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Back-to-School Action 2023: THANK YOU

September 2023

We are delighted to announce that, thanks to the generosity of our donors, the 3,208 children from families benefiting from the Restos du Coeur of Belgium have received their school supplies. The start of the new school year has been made easier for these families, with smiles on their faces and stars in their eyes.

As insignificant as it may seem, having the same supplies as everyone else actually erases social differences and can change a child's life, giving them more confidence in themselves and in their academic success.

Whereas some may claim that "school is free up to the 2nd year at the primary level", "that's what family allowances are for", "reusing used equipment is more environmentally responsible", etc., it is so – in theory.

In practice, however, the situation is unfortunately often different.

  • Not all schools are involved and not ALL school supplies are offered to pupils. But after the second year of primary school, nothing is offered to these families. Some parents still receive long lists of school supplies, books, sports clothes or calculators to buy. If the school supplies offered by Restos du Coeur can help parents buy books or put money aside for a compulsory field trip or buy the school's compulsory sports shirt, we are delighted to have been able to help reduce their back-to-school budget.

  • Child benefit is always welcome, of course, and it goes a long way towards meeting school costs. But if we put ourselves in the shoes of a family in precarious circumstances, who are already struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table, child benefit is sometimes used for other more urgent and vital expenses, such as buying food, a new pair of shoes for their growing children, putting petrol in their car to go to work, paying their water, electricity or heating bill so that they can continue to live with as much dignity as possible.

  • At a time when people are talking more and more about adopting eco-responsible behaviour, it may seem downright shocking to some to offer new equipment every year to the children of our beneficiaries. But the children who received school equipment in 2022 are not necessarily the same ones who received our help this year. Moreover, having quality equipment that is identical to that of other children reduces social exclusion and the feeling of shame that comes from not being able to be like the others. Through this action, we are trying to put in place things that can help reduce intergenerational poverty.

We would like to thank our donors for contributing to our operation.