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Compagnons bâtisseurs asbl
  • 9 Place du Roi Albert 6900 Marche en Famenne Belgique
  • +32 084/31 44 13
  • Thibault Lezy

When leisure becomes source of inclusion and social utility, Marche en Famenne, Belgium

  • Inclusion : Accessibility
  • Europe : Belgium
  • Fiche d'expérience

Par Thibault Lezy le 27/02/2017

Young people with and without disabilities wanted out of their daily lifestyle, meet new people, live new collective experiences. Les compagnons bâtisseurs offer them a framework for this.


  1. The context


  • Where your service/structure/property/action? What facilities do you have?

    The Association of 'Compagnons bâtisseurs' is based in Marche en Famennne, city located in Middle semi-rural environment, 100 km from Brussels.

    People who participate in our activities come from the whole of the French territory of Belgium. During the summer, we also have a large number of foreign volunteers on our sites activities


  • How important is today acceptance of people with disabilities in the project of  compagnons bâtisseurs ?

    The inclusion of people with disabilities within our community project goes back 20 years. Currently, the public with disabilities, mainly people with slight mental disabilities to moderate, represents a quarter of the members of the association (100 people).

    to achieve this, we work on two complementary axes.

  • A program of activities "volunteering, hobbies and disability ", dedicated to the inclusion of people with mental disabilities and awareness of young people to the topic

  • Support and monitoring tools to make all the activities of the Association  more accessible to anyone wishing to get involved


  • What population, type of disability do you accept?

    The Association of compagnons bâtisseurs is recognized as youth organization by the Ministry of the Wallonia-Brussels federation. Our target audience is primarily young people.

    Regarding the public with disabilities attending the activities of the Association, it is mainly the people with light to moderate (X fargile, Trisomy,...). Each activity based on the dynamics of community life, it is essential that participants can integrate a group life.


  1. The purpose of the experience



  • How you arrived at this proposal for weekends, vacation time shared between volunteers and people with a disability?

    The choice to develop this program of activities is based on this finding. Young people with and without disabilities wanted out of their daily lifestyle, meet new people, live new collective experiences. This choice has also facilitated at the time by the experience and the motivation of a moderator of the association to implement this project. Over the years, we have gone from a few annual activities to a diverse program of activities taking place throughout the year. We also acquired experience to better meet the wishes of the members of the association.



  • What is important in the volunteering of people supervisors?

    Volunteers who participate in this kind of project come above all because they are willing to invest in a project with a social purpose. In their first experiments, it is also often a better understanding of disability which they have little knowledge.

    The terms of commitments, active citizenship, promote living together are all cross-cutting values that characterize activities that we implement.




  1. Implementation, the conduct


  • Which shared time, what activities do you offer?

    The project "volunteering, hobbies and disability" target the implementation of activities - residential and none ".

    Non-residential activities (evening games, host tables) are organized at a local level.

    Residential activities consist of about  20 weekends and 4 stays per year. Each stay takes place in a different place and is characterized by a program of activities varied honoring the heritage of the regions visited, cultural agendas and creativity of volunteers-facilitators (dances, blind test,...).




  1. The tools you needed?



  • On the human level : how the volunteers  join you? What is their average age?   What motivates them? Are they trained?

    Volunteers are young, aged an average of 22 to 30 years. They come from the whole French territory of Belgium. They learn program activity VLH through our website, our info sessions and very often by word of mouth .

    On the formative aspect, we basically operate on a principle of coaching and peer education. The Manager and the older animators accompanying / guiding newcomers. The activities must first of all be experienced to understand and perceive the role that each can play


  • on technical and material : Have you vehicles of transport of people, fixed bases for leisure, special equipment?

    We have an office in marche-en-Famenne in which we organize each proposed activity. Some non résidentials activities are also offered.

    For the rest we have two minibuses to complete our program of residential activities. This opportunity allows us to go to places sometimes very remote.


  1. How do you evaluate today?




  • Volunteers earn? What effect on their lives?

    Very often the volunteers tell us that they now have another look on disability, on deficiency. Beyond that, they feel more able to react to a situation that they would have found uncomfortable previously. This awareness goal of the activities that we offer is central to a youth organization like ours that aims to enable young people to become citizens, active, critical and supportive.

    Beyond it frequently happens that volunteers eventually chose a vocational course in connection with health, disability, or socio-educational domain (special education teacher).


  • What are the satisfactions: for the beneficiaries? For entourage?

    The main satisfaction is to get out of his daily life and to live these experiences. It is also a great opportunity to expand its sphere of acquaintance. The concepts of development and emancipation are central. For parents, it is also able to have respite time for a weekend, a week.

  • What challenges do you face in the organization of these shared times? What is the limit of an action of this type?

    Working mainly with volunteers, it is not possible to meet all the requests that are made to us. Too heavy deficiencies cannot be supported on the activities that we offer.

    The issue of operating costs is also to be taken into account. 2 vehicles is a heavy load for a small association.


  • What lessons do you draw?

    Over the years, we see a developpement of activities that promote the participation of the largest number of individuals (including people with disabilities). However, there is still a wide place for innovation, the emergence of new projects and new actions.

    Promote networking among complementary organizations might also be valued more in the future.


    Interview with Mr. Thibault Lezy



Langue d'origine : Français
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