I was first introduced to Serve the City Leuven in 2017, where I volunteered in a one-off project before going to university in the UK. When I returned to Belgium and started learning Dutch in Leuven, I wanted to be a part of the local community so decided to become an active volunteer and am now a Project Leader with STC Leuven.
Serve the City Leuven offers a varied selection of volunteer opportunities to get involved with across the city. Despite having a low level of Dutch, Serve the City and the organizations they work with welcomed me and I have loved being able to give back to the community – and the opportunity to practice speaking Dutch!
The projects Serve the City manages are so diverse, and last week I was volunteering at the Wereldfeest, listening to live music and chatting with attendees whilst helping the event run smoothly. However, my most memorable experience was with Minder is Meer, a local organization helping people who need support with home renovations – they provide financial advice and building work for people whose homes are unsafe to live in. While we deconstructed the house’s kitchen and bathroom (a lot of fun in itself!), we were with the homeowner who was incredibly grateful, and I could see the effect our work was having on this member of the community’s life.
I appreciate that people notice the work you are doing to support the community, and when participating in a volunteer event with Bin Your Butts, my team received so many positive comments from locals. Being a part of the volunteer community and working in small teams on these projects is also a great opportunity to meet like-minded people in the city. STC Leuven offers the chance for individuals from all over the world to come together to give back to others, and I can’t wait to see what more is in store!