Community building in Vilvoorde - Faubourg community Belgium

For some time now, Belcompetence has been engaged in facilitating the Faubourg community building. A limited but growing number of habitants expressed concerns about issues such as (perceived) safety in their neigbourhood, lack of spontaneous contacts among new habitants (from very diverse origines) and those that were born and raised there. Slowly but surely the group of habitants that have expressed both concerns and desires are in the process of changing the teneur of their expressions from complaining and waiting for authorities and others to take action, towards realising their own generative potential. It is also for Belcompetence an interesting learning process.

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Comment by Jan Somers on July 5, 2013 at 3:01pm

Yesterday, 4 th July another meeting took place at the Faubourg community with some 15 habitants of that community. Mostly the same people who attended before. 

As some sort of reminder I drew the CLCP process in a cirkle format on a white board to ensure everybody was on track. (This was decided during our AAR after our last meeting)

It was encouraging to see how quick the teneur of complaining (specially by the newcomers) was changed to positive, generative talks "what can we do ourselves?".

We could still feel a growing enthusiasm with the people to organise a "Get-together" afternoon for all habitants of the community to participate. This event could be called a "intermediate dream" towards their ultimate dream of a Faubourg community full of positive vibes and atmosphere.

The objective of their event they see, is:

- allow people to connect, to have social contact.

- to get to know eachother at the community.

- to "break the ice" among people who do not know others within the community.

- to enhance some sort of Faubourg identity feeling.

- to grow desire for others to participate in building the Faubourg dream.

Some time was taken also on brainstorming for a name that could be given to the planned event. This was not only good fun but the play with words also gave expression of certain perceptions and desires.

For each part of the planned event, somebody was found volunteering to become the SPR so to speak.

What I learn from this meeting: watch out where you physically position yourself during the meeting. Quicker than realised you are positioned in physical way that the attention is drawn to the facilitator and a little less to eachother. Positioning of chairs in a circle is better.

Comment by Jan Somers on June 24, 2013 at 9:54pm

We had community meetings and wish to encourage them to speak to their fellow community members in the streets, at the homes, ... 

It was considered necessary to build a community dream but for now they are working towards their "intermediate dream" to get more people involved. They plan to organise an event with a low entrance step (multi cultural culinary gathering end of September/early October) The next community meeting is to be held on July 4th. 

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on June 24, 2013 at 11:19am

Hi Jan, thanks for the sharing. I am happy to hear about the changes. Did you undertake SALT visits in homes or had community meetings? Have you been able to do dream building? Look forward to learning from you.

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