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European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.


AFS-VZW Arbeidscentrum De wroeter

EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
EVS accreditation expiry date 01/10/2016
Location Kortessem, Belgium
Organisation topics
Inclusion topics

EVS accreditation number


For more information about volunteering and European Voluntary Service in particular, visit the Voluntary Activities section of this website.

Please note, information about organisations and projects is only available in English.
Project Environment

Outline the project environment for the suggested voluntary Service, including the local community where the project will take place (e.g. geographical, social and economical environment). If the host placement is located in a live-in community, please include the rules and conditions that apply also for the volunteer.
De Wroeter is a social work place where long term unemployed (at least 5 years) and socially vulnerable people get a chance to do a job and reïntegrate into the society. Some stay for a long term and others just come for a few months. The training they receive here is primarly focused on practical work.

For De Wroeter it’s very important to offer people a usefull job and some practical skills. In society nowadays one only matters if he/she has some skills. As important as the work, contact with ‘normal’ society is very important. The shop and the weekly visits to the markets offer a chance for this. The Wroeter also tries to organize some free time activities (weekends, christmas party,…). The project is for a great part subsidised by Flemish government. It’s very important to note that De Wroeter is NOT a commercial organisation, its goal is to reintegrate people into society through offering them some kind of usefull work.
The main activity is the biological farm. In green houses (800 square meters) and in the open field (2000 square meters) they cultivate vegetables (peas, lettuce, tomatos, cucumbres,…). The vegetables grow in the green houses and are sold at the big vegetable market in the province. The vegetables from the open field are sold at the shop and on local markets. There is also a 100 square metres big fruit garden (pears, apples, plums, cherries,…)
In cooperation with the local municipality the people from De Wroeter also do the daily maintenance of the public flower- and plantgardens. During winter they also take care of several nature reserves (cutting trees, mowing,…)
At the Wroeter-shop people from all over come to buy the vegetables and fruit from the centre. A group of people also goes and sells the products on the local markets.

The municipality of Kortessem is situated in the eastern part of Flanders, in the province of Limburg. It has about 8000 inhabitants. The nearest city is that of Hasselt, the capital of Limburg. Hasselt has a lot to offer when it comes to shopping, entertainment, sports,… There is a regular bus from Kortessem to Hasselt, which about 10 km away.
The province of Limburg is one of the few places in Flanders where you will still find open spaces. It is know for it’s possibilities for hiking and biking. It’s close to the border with the Netherlands and Germany.

Proposed activities for EVS volunteers:
Please explain:
• what you can offer to volunteers in terms of Service and learning opportunities,
• what will be the role of EVS volunteers in the Host Organisation,
• the activities in which the volunteers could be involved and the activities the volunteers could create in your organisation. Please give examples of typical activities/tasks for the volunteers.
De Wroeter has a long history in hosting international volunteers. For us it’s always very interesting to host international volunteers. It opens up the eyes and horizons of the socially disadvanaged people that work here. It helps them realize that the world is more than just De Wroeter and the village they live in. They also realize that solidarity can work even though there might be some material and language bariers. Both the volunteer and the people from De Wroeter learn from each other and there respective background and culture. The volunteer can also learn how in Flanders we try to deal with the problem of long term unemployment and the integration of socially disadavantaged people in society. He would also see how a social work place is organized in Belgium and compare this with his own experience in the sending country.
Not only through the workplace but also by staying with a host family the volunteer will have all chances to integrate in the local community. Also AFS organizes monthly activitites in which the volunteer can take part and thus get to know Flanders and its people better.

Typical activities for the EVS volunteer:
- free time activities: The volunteer can join the preparation for these activities and be an active participant in setting up and assisting in the activities themselves. He or she can also come up with own suggestions. He could maybe set up an activity in which he learns the workers more about his own country. (10%)
- biological farm: This is a very important part of the project. To get to know the people working in the project, it is important to work WITH them as it is crucial to get to know the people working in the project. They have to build up a relationship to work on all the other parts of the project too. The volunteer will do the same tasks as the people participating in the project. This will include all aspects of the process of sowing, mowing, preparing, taking care of the material, planning with the responsible, etc. As told before, there is a part with vegetables and a part with fruit. There will be a diversity in work in both aspects. (40%)
- market: The volunteer will join the group to the market. He or she will help out in guiding and setting up. Depending on the capacities, the volunteer can help in decorating the area of the market space, making price lists, promotion, etc. Through selling of these products De Wroeter funds its activities and set-up. De Wroeter is not a profit organisation and the volunteer will not be involved in money making activities. (5%)
- nature reserve and public flower- and plantgardens: The volunteer will work with the group. He or she will assist them with their tasks and guide the group in the nature reserve. (25%)
- own project: the project is open to the volunteer developing his or her own project within the context of the farm, the free activities or the cultural exchange. Time can be devoted to that. There is a full time schedule available where the volunteer can step into, but personal initiative will be encouraged. (20%)

The work provided for each activity can be changed depending of the work and the need in every cathegory.
The volunteer will work an average of 35h/week, most of the time in the greenhouse or on the field. Here work most of the people and so you get the chance to work and talk with the people of De Wroeter. Only very occasionally he/she will work in the weekend, if there is an organised activity in the project. He/she will get 12 free days. The volunteer needs to consult the project about the exact dates that he/she would like to take days off. And he/she should also take in account the dates of special activities of the project .
The coordinating host organisation AFS will organise a host family and language courses. The volunteer will receive 30 hours of Dutch lesson spread over the 8 or 10 first weeks of the project.

Volunteer profiles and recruitment process:
Please describe the profiles of volunteers you would like to receive in your organisation. Include information on how you ensure an open and transparent recruitment process as well as the overall accessibility of EVS to all young people. Consider further information about the type of Sending Organisation you want to cooperate with. This information can help the match-making between volunteer candidates, Sending Organisations and your organisation.

The volunteer should be motivated to make contact with the disadvantaged people from De Wroeter, he/she should have an open mind and be interested in the people and their stories.
The volunteer should not be afraid of working outside on the field and doing fysical labour.(70%) He/or she should have an interest in biological farming.

AFS, the coordinating host organisation, strongly believes in the intercultural learning aspect of an EVS-experience. Therefore, the volunteer will be living with a volunteer host family, as we believe this is the best introduction to Flemish culture and a great opportunity to integrate in the local community. Candidates should be willing to share in the host family's daily life (spend some free time with them, occasionally join the family on activities outside the house, eat together, give a helping hand in the household... ) and should be motivated to live with and learn about Flemish people of different ages and opinions. They should also be willing to adapt to the local eating habits. On the other hand, we guarantee a family that is interested to learn about your culture and background and that respects your values and beliefs. Living in a host family is an excellent opportunity for both the participant and the family to broaden their cultural horizons! Our sending partners will emphasize this host family stay reality to all potential volunteers and will provide enough information and a chance to talk with someone with experience with living in a host family. All our sending partners have a lot of experience with host family stay programs and can provide all necessary information about it. The sending partners will ask all candidates who already know they prefer to live independently, to refrain from applying for this project.

Number of volunteers hosted:
Please state the maximum number of volunteers your organisation is able to host at the same time (ensuring all quality, learning, and welfare standards of EVS for each volunteer):1

Risk prevention, protection and safety:
Please describe:
• how you will guarantee a safe living and working environment for the EVS volunteers,
• how you will prevent risks and crises,
• how – in the case of EVS volunteers aged 16 or 17 – you ensure appropriate supervision, protection and safety.

De Wroeter will provide: safety shoes and safety clothes
AFS, as coordinating host organisation will give every project and every participant a local contact person, that will stay in contact and will regularly ask for an evaluation to improve the situation for all parties. In case of emergency, AFS has an emergency-mobile phone, which can be reached 24h/24h, in case of emergencies.

Motivation and EVS experience

De Wroeter has been working with AFS as coordinating host organisation since the end of 2003. Since 2004 this project has hosted one participant per year, almost every year. De Wroeter wants to host new participants, together with AFS as coordinating host organisation, and host one participant yearly, for 6 months (February-August).
For De Wroeter it’s always very interesting to host international volunteers. It opens up the eyes and horizons of the socially disadvanaged people that work there. It helps them realize that the world is more than just De Wroeter and the village they live in. They also realize that solidarity can work even though there might be some material and language bariers.

If the present expression of interest is an update or a renewal of a former accreditation, please indicate the EI reference number previously assigned: 2009-BEFL-49

Description of the organisation

AFS is an international, voluntary, non profit organisation that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more peaceful world. AFS does this through several exchange programs, like EVS.
AFS works in cooperation with several AFS partners in more than 50 countries world wide. On a European level we are represented by the European federation for Intercultural Learning.
De Wroeter is a non-residential centre for socially disadvantaged people, some of them have a minor handicap. It is situated in a beautiful and nice countryside area in Limburg. Growing vegetables and fruit in a biological way is the main activity. Other activities are maintenance of the environment (lanes, flowers, and trees...) and occasional building activities. The vegetables and fruits that they grow are sold in a shop at the site and also at the weekly markets in the area. The objective of the organisation is to enlarge the social integration of the people by giving them work or useful daytime activities.

Contact details
Please note, the selected organisation cooperates with a different EVS organisation to handle enquiries on its behalf.
Organisation name AFS Interculturele Programma's vzw
Street Hendrik Consciencestraat 52
Postal code 2800
Town/city Mechelen
Country Belgium
Email address evs-belgiumflanders@afs.org
Website www.dewroeter.be
Telephone number +32 15 79 50 10
Fax number +32 15 79 50 11

Last update: 08/10/2013