WORKING FOR A MORE INCLUSIVE CITY
In addition to its involvement in favour of sustainable development, IMMOBEL has designed a programme of philanthropic initiatives which it has made a key priority of its expansion and its identity. To that end, in 2018, the Group set up a fund whose aim is to offer financial support to Belgian professional associations and organisations operating in the following 3 fields:
- Health: IMMOBEL is committed to medical research and provides financial support to the Erasme, Bordet and Saint Luc foundations.
- Culture: The Group contributes to the development of associations working in the distribution, protection and promotion of all the arts and in heritage conservation. For that reason, IMMOBEL provides structural support to the La Monnaie opera house and the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
- Social inclusion: IMMOBEL encourages and financially supports positive initiatives from Brussels-based professional associations which help young people from vulnerable backgrounds to discover their talents, regain self-confidence and push themselves to become responsible citizens.
The IMMOBEL Social Fund: working for citizens
The creation of the fund arose from a stark observation: despite the efforts of schools to overcome the inequalities in the Brussels region, the success and well-being of each individual still depends too often on their social background or their geographical location. For some young people, from deprived neighbourhoods, dropping out of school is a real threat, with the catastrophic consequences that such a decision may have on their future, their family and society as a whole. By contributing financially to professional organisations working in Education in the broad sense, the IMMOBEL fund hopes to give young people from the most vulnerable backgrounds further opportunities to reintegrate into society and the labour market. The aim of this support is to help the recipients to discover their talents and regain self-confidence so that they can have a positive impact on society.
Inclusive and creative initiatives
so that the expression “Living Together” is not simply a slogan
At the beginning of 2018, and with the support of the Roi Baudouin Foundation, IMMOBEL launched a call for projects to social organisations in the Brussels region. The 9 projects selected were examined in detail by a jury of independent professionals, working closely with an IMMOBEL management committee set up specifically to monitor these initiatives. The following associations now receive funding so that they can develop innovative actions that are effective in the long term for a significant number of beneficiaries on the ground.
Teenage talk, or how to reconcile school, parents and the future
Aimed at young people at the end of their primary and secondary education at Saint-Josse, in the centre of Brussels and in Schaerbeek and Anderlecht, the Calame action involves encouraging learning support as a tool for combating inequality. The organisation brings together parents and key partners with the aim of promoting independence in young people. The objective: to enable them to take back control of their life course and regain confidence in their abilities through talking spaces and methodology workshops (“Learning to learn”), meetings and company visits. These activities help to expand the horizons of more than sixty young people per year and encourage them to be better prepared to exercise their citizenship.
Every Saturday, practical workshops run by professionals who are passionate about their job
TADA is a weekend school for young people from deprived neighbourhoods. It works towards prevention by offering additional teaching. Every Saturday during term-time, for 3 years, the organisation invites children aged 9 or 10 from poor backgrounds to take part in practical workshops run by professionals who are passionate about their job - journalists, lawyers, nurses, engineers, chefs - at the Saint-Josse, Anderlecht and Molenbeek sites. More than 640 young people have already benefited from these sessions. By 2020, between 1,000 and 1,500 new participants will have the opportunity to broaden their future prospects. They will also be able to develop their general knowledge in order to increase their feeling of belonging to society and their desire to stretch themselves.
Music, an aid to learning and a tool for stimulating children
Each year, around thirty children aged between 5½ and 13 from the Cureghem district in Anderlecht benefit from this activity. In partnership with the Université Populaire of Anderlecht, it involves teaching the benefits of music to children from disadvantaged backgrounds who attend the learning support sessions on Wednesdays. The organisation arranges fun, musical workshops - history, tempo, rhythm, sound work using computers, song writing - to enhance the children’s core learning. These sessions also help the children reveal their creativity, learn to express themselves in a group and acquire a desire to persevere.
Music, arts and culture in school: a window to knowledge, life, the city and the world
ENVOL is an artistic and cultural programme that is incorporated into the school curriculum as it applies, from the age of 12, to 140 pupils on a site of the Ecole Saint-Pierre in Anderlecht. It offers children aged between 6 and 12 a series of one-hour workshops every 2 weeks: music, singing, basic theory, rhythm, stories, performing arts, an annual show, cultural excursions, etc. Using professional artists from the fields of music, theatre and storytelling to run these activities, the organisation uses music-making as a vehicle for learning in order to boost “reading, writing and arithmetic” skills. Overall, the organisation’s goal is to inspire pleasure in learning and joy in progressing by democratising access to culture. It is currently expanding this programme further so that more than 200 additional children can benefit from it.
D'Broej - Centrum West
Centrum West, the place to be for everyone, without exception...
Centrum West is a youth centre in Molenbeek open to children and young people with limited awareness of healthy leisure activities. Often with chaotic schooling or a stay in a closed institution, they experience difficulties at school or within the family. With a view to social resilience and by trying to support such children and adolescents as individually as possible, Centrum West develops projects to meet their activity needs in the district. In particular, it offers sports and games for everyone, twice a month on Saturdays, to enable them to push themselves in areas that are different from the school environment. The initiative also involves bringing young people together through bike rides during the school holidays and developing a graphical creative project around the building’s perimeter wall.
FARO - Free Dutch-speaking support centres
Non-violent opposition and new authority in Brussels schools Geweldloos verzet en nieuwe autoriteit in Brusselse scholen
FARO is a collaboration between the CLB Pieter Breughel and PAika, the child psychiatry department at UZ Brussel university hospital, with a view to offering a programme to combat violence in schools. FARO offers its expertise to the teaching staff from several schools in Brussels in order to reach 800 pupils and their parents. The teachers receive resources which are based on the non-violent opposition method, and they learn to collaborate in order to prevent situations and behaviours involving intimidation, humiliation and aggression. This helps to create a positive school atmosphere in which the most vulnerable young people feel safe. A context which benefits all pupils to help address the challenges posed by the diversity of Brussels society.
Try-Out - Tonuso vzw
Try-Out, a daytime space to “be me”/ Try-Out
Try-Out is aimed at 12-18 year-olds in Vilvorde who encounter problems at school or who have dropped out of school. This organisation offers them a place where they can get involved in initiatives that will help them reconnect with their talents and within which they can be themselves. Young people come to Try-Out for 5 or 6 weeks, 2 or 3 days per week, depending on their situation. Through a variety of activities, such as creating short films or going on nature outings, they gradually acquire numerical and social skills. They also benefit from opportunities to reflect on their own abilities and consider which path they should follow to implement and develop those abilities. During this process, these young people are able to find within themselves the courage to get back to work and resume a more traditional path.
Parental support and home tutoring for vulnerable families in Brussels.
StapSteen claims to be a stone in a river bed, a reference point on the road. The organisation is based on a network of voluntary social workers which was formed to offer home support to around a dozen families in vulnerable situations – particularly from the social point of view – from the north-east to the south-west of the Brussels region. By positioning themselves as friends of the families, the volunteers provide practical support tailored to the needs of the recipients: relationships with schools, language support, developing the parents’ teaching skills, exploring play and training opportunities or establishing links with the district. This personalised assistance also plays a role in prevention and thus has a positive impact on around sixty children in total.
Opening up the university to convey a passion for science
The VUB Children’s University wants to give children in the 5th or 6th year of primary school the opportunity to experience science and research from the start of their education. Its objective: to reach children in a fun and accessible way by sending out the message that research is open to everyone, irrespective of their social, economic or cultural background. It offers to take these children onto the campus, like real students, so that they can attend workshops run by researchers and scientists who have been lined up to give them a talk to convey their own passion. Concentrated on schools in the Brussels region, this initiative opens new doors for these children by showing them the possibility of obtaining a degree while stimulating their natural curiosity.