Re-discovering Leuven

“When moving back to Leuven after 16 years living and working abroad, I had no idea where and how to start making connections and building a network that would support my personal development as well as give me a purpose. I wanted to use my experience and expertise of the international, multicultural chapter of my life in the city where I was born.

Repatriations are often hard in ways you didn’t expect and our first months back in Belgium, I felt a mixture of coming home and at the same time being a stranger. Looking for a network to belong to that would also fulfill my longing for a purpose, I came in contact with Serve The City Leuven. It felt immediately right. Showing kindness in practical ways… it sounds simple, yet the real beauty is the interaction with the people you serve and the people you serve with.

I will forever cherish the memory of singing Christmas carols in the living room of “Het Roerhuis”, an organisation that works for the well being of adults with special needs. The cosy atmosphere and the delight on the faces of the residents was well worth to cross the line, out of my comfort zone.

I feel ready and inspired to build relations and create opportunities with Serve The City to make it possible for more volunteers to find their way to the many organisations and initiatives in our “warm city”.

– Leen, Project Leader, Serve the City 2017-2020

Have a volunteering story of your own? Write to us at

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