BelCompetence, Reconnecting to Reinvent a Way of Life that Allows Everyone to Blossom

From the Constellation 2016 Report, p. 14.

En français dans le rapport 2016, p. 14.


Organisation: BelCompetence

Country: Belgium

First activities with SALT and CLCP: 2007

In 2007, the approach was introduced in Brussels during a training on AIDS. It immediately impressed listeners and they created BelCompetence. The association first focused on AIDS, but quickly widened its horizons increasingly to diverse challenges (asylum seekers, wellness, citizen initiatives...). The principle: a spark is enough to awaken a community. The facilitator supports the community in its path. But the approach also individually concerns us: it modifies and enriches our relationships with our loved ones (family, friends, work, and neighbours).


Connecting people and creating activities in several districts and municipalities of Belgium

BelCompetence facilitators apply the approach in their neighbourhood and community. Jan Somers has been doing this since 2013 and Vilvoorde city officials want to see the success of the approach in Faubourg inspiring other parts of the city. In the first weekend of December 2016, the City of Vilvoorde offered volunteers training in facilitating the SALT approach.

Jean-Louis Lamboray brought together 45 inhabitants of Grez-Doiceau to develop a common dream, and working groups were formed around the various defined practices. On 14th September 2016, a first Agora Café in Grez-Doiceau was held on the theme: "Is it easy to meet in Grez-Doiceau?"

In Molenbeek, a local police officer invited BelCompetence in May 2016 to use SALT with the community to facilitate ownership and community action:

"After two years of meetings, discussions, struggles, complaints, blames, we did not get much results. You have helped us, in only three short sessions, to find common ground, vision and energy to put into action a plan that we have created together. Thank you! " Geertrui Oris, police officer in Molenbeek

In their neighbourhood, Liza and Julien Ciarniello recounted the citizens' initiatives in Molenbeek and, since then, all kinds of actions are taking place at Rue du Spectre in Brussels.

Training weekends with beautiful aftermath

The BelCompetence training weekends are appreciated for inspiring encounters and practical learning of the approach. Participants are invited to keep in touch and meet a few months later to tell how they have used the approach.

Some reflections of the participants of our June 2016 training, during a meeting in September:

* I work in the agricultural sector, which is experiencing particularly dramatic changes, with falling incomes and many job losses. It is therefore particularly important to propose a stimulating approach that focuses on workers' skills.

* After the training, I arrived super excited in my school, eager to get into my action plan. But the negative reactions were not long in coming. The committee of hygiene rose up against the duckling brought into my office, which even the big kids stroked with so much gentleness! Same reaction of rejection to meals taken in common, teachers and students, and ideas of vegetable garden...

I nevertheless met the support of some colleagues with whom I was able to set up an enrolment cell for the beginning of the school year: in-depth interview with children and parents (up to 2 hours) to search for interests and stimulate the students’ motivation.

* I received 6,000 $ from the Embassy of the United States of America in Burundi to accompany 60 destitute women in the rural commune of Buyengero (located in south-west of Burundi) in the realisation of their project of beekeeping. Through the SALT approach, these women will embark on the production and marketing of honey.

After training in the SALT approach of the international secretariat team, located in Belgium, the approach was gradually transmitted to all levels of the International Association of Charities (AIC). Read p. 41.

"The training booklet of the facilitators, inspired by the SALT method, is sent to all four corners of the world. During field visits, we experiment the SALT method with the local groups, each time with a lot of enthusiasm. In 2016, we worked in Cameroon, the Philippines and France."

Examples of other activities:

A Belgian-Luxemburg economic mission to Guinea with SALT

The approach attracted much interest and a decision was taken to institutionalise the SALT visits in the economic missions of the Belgium-Luxembourg-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (CBL-ACP).

In collaboration with the InteractivTeaching Center, a workshop titled "Let’s Dream the World: the Jobs of Tomorrow!"

Dream for Education and Culture

The spiral illustrates the path. Everyone needs to find purpose in life. There are multiple ways to do that: writing, dancing, crafts, service... These means allow us to choose a life that allows us to express our potential. Everyone is encouraged to open up to the world, to meet others, to share his or her culture and learn from that of others. Then return to share his or her experiences. Society is open to other cultures.

Meeting with the Save Belgium Association (Society Against Violent Extremism).

BelCompetence members met mothers who transformed their family traumas to offer the Belgian society their experience of facing violent extremism.

The initiative #jeparleavecmonvoisin

BelCompetence supports the initiative, which was inspired by Liza Dignac, her husband Julien Ciarniello who were with their children in Zaventem during the March 22 bombing, and Jean-Louis Lamboray.

"Our social fabric is undermined: let's reconnect! "

The Workshops of the Letter to the Humanity to dream social cohesion in Brussels

Célicia Theys and Laurie Khorchi guided young people from Brussels to the discovery of living together in harmony.

SALT training of the team of the hospital of Kirosthe in Kivu, DRC

In January 2016, Anne Brouha introduced the SALT approach to the Kirosthe hospital team.


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