A weekend in Brussels with its young refugees

Every weekend in Brussels, a team of SB OverSeas volunteers make their way to the asylum centres in Uccle and Neder-Over-Hembeek as part of its project, “SB Espoir”. This project aims to facilitate inclusion and inter-cultural dialogue amongst unaccompanied minors through different kind of activities ranging from those focused on developing team-building and artistic skills, to those which give an insight into the Belgium lifestyle such as cycling.

Thanks to SB Espoir, every Saturday and Sunday, unaccompanied minors and young refugees living in the centres can meet and interact with SB Volunteers, who come from a variety of different backgrounds, some being students, others being from the EU institutions and others working in the corporate world. This allows them to exchange their experiences and be exposed to different lifestyles.

Thanks to the partnerships developed, SB OverSeas has been able to offer as part of this project a variety of interesting and unique workshops,  such as chocolate-making , bicycle repairing and a photography workshop given by a professional photographer on the surroundings of the city. Throughout these experiences in the hosting community, young people learn not only about their new home, but they also have the opportunity to discover their interests and passions. All of which is an essential part of their ownself-development.

Since 2016, this project has shown positive results with regard to the relationships between the youth and SB Volunteers. Sometimes the youngsters living in the centres do not know each other, do not know their names or nationalities, their stories. In this way, the activities of SB Espoir is crucial as it encourages participation amongst the youth ultimately boosting the sense of solidarity and community. Every weekend, SB OverSeas aims to not only foster integration and self-confidence, but also to provide a feeling of  ‘home’ to those young people  who may feel alone and remind them that they are not!