From our headquarters in Brussels, we manage the operations of SB Overseas, and organise local projects, including civic engagement programmes for local youth, a citizenship education programme for unaccompanied refugee minors, and the collection and delivery of aid to conflict zones.
In 2015, we set up two civic engagement programmes for underprivileged youth in Brussels: S’engager pour la paix and Dream Team. Initially, S’engager pour la paix brought together teenage girls, while Dream Team featured teenage boys. In the summer of 2017, these two groups were brought together into one programme.
The participants come together on weekends to share their experiences of adolescence, as well as to discuss civic themes and values. The emphasis is on participation in peace-building, with participants in both programmes encouraged to lend a hand running our events, collections and other activities in Brussels.
SB ESPOIR is a volunteer-run programme of citizenship education and integration support for unaccompanied refugee minors living in asylum centres in Brussels.
This programme grew out of our efforts to accommodate the wave of refugees who came to Brussels in the summer and autumn of 2015. We had begun back then by working in the Parc Maximilien and the Plateforme Citoyenne, providing clothes, food, games and stationery to the refugees, as well as coordinating with other local NGOs to ensure their temporary accommodation needs were taken care of.
Our commitment to these refugees has lasted well beyond those initial efforts, however. With most of the refugees now residing in holding centres or in private accommodation, we see SB ESPOIR as an important way of supporting their successful integration into Belgian society.
We organise regular collections of emergency goods such as clothes, shoes, coats, food and games, donated by residents of Brussels and beyond, to send to people living in areas affected by conflict. With the help of our volunteers, we load these items into containers, and organise their shipment to the Middle East, where they are distributed in areas in Syria affected by the civil war, as well as in camps in Lebanon and Turkey.