“Connecting Brussels”, a central platform for help and solidarity during the corona crisis is launched by VGC, COCOF, Muntpunt and Steunpunt Vrijwilligerswerk Brussel.
VGC (the Flemish Community Commission), COCOF (the French community commission), Muntpunt (Dutch language information centre) and Steunpunt Vrijwilligerswerk Brussel (Brussels centre for volunteering) are jointly launching the trilingual platform “Connecting Brussels”, which succeeds the previous online platform “Brussels Helps”, in order to offer help during the corona crisis. Its purpose? To be there for one another! Even more than last time, the initiators focus on resilience and solidarity to combat social isolation and loneliness.
We will not let go of each other!
The measures to counter the spreading of the coronavirus have a major impact on many people. Many people feel isolated, and that includes not only the elderly or those in poor health. Young adults, students, singles or expatriates, for example, are also having a very difficult time. At the same time, many people want to make a difference during this crisis. VGC, COCOF, Muntpunt and Steunpunt Vrijwilligerswerk Brussel are dedicated to bring people together via the “Connecting Brussels” platform and thus combat social isolation and loneliness. Everything indicates that this commitment will remain more than necessary in the coming winter.
“The people of Brussels have shown extra solidarity throughout this pandemic. With Connecting Brussels, we keep encouraging these initiatives. By supporting each other, we are helping not only others, but also ourselves and we are acting against loneliness. Hence this warm invitation to get involved, to make the difference. Every small gesture counts. We will not let go of each other!”– VGC college member Pascal Smet.
Helping your neighbours, drawing or supporting welfare organisations
If you want to make a contribution or if you are just looking for help, you can let us know via the Facebook page, website or telephone. This can vary from the smallest gestures to much-needed practical help: a warm chat, a walking buddy or someone who can bring groceries. Every commitment, big or small, makes our city warmer.
“Once again, the people from Brussels show their resilience and solidarity,” states Elke Van den Brandt, president of the VGC. “This difficult period has a severe mental impact on all of us. The willingness people from Brussels show to help one another is warming and comforting. With Connecting Brussels, we enable the inhabitants of Brussels to show their solidarity, to contact one another and to fight isolation and loneliness in this second period of lockdown.”
Matching requests and offers
The VGC and COCOF are organising a back-office in order to bring people together. Behind the scenes, the information centre Muntpunt and Steunpunt Vrijwilligerswerk make sure to find the ideal match between Brusselers. The aim is not to provide professional assistance, but rather to inform people in an easily accessible way and to bring them into contact with each other and with the existing offers. By connecting organisations with each other, new collaborations can also emerge. Team members examine every help request and offer and will put people and organisations in contact with each other.
“The corona crisis now seems to have passed its peak, but despite the news of a vaccine, we will have to live with that evil creature for a long time to come. With the launch of Connecting Brussels, the successor to Brussels Helps, we want to help fight loneliness and isolation with a trilingual platform. After all, especially in our diverse metropole, there are many singles who crave more social contact. With a whole range of Brussels partners, we roll up our sleeves and help where we can,” says VGC-member Sven Gatz.
Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort noted that despite going through difficult times, initiatives such as connecting.brussels clearly show the solidarity and warmth of our Brussels society.
“The serious crisis we are experiencing has mainly consequences for the most fragile among us. In these moments, it is essential to show solidarity to ensure that no one is left by the wayside. This is the purpose of Connecting Brussels, a positive initiative that aims to bring together Brussels’ people in need and those who want to help them,” explains Barbara Trachte, Minister-President of COCOF. The head of the Brussels Health Inspectorate Inge Neven also repeated a call for action – “Many people could use a helping hand in these difficult times. Roll up your sleeves and join the team of COVID-breakers.”
Share your story, action or idea
Connecting Brussels will also highlight existing actions through social media in order to inspire, to share great initiatives, stories that encourage to participate… Connecting Brussels wants to bring people and organisations together, to assist each other, to be there for each other, to make Brussels a warm place this winter.
Source: Press release