Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Brussels Continued

Today, Executive Director Alaric Bien spent the morning in meetings at the King Baudouin Foundation, hosts for the Brussels exchange. Discussion focused on the role of religion in immigrant orientation, in addition to women's issues, health care and criminality in youth.

Presentations over lunch addressed the role of the media in the perceptions mainstream Belgians have of immigrants and what can be done to improve the situation. There was spirited debate with multiple points of view expressed from both the Belgian and US participants.

The afternoon spent visiting the municipality of Molenbeek, which has one of the highest concentrations of immigrants in the country. Services provided by a quasi-governmental social service agency were presented as well as an introduction to the Belgian social welfare system.

Later, the group visited Motonge, the center of the African community, which like many places throughout the world is becoming gentrified and losing its unique character. The lively discussion continued over dinner at an African restaurant featuring Congolese cuisine.

1 comment:

daphne said...

Thanks for posting.