022   For its 25th year anniversary, L’ENVOL obtains the IDEAS label and launches its strategic plan for 2022-2026 to continue its expansion.