World

French president visits children at charity holiday program

French President Emmanuel Macron played ball and had lunch with children at a charity holiday program west of Paris to call attention to the problem of families who can't afford summer vacation.

While France is famed for its tourist sites and generous vacation benefits, an estimated one-third of French children stay home in the summer for lack of other options.

Macron spent hours Thursday with children at the recreational center of Moisson, where children from poor suburbs can practice sailing on the Seine river, and play soccer, rugby and other sports for free.

Every year, the association Secours populaire helps 50,000 disadvantaged children to get at least one day of vacation by taking them to the sea or mountains, and helps others benefit from weeklong programs in centers like Moisson.