The last weekend of September saw the Royal Observatory of Belgium open its doors to the people of Brussels. Located in Uccle, close to the Red Cross centre and with one of our most dedicated volunteers working there meant, the Observatory was the perfect place to bring some of the youth of SB Espoir – a weekend volunteering program bringing together unaccompanied minors living in asylum centres and Brussels’ locals.
After meeting the volunteers and youth, we headed not too far away to the observatory. It was clear that a lot of thought had gone into the day. There were a number of interactive activities planned offering the visitors an interactive learning experience such as seeing how sunscreen protects the skin from UV rays.
One of the main aims of SB Espoir is to promote a positive outlook for the youth and expose them to the wide variety of career paths available. Whilst most of the youth who came along with us on Saturday were interested in the activities on the day, one youth showed a particular interest in the subjects of astronomy and climatology, asking for a copy of the questionnaire disseminated to the groups for later reference.
This, albeit small, example shows the influence of these projects – it is possible that this questionnaire is now a crumpled up paper ball in his bag, but it is also possible that is has lead him to learn more about the subject. This possibility is what fuels SB Espoir and its volunteers alike. The possibility that one of our activities opened the door to another possible future for these youth.