Barefoot College International’s mission is to demystify, democratise and decentralise technology, education & skills to foster self-sufficiency and sustainability among those living in rural poverty.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the Fiji Barefoot College Vocational Training Centre (Fiji BVTC) to train six women to become "Barefoot Women Solar Engineers".
Each of them will install, maintain, and repair solar equipment in the houses of participating communities. In addition, the Fiji BVTC will educate women in digital and financial literacy, environmental stewardship, reproductive and women’s health, civil and human rights, and microenterprise and entrepreneurial skills.
Across 38 sites in Ontario, Canada, and in 26 different communities, the Collège Boréal offers quality training and services to a diverse body of students. At the heart of the communities it serves, the Collège provides leadership to fulfil the potential and ensure the sustainable development of Ontario’s Francophone communities.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting the development of the Multicultural Scholarship Programme. This Programme aims at facilitating access to postsecondary education for students from minority groups and allowing them the same opportunities in a professional and exciting new career so they can become a great asset to their communities.
The fund and non-profit association L'Instrument du musicien helps young musicians from the French-speaking Belgian Conservatories to acquire their string instruments. A good instrument is essential for any student's academic curriculum and decisive to take part in an orchestral competition. Pending the purchase of their instrument, the fund makes quality instruments available to them.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to the purchase of a cello and a violin by the fund.
Geomoun supports local projects focused on enforcing children's rights in Haiti and Peru. It aims to strengthen all agents of civil and state society. In Belgium, Geomoun promotes the right to children’s participation through projects encouraging reflection, openness, and commitment to being an agent of change.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels supported Geomoun to give 440 hours of training in professional agricultural technology to 30 vulnerable young single mothers in South-East Haiti.
These women also received 5 days of training in entrepreneurship and kits to help them start their activity. This training is an income-generating activity that develops their self-confidence and entrepreneurial spirit. Psychological and health support was offered to the participants, through consultations and the distribution of free medicines. After the training, young people got together to work and set up small projects (goat breeding, egg production, vegetable garden). Most of the beneficiaries now have a small income-generating activity.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is renewing its contribution to Geomoun, supporting the future of 25 young Beninese women through vocational training for vulnerable girls, girl mothers, and girls in difficult situations, and helping them find or set up their small business.
Today, genetic diseases affect more than 3 million people in France, most of them children. With more than 30,000 new cases every year, genetic diseases are a public health issue that affects us all. Institut Imagine, a University Hospital Institute ("IHU") for Genetic Diseases, aims to improve our knowledge about genetic diseases and offer better innovative care to patients, from childhood to adulthood.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to the MD-PhD Programme.
At Imagine, developing and sharing knowledge has always been a mission in and of itself. The MD-PhD Programme contributes to this mission. It is open to young physicians who have already obtained a master’s degree in research. It allows them to complete their training in one of Imagine's 28 research laboratories through the necessary funding for a scientific thesis under scientific or academic supervision by the Institute. Therefore, the MD-PhD Programme gives young doctors wishing to build an academic project the chance to train in the best possible way, and hone and develop their skills and knowledge in contact with eminent researchers. It aims to attract new talents and train the best scientists of tomorrow to meet emerging needs in research and care for children with genetic diseases.
Imperial College London is an exceptional university with a global reputation for teaching and research across four disciplines: engineering, medicine, science and business. Consistently ranked within the top three universities in the UK and Europe, and the top ten worldwide, Imperial attracts the very best students and academics from across the world.
Imperial’s Department of Life Sciences is one of the largest departments of its kind in Europe, with over 100 academic staff, 180 research fellows and post-docs, and over 1,300 students. Ranked 2nd in the UK, the department’s undergraduate and postgraduate teaching activities run along two strands – biochemistry and biological sciences – and support a diverse student body comprised of approximately 60% female students and over 60% of students from outside the UK.
Over the next few years, SENSE Foundation Brussels’s support will include a scholarship for undergraduates, individual and group prizes for undergraduates and postgraduates, and a hardship fund, a vital lifeline for students struggling to meet the costs of living whilst studying.
For example, in 2020 and again in 2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels awarded 3 undergraduate prizes to students demonstrating outstanding performance and contribution to the Life Sciences.
KIYO focuses on youth empowerment in Belgium, Burundi, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Morocco and the Philippines. KIYO works with local partners who are experts in empowering young people between 12 and 25 years old through sports, inclusive theatre, formal education, and more.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels’s support enabled KIYO to help 290 excluded youth from North and South Kivu (DRC) towards economic empowerment.
Together with its local partner ADED, KIYO promoted agriculture as a sustainable source of income for young people, especially girls, by organising training on agro-entrepreneurship. The project had a crucial impact on the lives of young people, as it helped them to move out of poverty. Five learning centres were set up to provide 290 young people with training in agro-entrepreneurship and to help them obtain their own land. Four advocacy activities on women's access to agricultural land were organised, to help overcome discrimination. Sixteen cooperatives, including a Village Savings and Credit Association with a social component to support the most vulnerable youth, were established. These cooperatives provided resources for harvesting, processing, and storage. Four awareness-raising sessions on children's and women's rights in the agricultural sector were held, reaching 342 people.
This Public Interest Foundation works in the field of education, set up by experienced professionals from the business world. It champions quality education that inspires, trains and motivates young people to combine professional success with a positive impact on society, ultimately contributing to solving our major environmental and societal issues. Make It Happen is implementing a program in high schools to enable students to imagine solutions to societal and environmental concerns, based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This program, based on collective intelligence methodology, provides students from both privileged and less privileged backgrounds with the skills and attitude required to play a positive role in society.
In 2019, SENSE Foundation Brussels supported the Make It Happen Trophy, a competition for innovative projects proposed by young students, expressing their vision of tomorrow’s society.
Thanks to the grant, Make It Happen Foundation was able to hire facilitators who guided more than 250 young people in imagining, defining and presenting their project, aligned with the UN SDGs.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is donating to the You-Coach Initiative.
You-Coach is a programme offered to Belgian secondary schools, enabling them to develop tutoring amongst their students, thus reducing school dropout. The objective is to get good students in any given school subject to coach their peers who are struggling in that subject. You-Coach is a turnkey programme that provides schools with the know-how and a web-based platform to develop successful tutoring among their students. The overall objective is to enable five schools to launch and operate a You-Coach tutoring programme every year.
The Royal College of Music (RCM) is the top-performing arts institution in the UK and Europe. The College is committed to music’s transformative power and its founding principles of excellence, advocacy, and access. They embrace the ideals of an inclusive, open, and just society, supporting students from diverse backgrounds. The Royal College of Music trains the most gifted music students from around the world for careers as performers, conductors, and composers.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is contributing to the RCM Scholarships Fund: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Scholarships, enabling the College to assist more than half of its students financially.
This support is all the more critical in the context of the pandemic, which has left many RCM students in great financial difficulty. The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Scholarships provide life-changing opportunities, positively impacting the RCM and the classical music industry more broadly with a myriad of voices, cultures, and talents.
SIBAT Inc. is a duly registered NGO advocating for appropriate technology that is pro-people, and whose immediate goal is for the disadvantaged communities to experience energy, water, and food security.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels’s grant is supporting food production through climate-resilient sustainable agriculture for small farmers.
SIBAT will teach farmers sustainable agriculture and climate change orientation, diversified and integrated farming systems and farm planning, soil fertility management with biofertilizer production and vermiculture, seed technology and seed banking, alternative pest management, a system of rice intensification or adlai cultivation trial and production, and organic vegetable production. Specifically, a climate-resilient crop, adlai, will be introduced as a more nutritious alternative to rice as a staple crop. SIBAT will also design and build an adlai processing/milling machine and help market the surplus adlai from the farmers.
Sipar has been working actively with underprivileged populations in Cambodia for 40 years, concentrating its activity on developing reading and education through the accessibility of books and the fight against illiteracy. Today in Cambodia, young people between the ages of 15 and 20 have very limited access to decent work opportunities and are still often confined to jobs in the informal economy.
With the support of the SENSE Brussels Foundation, in 2021/2022, Sipar aims to improve the employment prospects and civic engagement of rural Cambodian youth, in a post-Covid-19 context.
To this end, Sipar will set up libraries with multimedia orientation spaces in 15 provincial high schools, support the strengthening of a network of 23 grassroots youth organisations, and produce and disseminate personal development and orientation tools.
Universify Education champions educational equality, helping to build a fairer society through social mobility by tackling underrepresentation at university, making its benefits accessible to all. Universify works with UK school students from underrepresented groups. It helps them increase their aspirations, reach academic success and, in all likelihood, successfully apply to a highly selective university.
In 2021/2022, SENSE Foundation Brussels is supporting Universify's specialised year-long programme, enabling the organisation to deliver its tailored programme to more students.
The programme supports young people from underrepresented backgrounds experiencing financial hardship and at risk of not fulfilling their potential. It empowers them to thrive in education and the wider world, equipping them with the knowledge, grades, and self-belief to make informed decisions about their future and follow them through. Universify organises a week-long summer school at Oxford or Cambridge University, monthly 1:1 coaching for a year, and an intensive revision residential to boost GCSE attainment and explore career paths.
SENSE Foundation Brussels's grant enables an additional 30 students to attend the programme. It also helps Universify keep making a difference for vulnerable young people, increasing their access to the life-changing opportunity of higher education, and powering social mobility in the UK to build a fairer society for all.
CentraleSupélec, a public institution specialising in scientific, cultural and professional studies, was created by the merging of École Centrale Paris and Supélec in January 2015.
Today, CentraleSupélec consists of 3 campuses in France. It has 4,300 students, 3,200 of which are engineering students, and includes 16 laboratories or research teams.
CentraleSupélec is a reference centre in the field of engineering sciences and systems and a leading school in higher education and research, ranked among the best institutions in the world. CentraleSupélec is a founding member of Paris-Saclay University and chairs the École Centrale Group.
Since 2019, SENSE Foundation Brussels funds 2 Sebastienne Guyot grants, which support female students in their engineering degrees at CentraleSupelec.
They target motivated candidates facing financial difficulties and provide them with the best conditions possible to succeed in their studies.
L'Ecole à l'Hôpital et à Domicile brings together and supervises approximately 450 volunteer teachers who are ready to help sick children to continue their schooling despite being away from school. With the support of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, volunteers go to the hospital or to the young person's home, free of charge for the families.
In 2020/2021, thanks to a SENSE Foundation Brussels grant, l’Ecole à l’Hôpital was able to help more children to stay up-to-date with their schoolwork and to maintain their cognitive skills.
Furthermore, it allowed these children and their families to think of something other than their illness.
Jeunesses Scientifiques’s objective is to inspire young people with an interest in science and the world around them. The organisation contributes to the training and scientific culture of tomorrow’s adults by giving them the means to be active and informed citizens. The association is open for everyone to participate, regardless of their financial resources or difficulties. The activities are inclusive, from a social and gender perspective, thus participating in the fight against prejudice and social exclusion.
In 2020/2021, with the support of SENSE Brussels Foundation, the "Classes de dépaysement" offered schools with limited financial resources the possibility to enrol their pupils in a community-life project including scientific activities, for a maximum duration of 5 days.
Fifty children were able to take part in these "change of scenery" classes, suddenly making science fun and hands-on. Activities were organised around the following themes: introduction to programming and Arduino, notions of infinitely large and infinitely small, animal tracks, identification and collection of green materials for plant crafts, what is sound, how do animals see and what do they see, introduction to magnetism and electrical circuits, the impact of humans on their environment, how to make electric batteries with coins, how to use flint. These activities allowed teachers to tackle scientific subjects that they usually think are out of their reach. It was formative for the teachers, who were involved in the project from its inception.
Lively Minds is an NGO working towards getting rural pre-schoolers in Ghana and Uganda "school-ready". The first six years of a child’s life are vital in developing the skills needed to succeed in school and in future life. But rural children in Uganda do not get the care and education they need to build those skills, and this adverse start has knock-on effects throughout their lives.
During the COVID-19-related school closures, the Lively Minds beneficiaries in rural communities were at risk of becoming ever more isolated, without the support to deliver early childhood care and education for children in their most crucial development years. The organisation created a radio show, Lively Minds Together (LMT), for rural parents across the Busoga region (Uganda), supporting them to deliver effective ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) at home.
The parenting episodes teach practical and cost-free ways to provide nurturing care at home. Topics have included handwashing, disability, nutrition, and communication. In the weekly play episodes, parents learn cost-free and straightforward educational games to play with their children at home.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels’s support enabled Lively Minds to develop 32 brand new radio episodes and to broadcast 156 episodes, including 32 live phone-in sessions, reaching a total of 400,000 households in 2021.
Here is what some listeners said about the programme:
“It’s very good for us to teach our children equal roles, regardless of their gender. This brightens their future”.
“I have learned with my children that disability is not inability. We should treat individuals with disabilities as fellow humans without discriminating against them”.
Right To Play is an international humanitarian and development organisation that has pioneered a unique play-based approach to protecting, educating, and empowering children and young people to rise above adversity. Its mission is to use the transformative power of play to overcome the challenging effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities. Founded in 2000, Right To Play works with over 2.3 million children and young people in over 15 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels supported Restoring Hope for Education (ReHopE), a two-year program implemented in provinces in Mozambique hit by Cyclone Idai in March 2019.
The program aims to improve access to and quality of education and school safety for over 26,250 children aged 3 to 11.
Menstrual hygiene has been one of the target areas in the ReHopE project, for lack of proper menstrual hygiene is one of the main reasons for girls dropping out of school.
The ReHopE project has added significant value to Mozambique’s society and its people. While education is a long-term investment, it is associated with a wide range of positive outcomes, including better health and well-being, improved employability, greater political interest, and enhanced tolerance and gender equality.
For example, the project has improved access to and quality of education directly for 2,141 children and indirectly for over 60,000 children. Right To Play has trained 52 primary school teachers and 452 kindergarten facilitators in integrating gender-responsive play-based learning and psychosocial support into their teaching practices. Right To Play has also provided all teachers and the most vulnerable children with the appropriate materials and resources to support their teaching and positive learning outcomes.
This project has also contributed to empowering at least 500 women, who took on roles traditionally taken up by men. For example, multiple mothers participated in the building of temporary learning spaces. Women became role models to each other as they saw their peers working in areas that were considered to be "male work areas".
Finally, the building of the temporary learning spaces has allowed Right To Play to respond to environmental crises in the cyclone-hit provinces Sofala and Manica. These provinces experience three or more cyclones a year, culminating in the partial or often total destruction of education infrastructures, causing children to attend classes outdoors. During this project, the targeted area was hit by a cyclone, which caused delays in accessing most target locations and in putting together temporary learning spaces. Temporary learning spaces will ensure that children enjoy some level of protection from strong winds, the cold and the rain. Also, thanks to these temporary learning spaces, younger children will no longer need to walk long distances to school like they used to.
The Rural Water Supply Network is a global network of more than 12,000 rural water professionals from 169 countries and 90 organisations. It facilitates access to the information needed by professionals to provide a sustainable and reliable water supply. The network’s objective is to provide sufficient, affordable and safe water within a reasonable distance of rural homes so that everyone, everywhere, can live a dignified and healthy life.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels’s support enabled the RWSN Secretariat to conduct another cycle of the RWSN Mentoring Programme, matching mentors and mentees from around the world to help young professionals to develop their careers in the water sector and focus on two aspects: the inclusion of women and the use of the PushFar platform.
This mentoring cycle focused on including women of all ages in the "mentee" category, following feedback received from numerous women who had wanted to take part in the mentoring programme but did not fit the "young professional" category. Currently, 54% of the mentees are female. Some of the concrete outcomes mentioned by the mentees include enrolling in a PhD programme, improving their CVs and motivation letters for job applications, pushing their careers further, gaining confidence, and developing their professional networks. The programme has also added value to the mentors, who mentioned having been able to improve their mentoring skills, exchange experiences, and refresh their skills and knowledge through the RWSN Mentoring Programme.
In addition, and for the first time, the Rural Water Supply Network used the online mentoring platform PushFar. This platform helped improve the quality of the mentoring relationship for all parties: 100% of the mentees thought they were a good or quite a good match for their mentors, an improvement from 2020, where 83% of mentees had been satisfied with their mentors.
The mid-year assessment survey conducted by RWSN also showed that 100% of the respondents were satisfied or quite satisfied with their mentoring relationship and their participation in the mentoring programme, in contrast to 89% in 2020.
The University of Oxford is one of the world’s leading universities and is internationally renowned for the quality of its research and teaching in Medical Sciences and Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Materials Science. Academics undertake both fundamental research and cutting-edge applied work. Research conducted at Oxford tackles major societal and technological challenges. The university also holds the Athena Swan Awards, illustrating its commitment to ensuring good practices to encourage gender diversity in science at all levels.
Oxford’s Medical Science researchers work across the full range of biomedical and clinical sciences, seeking to drive forward research into both basic science and translational medicine. Through close collaboration with the UK National Health Service, researchers seek to develop clinical solutions to urgent healthcare needs such as improved cancer treatment. Oxford’s researchers in Chemistry, Materials Science, and Biological Sciences are known for their excellence and expertise across a wide range of innovative areas, from addressing antibiotic resistance to understanding plant pathogens, to drug discovery and nanochemistry.
SENSE Foundation Brussels has renewed its support to Oxford University by providing Mobility Awards and hardship funds for students enrolled in the Division of Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences and in the Division of Medical Sciences.
TAJO is a non-profit organisation offering hundreds of disadvantaged young people in Ghent, Belgium, a three-year journey of Saturday experience workshops. TAJO aims to broaden their participants’ networks and help them acquire self-knowledge, confidence and resilience. Guest lecturers teach engaging workshops in a broad range of disciplines such as healthcare, law, nutrition, safety, STEM, entrepreneurship, and culture.
In 2020/2021, SENSE Foundation Brussels provided TAJO with funding to extend access to the organisation's activities to two additional underprivileged neighbourhoods, allowing the NGO to reach out to more motivated young people.
TAJO currently works with 195 young people in 3 districts in Ghent. Three other groups started in October 2021, engaging 85 more young people through 96 experiential workshops, thanks to 96 new professionals joining the TAJO network.
11% of pupils do not obtain a secondary education diploma in Flanders. In Ghent, the most recent figures show that 19.9% of young people do not get a secondary education diploma, which influences these pupils' later professional opportunities and income (source: Flemish government, 2020). With this project, TAJO is adding value to the youth and their families. The annual impact meeting in collaboration with the Department of Educational Sciences of Ghent University shows that TAJO is fulfilling its ambition.
AgroParisTech is a higher education and research institute (“Grande Ecole”) which aims to address some of the main global challenges of the 21st century: feeding a growing population while sustainably managing territories, preserving natural resources, supporting innovation and integrating the bioeconomy.
The AgroParisTech Foundation puts the work of AgroParisTech into practice. The Foundation brings a financial and educational sponsorship to projects through three programs: Apprendre! S’Engager! Entreprendre!
In 2019/2020, SENSE Foundation Brussels supported the Learners' program (Apprendre) through 2 grants for international students from Brazil, 2 mobility grants for French government grant holders, as well as 4 emergency grants, which aimed to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
La Cambre is one of Belgium’s leading art and design schools. Founded in 1927 by the architect and designer Henry van de Velde, the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels of La Cambre (ENSAV) has nearly 650 students in 18 different departments: ceramics, animation, drawing, urban design, printmaking, painting, photography, sculpture, and fine art conservation & restoration. Its design departments include industrial and textile design, book design and bookbinding, interior design, set design, fashion and accessories design, as well as graphic and visual communication and typography.
SENSE Foundation Brussels supported the school's International Fund, enabling students to pursue projects abroad. In January 2021, students from the ENSAV La Cambre completed a month-long mission in Deir el Medina, Egypt, to work on the restoration of several ancient tombs.
Created in 1962, INSAS is a public university college in performing arts, specialising in audiovisual and theatre studies.
In 2019/2020, SENSE Foundation Brussels provided bursaries for the new Certificat en Danse programme that started in January 2020, organised in partnership with La Cambre (ENSAV) and Charleroi Danse. The Foundation also created a ‘Fond Coup de Pouce’, providing financial support to Master’s students finishing degrees in sound engineering, image, editing/scripting, film directing, theatre and communication techniques, to help them get their next project off the ground.
TADA is a 100% bilingual (NL/FR) non-profit organisation that offers weekend classes to children aged 10 to 14, living in Brussels' most socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
The objectives of TADA are to help these children improve their prospects and open up to new opportunities, to acquire self-confidence, life skills, and a sense of belonging within Belgian society.
In 2019, SENSE Foundation Brussels’ support helped TADA open 2 new weekend schools, one in Molenbeek and one in Schaerbeek, thus reaching and coaching 122 new children in the TADA’s network.
The grant also helped TADA in its work to prevent young people from dropping out of school: among the young people supported, 9 out of 10 continue in their education and show clear progress in their development and learning. This is much better than the average estimated in various studies of their peers in similar socio-economic circumstances.
With 31,000 students, the UCLouvain is the largest university in French-speaking Belgium and ranks in the top 15% of universities worldwide. Its 21 research institutes, 38 technology platforms, two university hospitals and three science parks home almost 300 companies and are a testament to its research prowess. UCLouvain contributes cutting-edge research and innovation in collaboration with both the corporate world and broader society.
In 2019/2020, SENSE Foundation Brussels supported staff at the Louvain Institute of Biomolecular Science and Technology. SENSE Foundation Brussels also provided the UCL with emergency grants for students facing hardship, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.