Ten candles for the Student Solidarity program

Apéro solidaire.

Ten candles for the Student Solidarity program

Résaux sociaux

UCLouvain and its NGO, Louvain Coopération, are celebrating this year the tenth anniversary of the Étudiant Solidaire programme. Launched at the start of the 2013 academic year, it invites UCLouvain students to become players in sustainable and equitable solidarity. A look back at 10 years of student solidarity.

"Since the start of the 2013 academic year, Louvain Coopération has launched the Solidarity Card. This card puts solidarity in the pockets of UCL students." This is what could be read just about everywhere on the Louvain-la-Neuve campus, ten years ago already.

Since then, this initiative has evolved considerably and seen many students come and go. Since the beginning of the adventure, there have been 14,574 Etudiants Solidaires, 10 cooperation projects supported and 27 student initiatives funded and encouraged.

The idea of the base was to create a network of students who would be able to work together in a spirit of solidarity.

The basic idea has remained the same: to support, bring together, accompany and mentor all the idealistic young people who are bubbling over with ideas to make our world a little better. "At the launch of the project, the Étudiants Solidaires received a card, a bit like the sports card or the culture card, which gave them access to benefits in sustainable shops, associative events...", explains Christine Baggio, current project manager for Louvain Coopération. "In addition, registered students had easier access to internships or dissertations at Louvain Coopération. Finally, they could apply to the Fonds Solidaire, and thus see their solidarity project partly financed". It should also be noted that part of the registration fee for this programme (12 euros) is used to finance a specific project of the NGO Louvain Coopération. This edition will support the socio-professional integration of young people living on the streets of Kinshasa.

Over the years, the project has evolved, adapting to students' desires and requests. Currently, the card and benefits in shops no longer exist. The project has refocused on the Fonds Solidaire and more broadly offers a training course aimed at students who want to find out more, or get involved in projects linked to global solidarity. "For the past three years, we have also run a photo competition around the theme of solidarity, and the winning image is used as the illustration for the next Étudiant Solidaire campaign," Christine Baggio further explains.

A host of projects supported

From the construction of a football pitch in Goma, to the theatre tour of a Belgian-Beninese troupe, to a Ruche qui dit oui! in Tournai, the Fonds Solidaire has already enabled dozens of students to turn their ideas into reality. This year's call for projects will be launched in November. "But before that, there's the start of the academic year, with the enrolment of new Solidarity Students, who we hope will be very numerous for this particular year!".

More info: https://www.louvaincooperation.org/fr/etudiant-solidaire

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