Context of the project
The "Duo for Knowledge" program was developed during covid period, once we were able to leave the lockdown period imposed for many months. This new community was created, in particular, to break the isolation suffered by students and citizens residing in Belgium far from their families, thus allowing stimulating exchanges between people from the North and the South.
Aims of this initiative
This initiative aims to create a mix between international students and Belgian citizens, promoting openness, intercultural and intergenerational relations.
Reinforcing the global citizenship principle, this project creates links between cultures, which can last well beyond the academic stay.
Objective 1: To break the isolation caused by a year of lockdown and encourage encounters
Our intention is that each pair should take full advantage of the encounter with the other, in all that it has to offer.
Objective 2: To create more intercultural and intergenerational links around the UCLouvain International Foyer, as a centre of interculturality
In addition to the tandem meetings, D4K members meet around activities organised by the hostel, as well as several moments dedicated specifically to members (notably a workshop-training in cultural codes, and a cultural outing outside Louvain-la-Neuve).
Objective 3: Sharing knowledge through guided scientific mutual-help
The Belgian citizens who are part of D4K offer students a review of their academic works, in line with their interests and areas of expertise.
Objective 4: To extend this project to other actions of the Centre Placet and to export it to the other Hautes Écoles of Louvain-la-Neuve
Images of our previous activities
This "Duo for Knowledge" experience offers us a lot of experience, such as :
• Convivial moments while sharing meals with Zech-Absil family, which allowed me to discover Belgian food ;
• I have been very touched by the attention paid to me by the Zech-Absil family when they contacted the Director of Centre Placet to make sure I was OK; when, absorbed by the work in the laboratory and unreachable on the phone, I had forgotten the appointment of dinning with them... ;
• It is a real pleasure of meeting with Yacouba, who shows us some of the customs and experiences of his country, Burkina-Faso !
• The possibility to explore the Burkinabé meaning of French expressions such as "Tu me donnes la route ?" or a culinary speciality : "le poulet à bicyclette"- and some Belgian expressions that make Yacouba bilingual French-Belgian: when it rains very hard, "il drache" • Listening to Yacouba talking about his plans when he returns back to his country helps us discover some of his projects and/or dreams ;
• The discovery that, despite very different age and very different lives, we often feel close to him, and we are so grateful for all that he allows us to discover with him ;
• When my husband had health problems, Yacouba offered to help us by lowering a box that was too high for us
• We also experience different moments when we go with Yacouba discovering places in our country that we love, such as the Atomium, the medieval ruins of Villers-la-Ville, la Baraque in Louvain-la-Neuve...
Thank you and your team for giving us this opportunity to meet and be friends !
Annick & Yves Zech-Absil