“Service Above Self„
At the heart of our Club lies our social engagement. This means we organise, support, participate in and fund social projects.
We help out those who need it the most in Brussels by supporting local organisations in various ways. Some social initiatives have been ongoing for years, a result of our strong and long-term ties with the local community. As an international club, we also have been actively supporting a number of international projects in cooperation with Rotaract clubs from other countries, and even continents.
In general, we prefer to provide our time, energy and muscle power during social activities. Not for nothing, Rotaract stands for Rotary in Action. We however do raise money for charity during our various events throughout the year. Below you can find a couple of recent examples of the local and international social projects we're involved in.
If you feel motivated to make an immediate social impact in a fun atmosphere, we warmly invite you to join us. Remember, doing good, feels good!
COVID - 19 Research
With the current COVID-19 situation affecting all of our daily lives we felt the importance to help and contribute in a meaningful way. The CHU Saint-Pierre in partnership with the University Hospital Laboratory of Brussels (LHUB-ULB), has started a research program aimed at evaluating the carrying of the virus SARS-COV-2 among exposed hospital staff as well as individual immunity. We have decided to financially contribute to this important research project and hope that new insights can lead to a better understanding of the virus and to politically informed choices on the implementation of deconfinement..
Run & Wheels
We support the organisation Run & Wheels, which organises a yearly event called the Pico's Cup. The event is an adapted interscholastic sports day reserved for pupils of type 4 basic education. Children will discover different sports ( for example athletics, rugby, hockey, zumba, yoga and basketball) and play a big football tournament, which includes between 170 and 200 children each year. The activities are led by disabled or adapted sport professionals, and high-level Belgian athletes.
Around Christmas time we lend a helping hand to a retirement home in the centre of Brussels. The tenants of the retirement home are from the least privileged layers of the city. During an afternoon, we provide company to the residents, chat with them, and serve cake and coffee. This way, we share the Christmas festivities together with song & dance. It's a lot of fun for all ages!
Fun fact: Due to the positive reactions, we agreed to have "Easter Bal Guinguette"!
Every autumn when the temperature drops, we help to set up a winter shelter for those without a home, providing a safe and warm place to spend the night. We often have to set up as many as 300 beds, or paint the walls of the shelter.
We contribute to the annual Action Damien activity in Belgium by selling the official Action Damien pens to raise money for the fight against Tuberculosis, Leprosy, and Leishmaniasis.
Cleaning the city of Brussels
To help the environment and to keep our city clean and beautiful, every year our members gather for a day or two to roll up their sleeves and to help clean the city of Brussels. We are provided with gloves and rubbish bags by Bruxelles-Propreté.
And many more...
Social Day of the Rotaract District, regular blood donations, selling chocolates for Ligue de la Sclérose en Plaques, helping at food banks, nature preservation, collecting plastic caps for wheelchairs, surprising children with candy and fruit for Sinterklaas, collecting clothes for refugees and homeless in Brussels, running against breast cancer and supporting local schools for disadvanced children, etc.
Moria Refugee Camp, Lesbos
For this years international project (2020) we decided to support the organisation EuroRelief, for which one of our members volunteered in Lesbos, Greece. EuroRelief organises the supply of non-food items such as shelter, clothing and sanitation at the camp. The camp currently hosts more than 20,000 people with a capacity of 3,100. The situation there is inredibly bad and we hope to be able to contribute to making a change there.
Project in Portugal
Last year (2019) we teamed up with the Rotaract Club Coimbra in Portugal. Together with them we supported the renovations of a local shelter for children that fled homes, experiencing domestic violence and abuse. The shelter hosts up to 20 children between the ages of 0-6 years. The shelter is now more child-friendly and will hopefully create a smile on the face of these children.
Project in Bulgaria
We also worked with Rotaract Sofia Tangra and donated money for new teaching and learning materials, projector and a laptop, specialised for the National School for Deaf Children in Sofia, Bulgaria. Several of our members went to the school and participated in classes where we saw all these materials being used by the teachers and their students. The project won an award for International Cooperation in Public Service at the End of the Year Conference of District 2482 – Bulgaria!
Project in Moldova
We collaborated with Rotaract Club Chisinau and renovated the kindergarden in a small village close to the Moldovan capital. Some of our members put the finishing touches to the outdoors area and made a beautifully decorated shelter where the kids from the village can play. This project won 3rd Price in the Best Twin Club Award of ERIC in 2017!