As the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana braces for devastating cuts that could gut critical programs run through state’s leading French language and cultural agency, a local teacher is leading an online charge to help CODOFIL regain as much funding as possible through private donations.

FrancoJeunes is described on its website as a group that “supports and promotes Francophone endeavors and French-friendly businesses, encourages bilingual signage and services in both public and private sectors, supports an increase in the visibility of French in all sectors of the community, all to make French an integral part of Louisiana’s cultural economy.”

In response to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s June 15 line-item veto of $100,000 in CODOFIL funding (roughly 40 percent of its budget), FrancoJeunes and its founder Mandy Migues are asking “100,000 Cajuns, Creoles and Friends of French in Louisiana” to donate $1 or more to save CODOFIL’s mission.

“We believe that the loss of CODOFIL will be a huge blow to the growth and advancement of the French language and culture in Louisiana,” the group says on its website. “The French culture in Louisiana is a unique and precious gem that makes up much of Louisiana’s cultural identity. It also contributes to a large percentage of our tourism activity. Without CODOFIL and like organizations a large piece of what makes Louisiana the great state that it is, will slowly be lost over the coming years. While our goal is $100,000 we thought a solid short term goal for this campaign would be half of the total loss, so our goal here is $50,000.”

As of 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, the campaign to save CODOFIL boasted $7,490 in donations. Click here to visit the FrancoJeunes website. Visit the group’s Facebook page here.

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