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There are many reasons why you might want to give volunteering a shot. It is a great way to add more information to your CV, meet new people, improve your Dutch and, of course, find fulfillment in helping to contribute to a better society.
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Here are some ideas on how to get involved. Volunteers most commonly work within a legally recognized VZW (a non-profit organization). In order to know which organization would suit you, you can look through our suggestions below, you can do your own research online, or you could pay a visit to a “Vrijwilligerspunt”. All the big cities in Belgium have one. They will help you search their database and will even help you to connect with the organization. The ability to speak Dutch is not always required, so even if your Dutch skills are not yet on point, you can be a voluntary worker! Once you have identified the organization you want to work with, the office can also help you review your contract.
If you live in Ghent and are looking to volunteer, you can also take a look at the Facebook group: “Expats give back: Ghent”. It lets members share requests and recommendations with each other, and equally allows local non-profit organizations to post volunteer opportunities.
There are thousands of organizations in Belgium where you can volunteer. Here you can find a brief selection of some non-profits worth looking at: Refu interim wants to help newcomers integrate. Expats for UNICEF is a volunteer committee based in Brussels to raise awareness of UNICEF and support UNICEF Belgium’s campaigns.The European Youth Portal is a European organization that offers opportunities for European Youth. There is an animal shelter in each city and there are many ways to volunteer there. CHS is based in Brussels and offers vital mental health services to English speakers in Brussels. Serve the City is a global movement of volunteers showing kindness in practical ways to people in need.
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