You’ve read about how to have fun in Brussels. What if you want to give something back? Volunteers in Brussels are driving social change. This is not just about doing a good deed, but about getting to know the people you are helping, understanding their story, their experience and why they are here. More than 130,000 people in Belgium are part of Facebook groups set up to create social impact.
Don’t wait. Make a difference.
Volunteer for a day
There are monthly opportunities, such as the Big Volunteer Day organised by Serve the City Brussels, where people have the chance to try out volunteering for a day. From there on, volunteers can decide whether they want to get involved on a regular basis.
Join a volunteering platform
Organisations like Give A Day connect citizens, schools, non-profits, municipalities and companies, to offer volunteering and social impact opportunities. They describe themselves as “Much more than a practical platform, we are also a strong community of changemakers”.
More than a visit to the museum
There are over 100 museums in the city, providing many opportunities to volunteer on a regular basis. Sometimes museums also look for volunteers to help with specific events. Get in touch with museums directly or join Facebook communities like Brussels Museums to see how you can help.
Photo by @RMFAB
Join the European Union’s volunteering programmes
The International Youth Bureau (BIJ) is a public service that offers various programmes for young people in Brussels and Wallonia. It is one of the national agencies coordinating the European Solidarity Corps. This European Union programme offers young people volunteering opportunities or work in projects organised in their own country or abroad. Projects last from two to twelve months and can be carried out in Brussels.
Photo by Chloé Mercenier
“There are various programmes that enable young people to volunteer, whether in Belgium, Europe or all over the world. As a public service, the Bureau International Jeunesse (BIJ) offers young people in Brussels and Wallonia different volunteering opportunities. I think Facebook’s Community Guide provides a great opportunity for people to learn about the different initiatives in Brussels. We encourage young people to volunteer and we welcome the different communities that bring volunteers together”, Fabien Michaux, Project Manager (European Solidarity Corps), International Youth Bureau (BIJ) in Brussels
“One thing that we often say at Serve the City is “We know them by their needs, what if we knew them by their names?”. This is something that completely changes the perspective of volunteering”. Jérémie Malengreaux – Community Leader of Serve the city Brussels
A final word on the rest of Belgium
This guidebook takes you on a tour of Brussels – but volunteering can take you further. The BIJ also manages Bel’J, a programme set up by the Ministers of Youth of the three Belgian Communities to enable young people aged 18 to 30 to discover Belgian cultures and improve their language skills by volunteering in another part of Belgium.