Foyer Aubépine

Looking for one volunteer

City + Country

Havelange, Belgium

Dates of the next project

14 January 2022 – 13 January 2023

Deadline to apply

14.11.2022 (11:59 pm)

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, activities might be subject to modifications.

Hosting organization : Foyer Aubépine

The non-profit organization “Foyer Aubépine” was created in 1965 and is located in the village of Havelange, a rural area not far from the big city of Liège and close to the towns of Ciney and Marche-en-Famenne.

The association holds the official title of S.R.G (= “Service Résidentiel Général”) given by the French Community government. In this frame, the main aims of Aubépine are: social help, education, host, support of youngsters with difficult socio-economical and familial backgrounds. The action supposes a close collaboration between the youngsters’ relatives, the youngsters themselves and the workers of the SRG and a relationship based on trust in order to empower the public in the long term. Thanks to the activities of the Aubépine, youngsters and their relatives can experience constructive experiences in order to grow towards a more stable future. The workers’ main objective is to support the youngsters in everyday life in order to help them find the educational, professional and personal path that suits them best. SRG of Aubépine works in partnerships only if mandated by SPJ (“Service de Protection de la Jeunesse), SAJ (Service d’Aide à la Jeunesse) and Youth Court (“Tribunal de la Jeunesse”). Their social aim is to offer a specialized support to youngsters depending on the official youth help services in the frame of the “Code de l’Aide à la Jeunesse de 2019”. The association can perform other actions having direct or indirect links with this aim.

The team is made of more than 15 workers in total:  7 social educators; a coordinator, a social and family worker, a project assistant, a cook, a housekeeper, a multi-skilled worker, a clerk (in charge of secretary and accountancy tasks) and a director. There are also more than 30 other people present as volunteers to help make little excursions for the children, kitchen tasks, assist with school exercises.. etc.

Aubépine’s workers show many abilities to support youngsters. They are used to dealing with very different profiles and needs. This experience is a great asset when welcoming and accompanying a young volunteer in the learning process. The volunteers are supervised by the director and the chief educator. The volunteers will be supervised by the director and the chief educator. In the association, even the workers with more technical tasks, work and support on a daily basis the residents of the SRG. They all form a cohesive team and are all well aware of the social challenges at stake. Therefore, the volunteers can count on the support of each of them. Aubépine has successfully hosted its first two ESC volunteers next year and the team has noticed that the presence of foreign volunteers did much good to the kids. 

Aubépine’s team daily supports about 15 youngsters encountering all sorts of difficulties, in dangerous situations (health or security), lacking educational support due to their familial environment or to their behaviour. The organization hosts minors from 3 up to 18 years benefitting from a right of protection and deal with their relatives. The public comes from three different regions (maximum of 40 kilometres from Havelange). Their action covers 50 municipalities but of course with a special focus on the municipality of Havelange. 

Website of Foyer Aubépine: http://foyer-aubepine.be/

Activities implemented in Foyer Aubépine:

  • Accommodate and host the youngsters: providing them with food, care, residential activities, regular support and projects during the time they would benefit from a time outside of their daily routine and usual environment;
  • Welcome the youngsters’ relatives: working and discussion groups to help them overcoming the challenges, reinforcing the family bonds;
  • Help the youngsters finding a project being beneficial for them, their relatives and the association.

Foyer Aubépine is part of a non-formal network of local associations called “Droûve tèsoûyes”(aka “DTO”). This network is described as a “short circuit network of solidarity for socio-cultural profit”. The member organizations have to be active in the municipality of Havelange and be “associations of natural persons”. They all share a number of common values and a charter.  Four times a year, the member organizations meet in order to increase the mutual resources, share, develop new common projects and galvanize the social work in general. The gatherings often lead to workgroups and then to concrete local actions involving the member organizations. For that matter,  a brand new yurt has been built in Foyer Aubépine’s garden where the organization “AMO LE CERCLE” welcomes youngsters for activities linked to school dropouts. 

The volunteers are going to be invited to take part in activities organized by some of partner organizations, such as Vis-à-vis ASBL.

Currently, they are hosting 2 ESC volunteers and this position will be to replace one volunteer leaving in August. The other one will be leaving in December.
For intern structural reasons, the ESC volunteers will not be on activity at the same time, they will therefore have two different “shifts” but based on the same type of activities.

CBB hosts in total 21 international volunteers around Wallonia. The ESC team of CBB try his best to connect this network of volunteers together trought different collective activities, seminar …

Support organization : CBB

In addition to this, the hosting organization is supported by the Association des Compagnons Bâtisseurs, aka CBB located in Marche-en-Famenne. CBB is a non-profit, non-political youth organisation recognized and financially supported by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The organisation proposes different kinds of activities, based on volunteering and non-formal education: local and international workcamps, medium and long term voluntary services (including ESC), and leisure time activities for and with disabled people, campleaders trainings…CBB is active within the different European Programmes of volunteering and non-formal education since 1997 and also hosts ESC volunteers each year.

CBB’s role as a support organization is to:

  • Promote the project and link between local and the international networks;
  • Support in the selection and preparation of European volunteers before arrival;
  • Manage of administrative matters: budget allowances; support in the creation of the bank account and enrollment at the municipality; enrollment in insurance (if not done by sending organization); preparation of activity agreement;
  • Provide pedagogical support for the volunteer and the hosting organization: ensures the participation to the NA seminars; organization of auto-evaluation meetings for the volunteer and the hosting organization to reflect on learning outcomes;
  • Handle practical arrangements: information about health insurance system in Belgium; indications about French lesson possibilities; online language tool…
  • Create networking between all ESC volunteers of the hosting organizations we support.