MCFA Cultural Center – Marche-en-Famenne
Looking for one volunteer from 01.09.23 to 30.06.24
Hosting organisation : cultural center - MCFA
The Association “Maison de la Culture Famenne-Ardenne” (MCFA) has the mission to spread the culture among a broad public by offering activities under various shapes and through different ways during which people can share and discover in order to reach a cohesive and dynamic cultural group in the community. Its public varies depending on the activities proposed and is therefore very diversified: adults, children (0-5 years), students, people with fewer opportunities,… In parallel with the local dynamics created in Marche-en-Famenne, the MCFA develops a regional activity in 14 municipalities (included in its “project territory”) thanks to the decentralized teams. This contributes to a closer contact with the population.
The association offers many facilities and regular activities, such as:
- Theatre shows (including for schools), music performances, dance shows, cinema, circus, exhibitions, conferences, cultural mediations, debates, workshops, holidays activities for children,…
- A cultural brasserie called “Tiroir des Saveurs” where visitors can eat and drink eco-friendly and local products;
- A social vegetable garden where people from various backgrounds can gather and cultivate good products.
BiLoM : Local Library
The library of Marche-en-Famenne is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote access to reading for all and is located in the same building as the MCFA. There, 28 500 media are stored: approximately 25 000 children’s and adult books, as well as 3 500 games. The library is open 5 days a week (closed on Mondays, open on Saturday mornings). During the opening time, anyone registered can come and borrow a game and/or a book.
They organize workshops and animations for all types of publics from 6 months to 99 years old:
- “Live reading” in kindergartens
- Welcoming of school groups
- Workshops for teenagers: manga, minecraft, stop motion, …
- Board game activities for different publics: elderly, parents-children, “homework school”, people in precarious situations
- Book club for teenagers and adults
- Artistic technical expressions inspired by the world of books and games
- Creation of content for social networks with the regular public of the library
- Literary breakfast
- Reading in the parks, ….
CBB hosts in total 26 international volunteers around Wallonia. The ESC team of CBB tries its best to connect this network of volunteers together trough different collective activities, seminars etc…
Support organization : CBB
The hosting organization is supported by the Association des Compagnons Bâtisseurs, aka CBB located in Marche-en-Famenne in the south of Belgium. CBB is a non-profit, non-political youth organization recognized and financially supported by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The organization 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 Programs of volunteering and non-formal education since 1997 and also hosts ESC volunteers each year.
CBB’s role as support organization is to:
- Promote the project and link local and international networks;
Support the selection and coaching of European volunteers before arrival
Manage administrative matters: budget allowances, bank account creation and enrollment at the municipality, insurance (if not done by sending organisation), activity agreement
Provide pedagogical support for the volunteer and the hosting organization: ensuring the participation in the National Agency seminars, organising auto-evaluation meetings with the volunteer and hosting organization to reflect on learning outcomes
Handle practical arrangements: information about health insurance in Belgium, French lessons, online language tools, etc.
Create networking activities between all ESC volunteers of the hosting organisations they support
The activity is starting with the cultural season 2023-2024 for the volunteer to be involved in a various range of cultural and educational events.
The hosted volunteer would be more directly involved in four main projects: SOCIO-CULTURAL ANIMATIONS; CONCERTS AND SHOWS; VEGETABLE GARDEN and the CULTURAL BRASSERIE.
1. ANIMATION PROJECTS
Creating, managing, animating and evaluating cultural actions: This is the main orientation of this ESC activity.
The volunteer will be working with the animation team of the cultural house AND local partners active in Marche-en-Famenne (“Cinémarche” and “BiLoM”). S/he will mainly be supervised by Marie, exhibition and plastic arts animator at MCFA.
Always depending on the volunteer’s interests, these are the concrete tasks to be performed :
Before the events take place: meeting the associative network and the social partners involved in the events; reflecting about the educational missions of the project; being actively involved in the process of collective co-creation; management of some administrative and communication tasks.
During the events: administrative tasks ; reception and ticketing ; installations just before the shows and exhibitions and striking down after ; co-facilitation of creative workshops and exhibition visits with children, teenagers and adults from different social backgrounds ; technical support for the animation of civic and artistic workshops (preparation of material and support to the public) ; photo-reportage ; collection of testimonials
After the events: organization of closing or evaluation evenings ; communication and production of a photo catalog of the achievements
The volunteer will be offered to take part in some specific events or visits, such as:
-Particip’Art: a festive highlighting of the possible connections between the social and cultural sector. Through shows, films, conferences, exhibitions, meeting spaces, workshops, debates, artistic initiations, exchanges and various tools
-Noël au Théâtre (= “Christmas at the theatre”) this festival is being performed in the 16 municipalities during the Christmas period. It creates a lively territory on a cultural point of view and reinforce the participatory dynamics of the local people in order to guarantee democratic access for all to culture.
-Exhibition visits and creative workshops linked to contemporary art and civic and collective expression. A new project linked to visual arts projects (engraving and printing techniques) should emerge for the coming cultural season.
In partnership with the library (“BiLom”), the volunteer will be actively involved in the various animations and workshops (see detailed description in the “partner” part). The volunteer is expected to actively support the team in the preparation of the materials/ spaces for animations; of the content of workshops; welcome the different publics; create links between the local partners.
To a lesser extent, the organization “Cinémarche” can offer the volunteer to participate in some animations (ciné-seniors, ciné-animés,…) depending on the projects developed during the year.
The volunteer will mainly work in the head-office in Marche-en-Famenne but will also participate in events taking place in other municipalities of the MCFA’s territory project, together with the teams.
2. CONCERTS AND SHOWS
Through this link, you can check the programmed shows and concerts for 2023-2024: www.mcfa.be
The volunteer will be asked to:
- provide logistical support before, during and after the events
- welcome the public and/or the artists
- help with the reception, ticketing, catering or in backstage depending on the volunteer’s interests
3. VEGETABLE GARDEN PROJECT
In parallel, it is also possible to give a hand for practical tasks such as maintenance of the Vegetable Garden which contributes to social inclusion. If the volunteer is interested, they can also offer animation activities for the people with fewer opportunities who also participate in the maintenance of the garden daily.
4. CULTURAL BRASSERIE PROJECT: “Le tiroir des Saveurs”
Based in the heart of MCFA building, the cultural brasserie is the ideal place to nourish the body and the mind. In a warm and friendly setting, it offers local cuisine made up of local seasonal products and, if possible, organic and fair-trade as well as cultural events like “meals in the dark”, tango dance sessions, comedy evenings and many more.
Depending on the will and availability of the volunteer, it will be possible to work during the day or during events and perform this kind of tasks:
Welcoming the visitors and artists; Service (bar and tables); Help in the kitchen; setting-up and striking down the material for an event
Accommodation in Marche-en Famenne
The MCFA is located in Marche-en-Famenne, a 17 000 inhabitants town in the province of the Belgian Luxembourg. This unique situation will allow the volunteer to share the semi-rural life style of the area, but also to meet young people coming from different realities and horizons.
During their ESC volunteering activity, the volunteer will live and mostly work in Marche-en-Famenne. The town offers all modern facilities (shops, supermarkets, sport center, cinema….).
For the urban-life-style-lovers, it is however IMPORTANT to note that our town is located in a semi-rural area. Even if it is not far away from the biggest Belgian cities (57 km from Liège, 106 km from Brussels, 47 km from Namur) and well connected by train, Marche-en-Famenne can sometimes look remote and very quiet.
This project is therefore very suitable for volunteers who are not attracted by a very lively nightlife, but mostly by quiet evenings and outdoor activities during the weekend.
The country - BELGIUM
Squeezed between the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France, Belgium is one of Europe’s tiddlers.
The north is flat, the south dominated by the picturesque Ardennes and the 65km North Sea coastline monopolized by resorts, except for a few patches of windswept dunes. The 4 seasons are well divided, cold and white winter and warm and sunny summer… But be ready for grey skies at least for half part of the year.
But the Belgian population is usually warm. A lot of cultural and frees events in the streets happen during the year, which can make your journey in this little country fun and resourceful.
This project will be taking part in the south of the country which is French speaking. Be therefore ready to learn and speak French! Especially in this project involving kids.
- Specialities: FRIES, BEERS and FESTIVALS
- AREA: 30,518 sq km
- POPULATION: 11.492.641 million
- CAPITAL: Brussels (pop: 1.212.352)
- REGIONS: Flanders (North), Wallonia (South), Brussels – Capital
- COMMUNITIES: Flemish-, French- and German-speaking community
- LANGUAGE: Dutch (±59%), French (±37%) and German (±1%)
- CURRENCY: Euro
Working hours will be flexible and involve participation in evening events or meetings, as well as during weekends and school holidays. 5 days per week will be worked on average. Days off will compensate for the extra shift hours if necessary to keep an average of 38 hours a week (French lessons included). The volunteer will generally have two consecutive free days per week except for special events and has the right to two days of holiday per month.
You will receive a budget and will prepare your own meals.
Participation in the European Solidarity Corps is free of charge, except for exceptional contribution to travel costs. You will therefore receive free board and lodging during the whole activity. In addition, you will receive pocket money for personal expenses throughout the duration of the activity, including holidays.
You will live in a house that will be shared with 6 other volunteers. It is located in the centre of Marche-en-Famenne and has all the modern facilities.
EU Academy + French lesson. We provide an online language course as part of the budget from the Commission. You will need to complete a level test before the activity starts. We encourage you to join free French lessons given in the municipality or around if possible. We recommend that the participant starts practicing French prior to their arrival in Belgium and that they participate in as many activities as possible in order to get better at the language.
You get covered, throughout the activity period, by the obligatory European Solidarity Corps insurance plan (Henner) that the European Commission sets up. This coverage is only complementary to the mandatory coverage of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which you must obtain prior to departure.
In certain cases, when national rules deprive participants from coverage under EHIC for the duration of the placement, Henner will provide full coverage. However, you must provide proof that obtaining the EHIC in your case was not possible. You should contact your National Agency for advice on your specific circumstances. You must read carefully the insurance-related information here.
Profile of the volunteer
- Age requirement to take part in ESC program: 18-30 years old
- Before departure, the volunteer should be in contact with a support (sending) organization in order to receive information and preparation. Lookup for a support organization in your region via this link
- Our project is open to anybody motivated by volunteering and who wishes to be involved in our organization and working in the cultural field, regardless of their nationality, religion, believes, diploma, professional experience. Interested in the link between social inclusion and culture; local initiatives; responsible consumption; culture; reading; visual arts; (board) games; artistic techniques.
- In order to get involved in the co-creation process and to be in contact with the public, we appreciate some basic skills in French.
- We expect the volunteer to be open-minded, curious, enthusiastic, able to work in a team and to interface with different target groups, committed to working in a multicultural environment, willing to learn French and not afraid of getting their hands dirty by undertaking some practical tasks.
A certificate of good conduct is required as part of the application process
Céline, volunteer at MCFA in 2022-2023
Someone once told me that this center was one of the best cultural centers in Belgium.
I don’t know if this is statistically true, but after my experience, I can only confirm it!
Being part of the animation team has allowed me to live experiences that have made me grow from a human and professional point of view, in a way that I would have never imagined before leaving for this experience. I feel braver, stronger and more confident.
The team is wonderful, made up of extraordinary and inspiring human beings.
This project gives you the opportunity to find a place where you can really feel at home.
I feel extremely lucky to have been chosen as a volunteer for the second year of this wonderful project.
Once you start, you will never want to stop!
It will be unforgettable, you’ll see!
How to apply ?
Deadline: 15th of june 2023 (11:59 PM) (Brussels time).
1. To join the European Solidarity Corps
programme, create a profile on the European Youth Portal (click
on “register” at the bottom) https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en
2. Answer the questionnaire below (you will be asked to attach a CV at the end of the form
3. If you’re feeling creative, feel free to send us any additional material related to your application to firstname.lastname@example.org (optional)
The creation of a profile on the ESC portal AND fulfilling the form are compulsory for us to take your application into consideration. In the days following your application, we will contact the pre-selected volunteers for a zoom interview.