Community Outreach Volunteering in Belgium - Brussels
Want to be a Community Outreach volunteer in Belgium? International Volunteer HQ’s Community project enables volunteers to assist a number of different local organizations with their ongoing weekly activities. Volunteers will get to experience a diverse range of projects where they will be able to directly improve the quality of life of vulnerable people by providing them with food, blankets, personal care products, entertainment, support and connection.
- Programs start every second and fourth Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from CA$874 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, orientation and 24/7 support
Help to distribute food, blankets and hygiene packs to those in need
Enjoy the land of chocolate, waffles and beer
Stay in hostels around the dynamic city of Brussels
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Belgium is one of the richest countries in the world, but there are still groups of people left on the edges of society who need help securing the basic necessities of life. You’ll be working with different local initiatives who provide direct assistance to vulnerable people in a number of different ways.
Duties are assigned based on the tasks that are most important to the local community at the time, as well as your skills, interests and experience.
As a Community Outreach volunteer you’ll get experience in a wide range of activities which could include:
- Helping distribute food, blankets and hygiene packs to the homeless
- Preparing breakfasts for refugees
- Serving dinners to the elderly
- Entertaining children at a center for asylum seekers
- Gardening in green spaces reserved for those in need
Why do Community Outreach volunteering in Brussels with IVHQ?
While volunteering on the Community Outreach project in Belgium you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving quality of life for people in need
- Developing your communication skills
- Getting experience in community outreach
- Gaining a variety of new skills
- Immersing yourself fully in Belgian culture
- Exploring the captivating capital city of Brussels
- Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to join projects in Belgium. Those aged between 16 and 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate.
- All volunteers aged 16+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 16-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
- Please note: IVHQ accommodation in Belgium requires you to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Belgium photo gallery
In Belgium, IVHQ’s program is set in the buzzing capital city of Brussels. Famed for its mouth-watering food and rich multicultural atmosphere the city is packed with interesting events, architecture, historical sites and art work. Volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city of Brussels and its neighborhoods and you’ll be staying just 5 minutes from the city center via tram or metro. Belgium’s central location also makes it easy to get to many other European countries.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the second and fourth Monday of every month, and volunteers need to arrive in Brussels no later than the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Brussels Airport (BRU). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation. The cost of your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation through to (and including) the Friday night of your final week.
If you are traveling in Belgium prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from any of the main stations in Brussels on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our Belgium team on the morning of your start date. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Belgium – an introduction to Belgium, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to your project and placement and a brief city tour of the area surrounding the hostel. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
Volunteer schedule example
Your daily schedule will vary depending on the project you choose. You will receive a weekly schedule at orientation that will cover your first one or two weeks.
Start times and daily workloads will vary depending on the needs of the project, but on average you’ll be volunteering for 4 hours a day. On some projects, such as Food Outreach, volunteer work can start very early in the morning; other projects take place in the afternoon. If you need to do more hours each day for a particular requirement, please let the team know ahead of time so that they can schedule your volunteer project accordingly.
Outside of projects, you are free to use your time as you wish. However, occasionally you may be asked to assist with a special event on an evening or a Saturday, in which case the local team will arrange another day off for you to make up for the time. However, if this conflicts with other plans, just let the local team know so they can make other arrangements.
When you do have a free weekend, you’ll be able to explore Brussels - a city bursting with art, architecture, history and a grand mixture of European culture.
In this foodie paradise you’ll be able to treat your tastebuds to Belgium’s famous culinary delights including frites, waffles and chocolate. When you’re not indulging in the local delicacies, you can check out historical sites, such as La Grand Place, Parc du Cinquantenaire, and the unique Atomium landmark building. Your weekends can also be spent visiting areas further afield in Belgium, including the beautiful city of Bruges, the ancient cities of Antwerp and Ghent, or taking a trip to the Belgian coastline.
If time allows, you’ll also be able to take advantage of being in central Europe and visiting the neighbouring countries of France, Germany and the Netherlands. You can make travel arrangements once in Brussels with the advice and guidance of the local team.
Accommodation and WiFi
You’ll stay in hostels in Brussels with volunteers and other travelers. The hostels are about 5 minutes from the center of Brussels via tram or metro. Brussels has a one-week-stay policy which means volunteers get to experience a new hostel each week.
You can expect to share a room with up to 6 others, and share a communal bathroom which has toilets and showers. Bedding and a bath towel are provided. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to ensure their room and the shared bathroom are kept tidy during their time on the program. Free WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation.
Private room upgrades are also possible for an additional cost, subject to availability. The cost is between CA$81to CA$122 per night, depending on the upgrade. This can be arranged with the local team directly, once registered.
Please note that during busy periods, the accommodation can vary slightly to the description above.
As a volunteer you will be preparing your own meals while on the program. The hostel has a kitchen and there are shops nearby where you can buy food. You can also head out for meals to try the many delicacies that Brussels has to offer.
Tap water is fine to drink in Belgium, however, bottled water is readily available if you prefer and you should budget approximately $10 per week for this.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||CA$871 Equivalent to CA$125/day|
|2 weeks||CA$1640 Equivalent to CA$118/day|
|3 weeks||CA$2397 Equivalent to CA$115/day|
|4 weeks||CA$3220 Equivalent to CA$115/day|
|5 weeks||CA$3963 Equivalent to CA$114/day|
|6 weeks||CA$4706 Equivalent to CA$113/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of CA$405 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, meals, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Belgium generally find US$200 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses including transport and miscellaneous expenses.
- Cancellations or changes within 14 days of the program start date for the Belgium program are subject to a US$200 admin fee.
Check what's required to visit Belgium
Check out the widget below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Belgium, based on your country of residence.
Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Languages||Dutch, German, French|
Weather and climate
Belgium usually has cold winters and comfortably warm summers. The average temperature is around 37°F (3°C) in January, and 64°F (18°C) in July with average rainfall being 2.6 in (65mm) in January, and 3.1in (78 mm) in July.