About Foyer

Foyer is a non-profit with various sections that has been building a (more) intercultural society in Brussels for more than 50 years. Our services include intercultural mediation, advice about multilingualism and education, a range of activities for young people and adults focusing on development and empowerment, and dialogue activities that encourage people to come together.   Our work is aimed at all citizens of Brussels.

Vision and Mission

Foyer works towards an inclusive society in which everyone can participate fully and in which everyone’s voice is heard.

To this end, Foyer commits itself to facilitating the self-development and resilience of Brussels residents with an immigrant background, with special attention to people with a vulnerable profile within this target group.

With several complementary and mutually reinforcing teams, we use our creativity and versatility to develop sustainable solutions with and for our target audience. To do so, we rely on solid expertise, but also respond flexibly to changing social circumstances.

While we always try to react quickly to needs and changes in society, our starting point is a long-term vision of an inclusive society shaped by its own members. Brussels is our lab, in which we experiment with innovative ways of working and new target groups, building on our decades-long experience and always in dialogue with our stakeholders. 

Foyer is a pluralistic organisation that is imbued at every level with a deep respect for diversity.

A snapshot of our initiatives

The “towering flower” in Foyer’s well-known logo is symbolic of our entire history. Since the clearing of buildings around Brussels North station in a flurry of construction in the late 1960s, our volunteers – and increasingly our team members too – have helped our activities to flourish. Our alternative social initiatives have put these shiny new tower blocks in the shade.

Driven by the characteristic enthusiasm of the times, it all began as a centre for youth work. That youth centre was forced to move from the North quarter to Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, where it fully bloomed.

At the beginning of the 1970s, children and young people came in huge numbers to Foyer, with its kitchen, film activities and of course the little zoo, complete with its own lion. This initial period of growth came to an end at the end of the decade.
A youth centre alone was no longer enough to deal with the social challenges of the day. Girls in migrant families were staying away once they reached puberty; some of the boys were turning to crime. Following a restructuring, it was time to grow again.

This renewed period of growth followed at the beginning of the 1980s, with the launch of our women’s network, Dar al Amal. The Foyer Training Centre was also created, for youngsters who had dropped out of school. The “Welcome” social service guaranteed individual guidance, and a series of bicultural, multilingual projects began in Dutch-language education in Brussels.

Hundreds of migrant pupils flourished thanks to these services, becoming multilingual citizens who easily found work. In the middle of the 1980s, Foyer helped popularise Dutch classes for low-skilled adults in the Dutch language centre for migrants.. The social service was joined by a respected legal service. Finally, we launched Intec Foyer, an IT training project for those with low skill levels. But activities that had grown so successfully could continue to grow without Foyer. CNM was therefore absorbed into adult education (by the current “Huis van het Nederlands”) and Intec Foyer became part of Intec Brussels.

In the 1990s an Intercultural Mediation Service for people of all ages was set up by Foyer.

The turn of the century brought even more activities, chief among them the Roma Service that empowered the Eastern European Roma and Traveller communities. The mission of Brussels Integration through Sport (BIS) was to allow locals with a migration background to get involved in sport and, wherever possible, to help them excel. Another new initiative was “Compass”, which provided integration courses for newcomers who didn’t speak the local language; it was eventually taken over by the Agency for Integration and Citizenship.

Three years before our 50th anniversary in 2019 – and at the request of the Foyer faithful – a Men’s Group was established, which complemented the existing practical activities of the Men’s Workshop with sport, debate and a friendly place to meet. And, on October 12th 2019 the MigratieMuseumMigration opened.

This is just the latest way in which Foyer has allowed a thousand flowers to bloom – and it certainly won’t be the last.

How to support Foyer?

Foyer has its finger constantly on the pulse of its target group, responding as quickly as possible to new needs. We want to keep developing the innovative projects we’re known for. Fortunately, a number of Foyer’s projects are supported financially by the government, but that isn’t enough to keep everything running.

You can support Foyer financially by:

For donations eligible for tax receipt issuance, the Ministry of Finance (MINFIN) requires associations to request the donor to provide their national identification number. Foyer vzw assures that this information will solely be used for this purpose. We suggest providing us with your national identification number via sponsor@foyer.be
Alternatively, if you prefer another method, such as regular mail or phone, you can certainly choose that option as well.

Who supports Foyer?

Because transparency is important to us, you can find Foyer’s annual accounts at donorinfo.be.