Mediano/largo plazo
SVI-ALI BÉLGICA Louvain-La-Neuve ENV - SOCIO - CULT 01/10/2021 01/10/2022


Name AlimenTerre Location Louvain-La-Neuve Dates Permanent Project Type ENV - SOCIO - CULT Age 18+
Volunteers 1

Presentation of the project

In the neighbourhood of La Baraque in Louvain-La- Neuve, a community of 200 residents share an alternative lifestyle in close connection with nature. This community lives near the city, in small sustainable accommodations as close to nature as possible (caravans, yurts, converted buses, bubbles, etc.). A real social mosaic can be found in this atypical neighbourhood: social workers, artists, students, politicians, unemployed people, craftspeople, etc. Therefore, social diversity is at the heart of this social and environmental project.

It is within a social and environmental approach that a solidarity organic grocery store and a community fridge have been created. The atmosphere in this grocery shop is pleasant and people take the time to talk and get their groceries. It is a proper place for social integration and everyone does their bit to ensure that the shop runs efficiently (school dropouts, people at the CPAS, people with a disability, etc.). These simple tasks can help all these people to increase their independence and self-confidence. As a result, this project reinforces the social cohesion and solidarity present within this community which has a very unique and ecological lifestyle.

Volunteer work

The volunteers' tasks will be quite varied. In the grocery store, they will welcome the customers, guide them during their shopping and make them aware of various topics (balanced diet, consumption of local and seasonal products, zero- waste). Volunteers will also try to encourage interactions between the customers and between the members of the community. They will contribute to the management of the grocery store (food supplies, coding and packaging of products, stock management, checkout). Aside from their tasks in the grocery store, volunteers will organise and host collective sessions on a variety of issues (fight against food waste, circular economy, bulk food, meat consumption, cosmetics and cleaning products, reusable packaging, zero-waste...).

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They will be invited to come up with new projects and to contribute to the development of the association's activities, by reinforcing local partnerships as well as the network of solidarity grocery stores and local producers. Finally, volunteers will collect foodstuffs to supply the solidarity fridge and will participate in the maintenance of the community's vegetable garden.

This volunteering mission will complement the employees' actions by bringing a fresh perspective on the organisation, but also new ideas or methods for the beneficiaries of the project. The sharing, interactions, know-how and interpersonal skills will be beneficial for both the volunteer and the team members. This means that the volunteer will not be in charge of a task that requires technical or specific skills for the smooth operation of the organisation.


As far as accommodation is concerned, the volunteer will live in a caravan for a few days to get to know the experience and then he or she will stay with a local person (in the community area).


The volunteer has to buy his own food and will be able to cook for himself in the home (so he chooses what he wants, vegetarian or not). Plan on a budget of 10-15€ per day.

Specific information

For this mission, no particular profile, no specific training or skills are required. Only genuine motivation from the candidates is important in order to carry out this project. SVI therefore guarantees that the mission is accessible to any young person who wants to get involved in a volunteering project. In general, the organisation accepts one volunteer per year for this project.

Meeting point

All information on how to get to the project will be given in the info sheet.


French (reading, writing and speaking) is essential for addressing customers, entering items in the cash register, etc. Volunteers are required to speak French.


■ Nearest airport: – Zaventem Airport (Brussels Airport) – 27 km

■ Brussels South Charleroi Airport – 40 km
■ Nearest train station: Louvain-La-Neuve Station

– 2 km

As the organization is located in the same city as SVI, you will have the opportunity to meet its members as well as participate in all local SVI activities.

About Louvain-La-Neuve

Located 30 km from Brussels in the heart of Walloon Brabant, the site of the university of Louvain-la-Neuve welcomes over 20,000 students in its eleven faculties.

Created in 1971 by the university, this city is one of the youngest in Europe. A city in the countryside, it offers an exceptional living environment to students, researchers, professors and inhabitants. Museums, cinemas, theatres, concert and exhibition halls, a swimming pool and sports centre, restaurants and cafés, shops and green spaces: all contribute to the quality of its environment.

Its entirely pedestrianised urban centre allows easy access to all academic buildings and provides an environment where students, researchers, professors and residents meet and form a unique social, cultural and economic fabric.

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Our long-term projects

Each volunteer will be welcomed on arrival by a SVI member who will be able to take him / her to his / her volunteering project, or by a member of the local as- sociation. In the next days, the volunteer will have an interview with the incoming project coordinator if he or she cannot be present on arrival.

Our partners always make sure to welcome the vol- unteers as well as possible in order to put them in the best conditions to start their project.

For each volunteer staying more than a month in Belgium, it is requested to participate in one of our preparation weekends.

This is an excellent way to meet the SVI team but also young Belgian people who are embark-ing on the adventure of volunteering.

We also regularly invite our volunteers from other countries to take part in the life of the SVI associa- tion: our dinners, our evenings with young people, our events organized by the SVI volunteers, etc.

Volunteers are an integral part of our association and as such are invited to all our activities.

Regular evaluations will be carried out informally but also more formally with the incoming project coordi- nator and the local partner. These evaluations will be forwarded to the sending associations.

Important things to know

1- Visa

European citizens only need a national identity card or a passport.

Non-European citizen may need a visa. The visa must be requested at the embassy or Belgian consulate of the country where you live.

If there is no embassy or Belgian consulate in the country where you live, you should contact the Bel- gian Embassy, which is responsible for your country. This one is usually located in a neighboring country.

The procedure for visa application can sometimes take a long time.

Therefore, you must apply for a visa at least four weeks before departure.

(http://diplomatie.belgium.be/fr/Services/venir_en_ belgique/visa_pour_la_belgique)

If you need an invitation letter, you can contact us at


In order to send you a letter of invitation, we need the following information: