Faced with the COVID-19 health crisis, the King Baudouin Foundation aims, more than ever, to play its role in society by helping our country’s grassroots organisations to meet exceptional needs. Following two emergency calls for action, 3 million euros is allocated to organisations that fight poverty and homelessness and 2 million euros to front line organisations. These calls are still open.
During this health crisis, numerous organisations in the four corners of Belgium are rallying to aid the most vulnerable in our society, even though the current situation greatly complicates their ability to fulfil their missions. The Foundation would like to thank them for their involvement and support them in these difficult times. We have therefore rapidly liberated the financial support needed to help them to tackle pressing needs. Already almost 500 organisations receive a financial aid of 10,000 euros, distributed via a fast-track and simplified procedure. Help that, in an emergency, makes the difference.
The organisations have been selected by a jury of independent experts.
The fight against poverty and homelessness
On 20 March, the Foundation launched its first emergency call, aimed at supporting the organisations that provide aid to those in poverty, and those who are poorly housed or homeless. The objective was that vulnerable groups with whom these organisations work – and who are gravely affected by the COVID-19 crisis – can continue to be helped.
3 million euros is allocated already to organisations that fight poverty and homelessness in Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders. These include:
• La Maison Croix-Rouge de Namur, which cares for homeless and very vulnerable people. The grant of 10,000 euros will enable the association to buy food, laundry products and underwear, as well as to cover additional energy costs and travel expenses of its volunteers.
• DoucheFLUX in Brussels provides basic services to the homeless and vulnerable people in the Brussels-Capital Region. The association will use the support to buy protective material, basic medical material and underwear, but also to cover running costs (water, gas, electricity etc.)
• Kinderfonds de Tendeldoos cares for children in poverty in Termonde. The funds received will enable the association to meet increased needs for family food parcels, to acquire protective equipment for its volunteers and telephone credits to enable families to contact the emergency services.
Read the story of Sophie Crapez, Director of the Comme Chez Nous association in Charleroi.
Front line help and care
On 24 March, the Foundation launched its second emergency call to support organisations that regroup or represent front line professionals (e.g. general practitioners, home nurses, carers, family care workers, pharmacists, social workers, home-visit midwives). Professionals who, more than ever, play a crucial role in supporting confined patients, enabling them to benefit from the aid and care they need, and this despite the unprecedented working conditions.
2 million euros is allocated to front line organisations in Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders. A few examples:
• La Centrale de Services à Domicile de Mons - Wallonie Picarde brings together home-care nurses, family carers, care assistants, home helps and patient carers who provide care for the elderly and those living at home but who are sick or have reduced autonomy. The grant received will enable the organization to acquire protective material and finance material to enable some colleagues to do teleworking.
• Entraide Marolles is an association in the heart of Brussels that re-groups various front line professionals and which has reorganised its services so as to be able to continue to provide follow-up of patients and families, notably by telephone. The 10,000 euros it has received will enable it to buy material for the families (books, teaching material and games etc.), material for video conferencing, but also protective material.
• Palliatieve Hulpverlening Antwerpen supports the families of patients in palliative care and it must, more than ever, continue its activities. The association will use the support received to purchase material that enables its colleagues to work effectively remotely and to purchase protective material (gloves, masks, hand gel).
Quote from Cercle de médecins de Zennevallei, that also received support:
“We have formed a partnership between the Zennevallei circle of general practitioners, pharmacists, the Zennevallei area of front line care, which includes psychologists, physiotherapists, centres for home care and residential care, local government in the region and the local hospital. Together we have set up a ‘sorting centre’, in which doctors and paediatricians examine patients in safe conditions. We are also making joint purchases of protective equipment and have appealed to local breweries to help us procure things such as ethyl alcohol. Permanent coordination of this has been established. We must think about what will happen if doctors themselves fall ill.”
The two calls are still open. Organisations can continue to make applications to the King Baudouin Foundation to obtain a lump-sum support of 10,000 euros. The calls are also open to private citizens and businesses wishing to make a donation.
In addition to these calls, on 27 March the Foundation also created the ‘Fund for Supportive Care’, aimed at supporting hospitals and other residential care establishments (care homes for the elderly, young people, disabled people etc.). The funds raised will enable specific short-term needs to be met and to finance medium-term projects aimed at ensuring sustainable care after the crisis has passed.