Blog mihnea

I started to volunteer at Startpunt in 2015. Pieter, my husband, joined me some time later after that year. On Tuesdays I do not work and our children have grown up so I have some time left free to volunteer.

Why do we do this? Simple, we just want to make a small contribution to help people fleeing persecution or war. We choose to take some action instead of standing by in silence.... klik om verder te gaan »

Martha came a long way to reach the doorstep of Startpunt. Bringing two large trolley suitcases alongside her two little children, one strapped to her back and one in a baby carriage, made every movement difficult. After more than 7000 km, filled with hardships for a single woman, she reached the imposing office tower of the Immigration Office in the North area of Brussels. Unfortunately for... klik om verder te gaan »

On an afternoon in 2014 while being out in the city with two friends of mine, Mina and Hanna, I found out about this organization they were working for, that helps refugees and asylum seekers. Because I previously worked in Morocco with migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, I was curious to find out more about it and what they do exactly. At the invitation of Mina, coordinator of volunteers... klik om verder te gaan »

Man study books black and white photo

Daniel got his diploma from university and was among the top of his class. After a few years in the civil society sector he managed to get a position at the United Nations in the capital city of his country.  All those years studying and trying to be a good member of society finally paid off.

Unfortunately, the political situation worsened as years went by. Conflict broke out between... klik om verder te gaan »

My collaboration with Startpunt began last September on an ordinary day when I walked, by chance, on Chausee d’Anvers at noon. I saw a lot of people waiting outside the house number 34. Without hesitating, I walked in and asked the person in charge if my contribution as a volunteer was needed.

Quickly I went to help with washing the dishes. It was later on that I found out the project... klik om verder te gaan »

In October 2011, I learned from friends that Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen was urgently looking for volunteers for a project that we know today as Startpunt. The first major refugee crisis had just hit Europe. Today, almost seven years later, I am still there.

Wednesday is my day and the tasks are always varied. At noon, I often guide the refugees from the Immigration Office with a... klik om verder te gaan »

More than three years ago, Derek arrived in Belgium from the Middle East and decided that this would be his home. 'I am in safety now, so this is where I will apply for asylum' is what he thought on his first day in the capital of the European Union, Brussels. Even though he has some relatives in other EU countries, he wanted to start a life in Belgium, away from the... klik om verder te gaan »

'It has been more than 3 years since I have been volunteering in Startpunt every Wednesday. Around noon I am among those who go and pick up the asylum seekers from the Immigration Office in the WTC towers and show them the way to our place where we give soup, coffee and information to be precise. We are there every day with a team of about ten volunteers who offer the asylum seekers a warm... klik om verder te gaan »

'I started volunteering for Startpunt in 2015, when the 'refugee crisis' saw one of its highest moments. I was motivated to finally take action after the huge loss of lives in the Mediterranean Sea that year.

While studying at the University of Antwerp I attended a lecture by a former Vluchtelingenwerk employee who motivated me to take action. It was on that occasion that I found out... klik om verder te gaan »