Giving back to the Belgian community through carnival celebration at the children’s hospital

Masks, balloon animals and puppets, a Carnival experience with SB Espoir at the Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants Reine Fabiola

While the SB Espoir project focuses on engaging with refugee youth, we see the incredible importance of giving back to our Belgian community. That’s why we brought our activity expertise to the children hosted at the Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants Reine Fabiola and they embraced it with incredible enthusiasm! I together with my colleagues from the SB Espoir project, CLOTHESUP project and including SB OverSeas intern Ana Londoño Botero participated in the festivities. Ana tells us about her experience:

Last week we had the incredible opportunity for the first time to share a fun afternoon with the Kids at Brussels Children’s hospital. The theme was Carnival, so we started with an icebreaker to introduce each other and made our favorite animal sounds, the perfect opportunity to get to know each other and lift the spirits. One we finished the kids, even the volunteers and hospital personnel where all eager to start making masks!

Most of the kids who seemed shy at the beginning soon gained confidence while decorating the masks. Some were very focused in making amazing patterns with the materials given while others used the googly eye stickers and feathers to give their mask a crazy look. This exercise gave them the chance to express their personality through art.

After finishing with the masks, we made puppets from colorful construction paper, we all had to decorate the puppet, give it a name, and decide what was its favorite food as well as the sound it made when it was eating it. At some point the whole room was full of laughter as all the children were making funny sounds and showing everyone how they had decorated its new friend. We all had many questions about the characters we had created which stimulated

creativity as they had to elaborate different scenarios and adventures. The puppet, kids crafted will now become a “friend” to which they can always count on to express their emotions, some might even use it as a to communicate their feelings and desires with others.

I believe we were able to provide the children at the hospital with a fun afternoon that can transport them to a safe environment far away from the medical setting we were in, while giving them the opportunity to enhance their creativity, boost their confidence and most importantly enjoy. We hope to repeat this experience again in the future so that we can continue making more kids smile!

Do you want to get involved in the activities we do both with refugee youth and the wider Belgian community? You can become part of our international group of volunteers just send as an email to At SB Espoir you can join our weekend activities with asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors which aims at bringing the youth closer to Belgian community and help them seek their potential and give hope for their future. If you like what we do you can do a monetary donation through our webpage