We went to the zoo

We wanted to offer them an experience that they could not forget, and WE DID IT! We took the families residing at the Jourdan Centre in Brussels to the zoo in an amazing day full of excitement and happiness.  

One of Serve the City’s projects is Jourdan Homework and Games. This project takes place in the Jourdan Centre, located near Place Jourdan. The centre at any given time houses between 250 and 350 people. A large proportion of the residents are families. Currently, the centre is home to over 65 children!

As these children are often stuck inside this centre all together, Serve the City volunteers run three activities a week there to support the kids and their families. On Mondays and Wednesday evenings, we run homework classes. Here we provide homework / educational support to the children of the centre. On Wednesday afternoon we invite volunteers to come and play games/activities with the children, ranging from arts & crafts to playing in the outside playground. For many of the kids, these activities not only provide vital support in their education but also give them something to look forward to!  

Alongside the regular sessions of the project, we also try to organise activities with the residents of the centre every few months. In the past, we have organised activities such as Easter egg hunts and various Christmas activities.

On the 16 October 2021, we had our biggest activity yet, we took over 120 people to the zoo! This included many of the families and kids from the centre and a team of dedicated volunteers! The International German School of Brussels very generously provided the lunch for all those attending, and it was very much appreciated by all. The majority of people from the centre had never had the opportunity to go to a zoo, so it is safe to say that this was very meaningful to so many people.  Seeing the happiness on not only the kids’ faces, but also on the faces of parents was the very reason we did this.

Of course, finding the funds for this big day out was a challenge. We completely relied on the generosity of people. Through donations on our fundraiser, a pub quiz and a significant donation from the Rotary Club Cantersteen, we were able to purchase all the tickets necessary and arrange for bus travel to and from the zoo!

As this activity was a big success, we are looking to do another outing with the residents of the centre. In the new year, we are hoping to be able to take everyone to Technopolis! Many of the kids are very interested in science at school but have never really had the chance to see it in real life in a fun and exciting way. Hopefully, this activity will inspire the kids to dream big!

© Claudio Caputo

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