Scientia et Educatio Naturam Sanitatemque Emuniunt
Science and Education Preserve Nature and Health
La Science et l'Éducation Préservent la Nature et la Santé
Action Against Hunger (Senegal)
Action Against Hunger aims to save lives by eradicating hunger by preventing, detecting, and treating undernutrition, especially during and after emergency situations caused by conflicts and natural disasters. As a reflection of the wide variety of factors that influence undernutrition, Action Against Hunger’s programs combine health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, food security, care practices, mental health, and advocacy. As a technical expert and leader in the fight against undernutrition, Action Against Hunger puts a strong emphasis on research and innovation.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting TISA, the "cluster randomized controlled trial demonstrating the effect of combining household water treatment and hygiene promotion with the standard outpatient treatment of severe acute malnutrition on recovery rates".
Aide Médicale et Développement (AMD) (Senegal)
Aide Médicale et Développement improves the quality of healthcare provided to vulnerable populations in developing countries.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is providing funds to support primary, maternal and child health by building a health centre and a maternity hospital, which meets a real and urgent need in the impoverished and isolated region of the village of Bantako, in eastern Senegal.
The health post will be composed of hospital wards, offices, treatment rooms and a pharmacy. The program includes training or skills building sessions.
Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce (Croatia)
Since its foundation in 1998, Association Sunce Split’s main activities have included direct participation and encouraging public involvement in procedures relating to the environment, nature, and sustainable development. Sunce emphasises the importance of educating all generations and promoting changes in personal behaviour.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the initiative "Raising awareness on the role of composting".
Depending on how it is handled, biodegradable waste can become either an environmental issue or a valuable organic fertiliser improving soil structure and quality. Sunce wants to make the local community aware that separate collection and composting of biodegradable waste is an essential link in integrated waste management systems, circular economy, and environmental protection. Former students and volunteers will produce and install home composters. Children and the local communities will have access to information and educational material through a dedicated online platform, workshops, and professional lectures.
blueEnergy aims to sustainably improve the living conditions of marginalised communities in Nicaragua and Ethiopia. Its programmes include providing access to drinking water, improving sanitation and health, ensuring food security through agroecological methods, implementing waste treatment, and supporting access to renewable energies.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels helped improve the food and nutritional security of women, elderly people, and disabled people, on the southern Caribbean coast.
Sixty-eight families have created a family vegetable garden. They have been trained in food and nutrition security, health, and entrepreneurship, and been equipped with filters, improved cookers, tools, and agricultural inputs, educated about disease prevention, and equipped with individual hygiene kits. Forty employees and students of the agroforestry centre have been trained in the biointensive method, nutrition, and cooking. Fifteen students, three teachers, and three technicians from blueEnergy have initiated a training course for "basic teachers in biointensive methods". The agroforestry centre's vegetable garden produces a large quantity of diversified organic food and its seed production has increased by 50%. Three hundred and thirty students, teachers, and staff have become self-sufficient with a diversified diet. A campaign to raise awareness about food security through agroecology has taken place. After the two hurricanes in 2020, blueErnergy also repaired the renewable energy system and the vegetable garden.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the development of four Climate Smart Schools in Nicaragua to promote good practices for climate change adaptation in response to extreme weather events.
This project involves installing equipment and training the pupils in water, sanitation, hygiene and health, efficient use of renewable energy, permaculture, bio-intensive agriculture, nutrition, and waste management. The schools will become climate change role models for the population.
Chain of Hope Belgium aims at consolidating access and quality of specialised care for children in their native country. The goal is for local teams to acquire autonomy in caring for children suffering from pathologies requiring specialised technical operations.
SENSE Foundation Brussels’s support in 2021/2022 is contributing to a multicentric study on preventive aspects of pathologies requiring corrective orthopaedic surgeries, particularly orthopaedic deformity on children’s lower limbs likely due to vitamin D deficiency rickets causing varus or valgus.
The study may show that rickets can be reduced through the elaboration and implementation of a preventive policy on food security and nutrition in Benin, as an increasing number of children are being treated and knowledge on rickets among specialised practitioners improves.
Fondation Energies pour le Monde FONDEM (Senegal)
Created in 1990, the Fondation Energies pour le Monde (Fondem) is a public interest organisation. Fondem supports and promotes access to clean, reliable, and quality energy from local renewable sources, thereby contributing to global poverty alleviation and environmental protection. Fondem focuses its actions where electrification is most needed: rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to the EGALES "Egalité des Genres et Accès à l'Electricité au Sénégal" project.
Continuous decrease in rainfall in Casamance, Senegal, has led to truck-farming becoming the main activity, as an alternative to traditional rice farming. However, due to the lack of appropriate equipment and the difficulty in managing water resources, the income generated has remained scarce, and the workload, mainly supported by women, arduous. The EGALES project aims for sustainable social and economic development, by harnessing solar energy and optimizing water usage.
EGALES aims to durably improve the working conditions and the income of 600 women thanks to solar pumps and irrigation systems while training them on good farming practices and water management. It also aims to create the conditions for scaling up by testing financial mechanisms enabling women’s contribution to the production of equipment.
Since 1986, the mission of the Saint-Luc Foundation has been to develop and coordinate the sponsorship and fundraising activities of the Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc (CUSL), one of the most important academic hospitals in Belgium.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the research on "Novel biomarkers for the follow-up of Multiple Sclerosis patients: towards personalized medicine".
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an auto-immune disease of the central nervous system characterized by multifocal inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, and neurodegeneration. Currently, MS diagnoses rely on clinical and imaging features using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This research project aims to implement a comprehensive multimodal evaluation of MS patients using state-of-the-art techniques by measuring the levels of a neuronal protein, identifying the microRNA profile of individual patients and performing advanced brain MRI techniques.
Heifer Netherlands (Guatemala)
Heifer is a global development organisation working to end hunger and poverty sustainably. Heifer creates lasting solutions to local challenges to build inclusive, resilient economies. Heifer works in over 20 countries globally through a successful approach: more than 36 million people have been supported on their way out of poverty since 1944 through the Heifer International Network.
SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to phase 1 of the Green Business Belt Guatemala Project (GBBG).
This project helps smallholder spice farmers acquire a living income, build capacity, scale up businesses, and access high-value markets while conserving natural resources. It focuses on sustainable production in agroforestry systems to protect the tropical forest and restore deforested, deteriorated lands through improved forest management. The GBBG directly impacts 6,250 smallholder spice farmers (producers) and indirectly 3,365 people in related sectors and value chain linkages (local suppliers, processors). The GBBG reaches 9,615 families (37,500 beneficiaries) in five communities in Alta Verapaz.
Fondation Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) (Belgium)
The mission of the Fondation ULB is to support innovative research projects at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and to help researchers at the forefront of their discipline to achieve significant scientific progress.
The ULB Centre for Diabetes Research is an internationally recognised laboratory working on diverse aspects of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, and therapy of the different forms of diabetes mellitus.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to the research on "Genetic and nutrient stress in the insulin production factory".
Diabetes affects 1 in 11 people. In monogenic diabetes, a single gene mutation causes the disease, while diets rich in saturated fat contribute to type 2 diabetes. In both conditions, pancreatic beta cells fail to produce sufficient insulin. The endoplasmic reticulum is the insulin production factory of the beta cell. The research team will study the beta cell endoplasmic reticulum stress caused by gene mutations or saturated fat that leads to diabetes.
Using a "disease-in-a-dish" model, the researchers will assess beta cell development, function and survival and generate multi-omic gene and protein expression data to unveil the underlying molecular mechanisms. They will mine omic data for novel therapeutic targets to protect beta cells in monogenic and type 2 diabetes.
All women have the right to a safe and assisted birthing experience. One Heart Worldwide’s mission is to end all preventable deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth in Nepal based on a locally-led sustainable impact model. One Heart Worldwide works directly with local governments and communities through the Network of Safety model. Their Theory of Change is to collectively transform the local maternal and newborn health (MNH) infrastructure, creating a continuum of care in underserved locales.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to the initiative "Innovative Digital Solutions to Expand Access to Quality Maternal and Newborn Healthcare".
One Heart Worldwide will offer monthly remote technical skills development to all rural MNH service providers in 21 geographical districts across Nepal, in their native language.
The objectives of the project include:
Digitising several existing training programs;
Developing new webinars for rural healthcare providers in collaboration with medical experts in Nepal and the US;
Providing meaningful community-based engagement through digital platforms and allowing adaptation of skills within a cultural and geographically appropriate context.
Operation ASHA has developed an effective and highly innovative patient-centric, community-driven, low-cost, last-mile delivery system to eradicate tuberculosis from the planet. It is heavily supported by technology, thus scalable and replicable worldwide. With its own staff, it serves over 40 million highly disadvantaged people, living in over 20,000 slums, villages and tribal areas across India and Cambodia. Many other countries have since replicated its model.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels’s grant is contributing to tuberculosis eradication in Cambodia.
Every 20 seconds, a person dies of tuberculosis (TB) somewhere in the world. Operation ASHA is treating this dreaded disease across Cambodia, serving 34% of the country. SENSE Foundation Brussels is specifically supporting Operation ASHA for "Monitoring & Evaluation" (M&E), a relatively small but critical component of the whole project. Without proper M&E, results and effectiveness would be badly compromised.
Osa Conservation, founded in 2002, is dedicated to protecting the globally significant biodiversity of Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, often referred to as the "crown jewel of Costa Rica's biodiversity". With an "on-the-ground" strategy to build a restoration and rewilding network, Osa Conservation's efforts connect the Osa Peninsula with the lower Pacific slope border of La Amistad National Park, the largest intact forest in Central America. Connectivity between these protected tropical forests is crucial to ensure healthy populations and the genetic diversity of threatened species.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the project "Developing and deploying sentinel animal and citizen science technologies for biodiversity conservation in Costa Rica and the Peruvian Amazon".
This research combines novel tracking technology with satellite collars and GSM transmitters to turn keystone species into mobile wildlife "sentinels", providing real-time animal movements in response to anthropogenic disturbances. In addition, Rainforest Protectors will be trained and equipped with advanced conservation technologies to increase wildlife and illegal activity monitoring capacity in the Osa Peninsula's protected areas. The objective is to develop a model allowing on-the-ground organisations to apply this training and technology to research species and create a global network of animal sentinels to conserve biodiversity.
Page Verte NGO (several African countries)
PAGE VERTE NGO is an international, non-political, non-profit, non-governmental organisation bringing together people who are determined to make education for sustainable development in schools a reality. With Conference of the Parties (COP) accreditation and an international status, its goal is to engage young people from an early age in sustainable development and environmental protection for a better future.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to supporting ten young people from West African countries in environmental studies programmes for their contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The overall objective of this project is to strengthen and facilitate the access of West African youth to environmental education, focusing on environmental science curricula, from a gender perspective. SENSE Foundation Brussels's contribution will help strengthen their leadership skills through mentoring, training, and workshops. It will encourage the young beneficiaries' participation in environmental forums at the national, regional, and international levels. Finally, this support will help increase the visibility of the initiatives implemented by the young beneficiaries of the project to potential environmental support organisations.
Parkinson's UK (United Kingdom)
Parkinson's happens when the brain cells that produce a vital chemical called dopamine begin to die. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some of those symptoms are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. The disease gets worse over time, and there is no cure for it. Yet.
Parkinson's UK is the largest charitable funder of Parkinson's research in Europe, a member-led organisation providing vital information and support services for people affected by the condition. They focus on finding new and better treatments for Parkinson's, and ultimately a cure.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the research project "Unlocking the Genetics behind Parkinson's".
Parkinson's is often an "idiopathic" condition, which means that it has no known cause. However, for a minority of people, Parkinson's can be caused by inherited changes in many different genes. Gaining a better understanding of the genetics of Parkinson's and how these genes interact with each other will help piece together the causes of brain cell death that contribute to the condition. Studying this in human brain cells is technically challenging.
This three-year research project examines small worms called C. elegans. The researchers will introduce into the worms’ DNA different combinations of the genetic changes that contribute to Parkinson's to understand whether they act together to cause brain cells to die or whether they work independently. This will give an essential insight into how the normal function of brain cells changes with Parkinson's. Ultimately, this work could pave the way for therapeutic avenues to slow or stop Parkinson's in individuals with an increased risk due to genetic alterations. It will also further the understanding of the causes of the condition in general.
Rady Children's Hospital - San Diego (USA)
Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine is a non-profit research organisation embedded within Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. The Institute pioneered a medical revolution to end the diagnostic odyssey for neonatal and paediatric rare diseases. They are now moving to end the therapeutic odyssey for children with rare, devastating diseases by pinpointing the root cause of previously unidentified conditions.
Scientists and innovators translate discoveries into therapies and tools to guide clinical decision-making for providers at the bedside. The Learning Healthcare System offers an array of educational opportunities for new and experienced clinicians to develop their expertise in this evolving field.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to the Rady Children's Precision Medicine Clinic (PMC).
This collaborative clinical model brings together physicians and scientists from various scientific institutions. The clinic coordinates care through leading-edge sequencing and analysis to improve diagnosis and accelerate the development of effective treatments for rare diseases.
PMC launched in June 2020 and has cared for 51 families. SENSE Foundation Brussels's grant makes it possible to expand the reach to more underserved children and build evidence that this treatment model improves families' outcomes and quality of life.
RMI’s mission is to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. RMI creates solutions to the challenges preventing a global clean energy economy using market-based scalable strategies. RMI’s Islands Program supports island nations to transition to lower-cost, decentralised energy systems based on clean energy options.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the programme "Building Back Better: A New Energy Future for The Bahamas".
Following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Dorian, building clean energy infrastructure at critical facilities such as schools, shelters, and hospitals will boost distributed generation while providing critical power to the public services that need it the most. RMI aims to transition the current electricity system in Abaco to a low-carbon, resilient, sustainable, and cost-effective system.
Deploying distributed solar-plus-storage microgrids at critical facilities coupled with segmenting critical portions of the grid would reduce future economic losses and lives lost during and after major storm events. Indeed, these facilities and grid segments would continue functioning when the central grid is disrupted.
Roots of Health (Ugat ng Kalusugan) (The Philippines)
Roots of Health (ROH) empowers women, young people, and families in Palawan, the Philippines, to lead healthy reproductive lives thanks to rights- and results-based educational and clinical services. ROH improves women's and young people's sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and decreases the number of unplanned pregnancies and HIV incidences by providing sexual health education and access to modern contraceptives through a clinical services programme.
In the Philippines, women and girls' access to healthcare, education and information is limited, causing more teenage pregnancies, HIV cases, and maternal deaths. The youth do not have access to age-appropriate sexuality education and compassionate healthcare, creating a vicious cycle of poverty. COVID-19 has exacerbated this issue. Young people cannot leave their homes, and government workers are focused on the COVID-19 response.
It is urgent to address the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic on women's and girls' health. ROH has tried and tested programmes that work. They have been able to reach more women and adolescents every year.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to increasing online access to reproductive health information for Filipinos.
In 2020, ROH reached a total of 3.6 million social media users, providing young people with comprehensive sexual education in person and online, as well as non-judgmental, youth-friendly contraceptive services in communities. ROH also operates two clinics, including one designated specifically for young people aged 24 years old and below. In addition, ROH trains key stakeholders to remove barriers to youth accessing services.
SFE (Service Fraternel d'Entraide) (Laos)
SFE is a French non-governmental organisation created in 1998 in Montbéliard. They have been established in the Lao People's Democratic Republic for more than 20 years with the mission to serve the most vulnerable populations.
SFE implements projects in 3 areas:
- Support to the medical system to improve the quality of care offered to the entire local population;
- Community development projects to improve the living conditions of underprivileged populations;
- Inclusion of people with disabilities based on the "Community-Based Inclusive Development" approach.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the TerraCare Project: access to clean water, hygiene, and sanitation education for the poorest in southern Laos.
This project aims to provide access to safe drinking water and hygiene and sanitation education for the poorest families in rural areas of the four southern provinces of Laos, to improve the health and living conditions of the beneficiaries.
This project is a partnership with the local social enterprise TerraClear Production (TCP). It will enable 10,000 low-income families to purchase a ceramic water filter at a price they can afford (€5 instead of €45). These families will also attend at least five hygiene and sanitation awareness sessions.
This project aims to make a lasting change in the daily lives of these families through a reduced prevalence of disease and reduced dependence on boiling and bottled water. The project also reduces gender and social inequalities, as water collection is typically a woman's job, and has a positive environmental impact from decreased wood burning.
SOLIDARITE EAU SUD (Burkina Faso)
Solidarité Eau Sud aims to sustain rural communities’ development in southern countries by improving access to drinkable water and sanitation to decrease hydric diseases.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels's funding is helping provide access to drinkable water and sanitation for 105 homes, i.e. 600 children under 14 and 400 adults.
To this end, Solidarité Eau Sud and its partner SEEPAT will dig two new wells and install four manual pumps for human consumption and irrigation. Hundreds of restrooms will be installed for hygiene, one in each home.
ULiège Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (Belgium)
Integrated into the University of Liège, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech is a centre of expertise in life sciences and biological engineering, recognised internationally for the quality of its teaching and the excellence of its research. It trains academics and engineers to meet the challenges facing society in environmental protection on the one hand, and production, processing, and enhancement of bioresources on the other hand.
In 2020, an experimental farm started a long-term experiment with four innovative rotations representing a gradient of diets based on the EAT-Lancet recommendations to test if such co-evolutions of agricultural and contrasting food systems are consistent or compete with one another in terms of food security, and agronomical and environmental objectives. The resilience of such systems to severe droughts and extreme rainfalls must be quantified to assess the feasibility and sustainability of these new production systems and to assess their resilience under future climate conditions.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels’s grant is providing funding for the PhD student engaged on the project to continue monitoring for one more year.
The Face-to-Face Project (Malawi)
Since 2006, the Face-to-Face Project (F2F) has pioneered on-the-ground programs recognising the realities of hunger and poverty and guiding families to take small, safe steps toward improving their lives.
F2F believes people can break the cycle of poverty by developing a self-reliant mindset and reducing their dependence on monoculture maize. By creating high-yield, no-cost organic victory gardens, families stop relying on one commercial crop and learn to grow food at home. This allows them to save money by not buying inputs or vegetables, to increase income by selling surplus produce, and to improve nutrition. Currently, 72,000 people benefit from 16,000 gardens, a sign that thousands of families are improving their quality of life one step at a time.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the Victory Garden Campaign in Central Malawi.
The campaign aims to increase the number of families with victory gardens and quantify how gardens strengthen community resilience.
These organic home gardens simultaneously cultivate 30 to 40 kinds of vegetables, herbs, shrubs, and trees, focusing on plant diversity. The gardens feed families and help them save money, lower their debt, generate income, boost nutrition, and reduce risk. Communities report higher school attendance, a decrease in child malnutrition and crime, more village banking groups, and more development projects such as borehole and bridge repairs.
The SENSE Foundation Brussels’s grant will enable F2F to achieve a 133% increase over 3 years.
The Virunga Foundation (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Virunga National Park is part of the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), an institution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in charge of managing protected areas countrywide. Located in eastern DRC, Virunga is Africa's oldest national park. One of the DRC's five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the park is known for its wildlife-rich network of forests, savannas, rivers, lakes, marshlands, active and dormant volcanoes, and permanent glaciers. It is also famous for being home to about 200 critically endangered mountain gorillas.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the project for the protection and preservation of Mt. Tshiaberimu, one of Virunga's most treasured yet lesser-known biodiversity hotspots.
The population of eastern lowland gorillas on Mt. Tshiaberimu is cut off from the larger population to the west of the park. As of 2021, only six individuals remain, effectively rendering Mt. Tshiaberimu gorillas the smallest population of gorillas in the world. Without intervention, this population will not survive. The park must provide this area with intense protection by re-establishing ranger operations, infrastructure, research, and vet services.
SENSE Foundation Brussels's grant will help the Virunga Foundation build a STOL (short take-off and landing) airstrip and aeroplane hangar. The airstrip will be appropriate for the park's fleet of light fixed-wing aircraft, which are critical for quickly reaching rugged terrain and at a reduced cost than heavier aircraft.
WECF France is the French branch of WECF, Women Engage for a Common Future, an international network of over 150 grassroots women's environmental and health organisations, implementing projects in 50 countries and advocating globally for a healthy environment for all with a focus on gender equality. WECF France promotes gender equality and environmental protection, sustainable development, the fight against climate change, environmental health, and local growth by prioritising the local specificity and the role of women.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to the project "FAREDEIC - Argan and Rural Women Committed to Inclusive Economic Development and Climate" in Morocco.
This project contributes to the inclusive and climate-resilient development of the territories in Morocco. It recognises women's role in the energy transition. It is meant for rural women organised in cooperatives to produce and process agricultural or fishery raw materials, as well as for young women graduates looking for employment.
SENSE Foundation Brussels's support is making it possible to sustainably set up the Agadir cooperative, financing the manufacturing and installation of 120 solar cookers in 3 schools (700 students) located in isolated regions with limited access to electricity. It is helping promote the use of renewable energy in the daily life of rural populations and participating in the emergence of a local market for the cooperative.
The NGO Autre Terre contributes to improving the quality of life of disadvantaged populations all over the world, through the development of social entrepreneurship initiatives in agroecology and waste management.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels provided a grant to the project led by Autre Terre and its local partner, Le Baobab, enabling 4,000 vulnerable producers in Burkina Faso to fight climate change through the creation and protection of natural areas, the restoration of degraded land and technical training.
Bayon Education and Development (Cambodia)
The Bayon School supports 400 beneficiaries in Cambodia through education, a primary school which is free of charge, social and family support, sustainable agriculture, professional training, hygiene, health and food.
SENSE Foundation Brussels’s grant enabled the Bayon School to invest in sand filters for 85 families and train families to use them through a partnership with the Water For Cambodia Association.
With this grant, the Bayon School also installed 45 toilets for families who have no access to latrines.
The Centre KASALA is a non-profit organisation providing medical, psychological and social support in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. This centre contributes to sustainable development and the fight against poverty in the region, by supporting school projects through holistic interventions.
In 2020/2021, thanks to the support of SENSE Foundation Brussels, the Centre KASALA provided water to the SAIO primary school, allowing the school’s 1,200 students to have access to drinking water at school. In addition, the project supported students with psychosocial and socioeconomic difficulties so they can stay in school and keep learning, thanks to the support of psychologists and volunteer social workers.
La Ferme de Froidmont Insertion (Belgium)
A non-profit social enterprise, the Ferme de Froidmont Insertion tackles the challenges of training and work, environmental protection and energy-efficient housing. Each year, 30 adults are trained to become kitchen assistants or organic gardeners. In order to meet Belgian demand, a dozen more market gardeners need to be trained. This will enable the organisation to self-finance the training in the long term.
In 2020/2021, the support of SENSE Foundation Brussels allowed for the installation of a third greenhouse and its irrigation, making it possible to grow and train there every year from February to December.
Especially in 2021, when the crops were impacted by the July floods, the greenhouse protected a significant part of the production from diseases and allowed the trainees to train under cover. Working from garden to plate, all production goes to restaurants, markets and vegetable boxes. Unsold produce is processed for use in the restaurant. The employment rate was 90% in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, 22,000 hours of actual training were completed.
La Vie-là is the "patient house" open to all cancer patients treated at the Clinique Saint-Pierre in Ottignies, Belgium, and at nearby hospitals. This house of recovery provides comprehensive care according to the principle of integrative medicine.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels’s grant supported La Vie-là’s work to improve the patients’ quality of life by reducing stress, depression and chronic pain and by improving their tolerance to treatments, while also encouraging social interactions through the many workshops and meetings in the house.
This holistic approach aims to reduce the cancer recurrence rate by improving compliance with treatments, encouraging healthy behaviours (such as exercise, healthy diet, mindfulness, relaxation therapy) and thereby improving immunity.
PermaFungi is a pioneer underground urban agriculture project utilising circular economy and founded in Brussels in 2014. This social cooperative recycles coffee grounds into various products: oyster mushrooms, innovative organic material, and compost.
PermaFungi improves cities' resilience by developing the local economy, minimising fossil fuels, creating meaningful and sustainable jobs for undervalued people in the job market, and recycling waste.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels's grant enabled PermaFungi to improve the technical layout of its production rooms to ensure financial autonomy.
This improvement has allowed PermaFungi to increase its production capacity, demonstrating that its model is sustainable without compromising its social and environmental impact while operating on a participatory governance model.
SOS Faim incubates sustainable agricultural projects, promoting an agroecological transition and strengthening rural areas’ economic and food autonomy. With partners, SOS Faim builds a more sustainable future globally, where people participate in a healthy and virtuous food system.
In 2020/2021, SOS Faim enabled the energy and ecological autonomy of rural families in Burkina Faso by building 16 new biodigesters and conducting maintenance work on 43 already installed biodigesters.
These technical devices use a natural fermentation process to transform animal excrements or other organic residues into biogas. This biogas replaces wood for cooking and can also be used for lighting. The collected compost is used as a natural fertiliser, with a double benefit: it is free and it allows for better crop yields. One of SOS Faim’s partners, USCCPA, has had an impact on 1,007 farmers, also distributing productive equipment, training and agricultural advice for cereals such as sorghum and cowpea, and through the group marketing of these products.
The MARE Foundation (Baltic Sea)
The MARE Foundation protects marine ecosystems through social and political changes, promotes the sustainable use of the coastal and marine resources and raises public awareness on environmental matters. It carries out projects on sustainable fisheries, shipwreck management, and marine litter as well as other topics related to the marine environment, education and raising society's environmental awareness.
In 2020/2021, with SENSE Foundation Brussels’s support, the MARE Foundation worked to reduce the possibility of an ecological disaster in the Gdansk Bay through the preparation of an environmentally safe oil recovery plan for the Franken shipwreck.
The Franken, which may still contain up to 1.5 million litres of oil, is considered to pose the biggest ecological threat in the region and was thus chosen as a model case for this pilot project.
The support from the SENSE Foundation Brussels was used by the MARE Foundation to:
- Publish the general methodology of oil removal operations from shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea, forming the basis of a Wreck Management Programme in Poland;
- Organise the project’s closing conference online, during which the methodology was presented to a number of international experts;
- Organise advocacy meetings to increase the stakeholders’ knowledge about the issue of potentially dangerous shipwrecks in the Baltic.
One of the most important results of the project was the audit carried out by the Supreme Audit Office in Poland.
The Urban Ecology Center (Belgium)
The Urban Ecology Centre aims to increase Brussels's food resilience by boosting its social innovations and facilitating complex partnerships with diverse stakeholders through transformative projects, including soil decontamination, the circularisation of urban green waste, and participatory fruit tree planting. The centre also aims to provide education through debates, radio broadcasts, guided botanical walks, etc.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels provided funds to the Citizen Nursery (Pépinière Citoyenne), a participatory project aiming to (re)connect Brussels's inhabitants with fruit trees.
As well as the widespread planting of fruit trees in Brussels, the project also provided training to manage fruit trees and shrubs.
The benefits of the project are visible at various levels: it provides individuals with a stronger social dimension, knowledge sharing and a close connection with nature, which is known to improve well-being and mental health. On a more general level, the project supports the conservation of old varieties of fruit trees as part of the society's cultural heritage. It also contributes to creating a more edible city. From an environmental point of view, the project promotes the city's biodiversity, the landscape quality and the aesthetics of public space while contributing to reducing urban heat islands.
The Good Food strategy, which the Citizen Nursery project is a part of, has made it possible to launch a dynamic transition of the food system in the Brussels Region towards more sustainability. From 2022, the Good Food 2.0 strategy will be anchored in a systemic, territorial, metropolitan, social, resilient and decompartmentalised vision.
World Duchenne Organization (South and Central America, South Asia, Africa)
The World Duchenne Organization/UPPMD is the largest, most influential and impactful patient organisation for rare diseases. It is dedicated to improving quality of care, the development of medicines, and access to innovative therapies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy/Becker Muscular Dystrophy (DMD/BMD) patients.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels supported the World Duchenne Organization/UPPMD in empowering patients with DMD and their families in South America, South Asia and Africa, educating and mentoring patient advocates while supporting the launch, development and sustainability of new patient organisations.
The Lebanese Hospital Geitaoui - UMC (Lebanon)
The Lebanese Hospital Geitaoui, UMC, one of the first hospitals in Lebanon, is a multidisciplinary care hospital, with a mission to treat all patients regardless of race, class or creed.
SENSE Foundation Brussels supported The Lebanese Hospital Geitaoui to face difficulties encountered following the explosion of August 4, 2020 at the port of Beirut. Just 1.3 km away from the blast location, this hospital was one of the worst affected by the explosion. SENSE Foundation Brussel’s support helped with the overall operations of taking care of the wounded, cleaning the site and purchasing emergency equipment.
Medics Without Vacation asbl (Belgium)
For many hospitals in Africa, offering quality healthcare is a major challenge. There are various reasons for this: lack of facilities, limited training opportunities, a restrict supply of medicines, and more. But everyone should have the right to quality healthcare.
This is why Medics Without Vacation, a Belgian NGO, is entering into sustainable partnerships with 37 hospitals in five African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Medics Without Vacation assist their partner hospitals in the long term, so that they can offer high-quality healthcare to their patients.
SENSE Foundation Brussels supported the procurement of medical equipment, following an outbreak of the Ebola virus in the region in August 2019. The organisation was able to purchase and use 50 thermometers to quickly detect fever outbreaks, 56 large parasols and tents to shelter infected patients, including at the Kavumu airport and at border checkpoints, as well as 50 handwashing devices. These devices have been set up in public areas like open air markets to encourage hand washing among the local population.
This equipment has also proved useful in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak in the region in 2020.
Re-Source CHIREC Delta Center asbl (Belgium)
Re-Source is the first comprehensive support centre for cancer patients and their loved ones in the Brussels Region.
The centre offers a warm space where they can be listened to and receive psychological support.
Through a broad program of activities complementing conventional oncology care, the association encourages the patient to become an active participant in their own healing process.
This support, inspired by the principles of integrative medicine, revolves around 4 main pillars: Being, Moving, Eating, Sharing.
In 2019, SENSE Foundation Brussels supported Re-Source in the refurbishment of its holistic support centre in Brussels.