SB Espoir is a volunteer-led programme of citizenship education and integration support for unaccompanied refugee minors living in asylum centres in Brussels.
This programme grew out of efforts to accommodate the wave of refugees who came to Brussels in the summer of 2015. We started by working in the Parc Maximilien with the Plateforme Citoyenne. We coordinated with local NGOs to ensure those in the park had temporary accommodation, as well as providing clothes and food and doing activities with the youth.
Our commitment to these refugees has lasted beyond these initial efforts. With most refugees now in asylum centres or private accommodation, we see SB ESPOIR as an important way of supporting their successful integration into Belgian society.
In 2015, we set up two civic engagement programmes for vulnerable youth in Brussels: s’engager pour la paix and Dream Team. Initially, s’engager pour la paix was for teenage girls and Dream Team for teenage boys. In the summer of 2017, these two groups were brought together into one programme.
The participants share their experiences of adolescence and discuss civic-themes and values with an emphasis on peace-building. There are opportunities for the participants to help in our events such as our fundraising dinners or #25tonnesofhope collection.
This project is now coorganised with other partners.