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Some international students perceive the Flemish as distant and cool, like weather in winter. However, if you learn to know these rigid Dutch-speaking Belgians, and they learn to know you, you may discover their charming ‘summer inside’. The week before Christmas this inner warmth is revealed all over Flanders and Brussels in a huge charity event: the Warmest Week of Music for Life.
It all started out 11 years ago with three presenters of radio station Studio Brussels, locked up in a glass house for a week. Music for Life started out as a simple song request. You could pay for your favourite song on the radio as a donation for a good cause.
The Warmest Week lights the charity bonfire
The huge success of the campaign activated a lot of people. Now it has become a custom to set up a lot of creative events to raise money for charity. Some people bake waffles, others organise a quiz. All over Flanders and Brussels a lot of activities are being organised, and a lot of solidarity and generosity appears in the streets and squares. In the week before Christmas, people come to announce the sum of their raised money at the central festival, which will be held for the first time in a nice provincial town called Wachtebeke.
In the beginning, Music for Life had one year theme, hosted by one NGO. Later the festival became more diverse. Nowadays, multiple organisations enlist themselves as a good cause. Organisers can choose which project they want to raise money for.
#VUBforlife and Villa Samson
Over the past few years, a lot of VUB students and staff have organised charity events on campus. To give them more visibility, VUB has started a VUBforlife website. As a warm university we have to be present in the Warmest Week. The rector calls students and staff to create as many charity events as possible. You can promote them in our media with #VUBforlife.
Organisers can pick a good cause of their preference. If you cannot choose, you could consider to select Villa Samson, a project by our university hospital that wants to help patients by offering them a relaxed space to meet their pets, or get consoling animal therapy.
More info on VUBforlife
Students that want to set up an activity, but do not know how, can always turn to the Student Information Hub for help.