The Queen’s Charitable Fund
The non-profit Queen’s Charitable Fund provides assistance to people who are destitute or in a situation of urgent need. According to Article 2 of its Articles of Association, the purpose of the association is to assist Her Majesty the Queen in her social and philanthropic work.
At present, her work is focused on two areas:
- Requests for assistance sent to HM the Queen, which primarily concern social and financial problems. Such requests are not handled by the non-profit Queen’s Charitable Fund; instead, they are handled by the Department of Requests and Social Affairs of the Household of His Majesty the King.
Each request is examined by this department and results in one of the following actions:
- The person concerned is given advice or suggestions and directed to an appropriate agency.
- The Department of Requests and Social Affairs contacts the relevant official body or agency directly (Federal Public Service, municipality, public social services centre (CPAS), National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (INAMI), housing fund, Office of Birth and Childhood (ONE), etc.), to investigate or handle the situation.
For all requests for financial support, an enquiry is made with a public social services centre or a recognised and competent social services agency. If the request is for financial assistance, a one-off, limited amount of financial aid may be paid by the Department of Requests and Social Affairs on behalf of the non-profit Queen’s Charitable Fund.
A request for assistance may be submitted by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (explaining the situation and the requested assistance and giving a residential address) or by writing a letter to His Majesty the King (Royal Palace, 1000 Brussels). No stamp is required.
- The non-profit Queen’s Charitable Fund supports projects that focus on helping young adults aged 18 to 25 make a plan for their lives. The target audience of the supported projects is young people who are orphans or were placed in an institution and/or foster family, or who come from disrupted families, and who, once they become adults, have to leave the institution that was looking after them, or are left on their own at a time when they need wise advice, guidance, or moral or financial support to develop a life plan. In this context, the association emphasises the personal empowerment of these young people in a vulnerable situation.
From 2020 to 2022, the non-profit Queen’s Charitable Fund supported three projects that met the integration needs of young people in difficult circumstances:
- Royal Society for the Protection of Children (http://fondationvic.be/).
- The “Big Step” project (De Grote Stap) by the non-profit association Cachet (http://cachetvzw.be/).
- The “Sailors” (Bootsmannen) project by the non-profit association Koninklijk Werk IBIS (http://www.ibiswerk.be/).
Support for these three projects ended in December, at the conclusion of the three-year cycle. The stories of some of the young people who have been helped by these projects will be published on this page in the near future.
Based on the experience gained by HM the Queen during her visits to numerous organisations and given her priorities and the financial resources available to the association, the Board of Directors of the association has decided to support the following new projects for the next three-year cycle (2023–2025):
A. The @uton'home project by the non-profit association “Maisons d’Accueil” (Shelters), run by the charity Petits Riens, which plans to create a semi-independent home for young homeless men in Brussels, as a follow-up to the @Home 18-24 project.
- The @Home 18-24 institution is a shelter for homeless men aged 18 to 24. It houses up to 16 young men in individual rooms.
Most of these men are victims of domestic violence and/or young men with an institutional or vagrancy background.
As well as providing food and shelter, the @Home 18-24 project aims to help these young men, who have dropped out of school and who suffer from social alienation, to get their lives back on track so they can regain their self-confidence and develop the independence required to live in society.
The young men are supervised on a daily basis by seven social workers, who provide them with customised psychological, medical and social care.
- The new @uton'home project, which will be supported by the non-profit Queen’s Charitable Fund, is aimed at residents of the main facility of the @Home 18-24 project who are transitioning to independence, but who don’t yet feel ready to live on their own, and want to have a taste of living in a shared home to get used to this proposed solution.
Specifically, the project involves a semi-independent house that will be home to five young residents at a time for an average period estimated at around six months.
The @uton'home house will be a significant asset for the work of supporting these young men to become independent. Social workers will not be present at all times, giving the young men a significant amount of freedom to manage their home and their daily lives.
B. The “At the wheel” (Aan het stuur) project by Ons Tehuis, a welfare association working in southwestern Flanders in the special youth protection and parental assistance sectors. The project is aimed at young people being guided towards independent living in the small-scale housing unit “Onder Boane” (a phrase in the regional dialect that translates as “On the way”), and other young people learning to live independently under the guidance of the association. The project is in two parts:
- The first part is “Obtaining a driver’s licence”.
For most young people approaching independence, the cost required to obtain a driver’s licence is prohibitive. The “At the wheel” project will enable them to overcome this difficulty by giving them the money they need to obtain a driver’s licence. This is an important component of integration that will considerably improve their chances of getting a job.
- The second part is “Home management skills workshops”.
When young people move into their own home for the first time, they often have trouble maintaining it. In a normal family, parents teach their children the household tasks and basic techniques required to manage and maintain a home. To solve this problem, the project has created a number of workshops to help young people acquire these skills.
- A “garden maintenance” workshop
- A “painting and wallpaper hanging” workshop
- A “small buildings and renovations” workshop
- A “social education and empowerment” workshop
You can find more information about the work of Ons Tehuis on its website (Home | VOT Jeugdhulp).
C. The “Towards Independence” (Faciliter la prise d’autonomie) project by the non-profit association Solidarité Logement (Housing Solidarity). This association works with single women, with or without children, and with young people aged 16 to 25 (known as “youth in transition”), generally as they exit the youth care system. Its aim is to facilitate social integration by creating managed housing. It buys and converts buildings which it makes available to selected young people via social housing agencies. The young people are supported during their stay in the studio flats by associations, whose role is to ensure their psychological and social integration (e.g. a non-institutional action service (AMO) or a public social services centre).
Solidarité Logement believes that in order to strengthen this process and its follow-up, it needs to supplement the support provided to these young people by the external associations with a competent person from its own staff who can implement the “Towards Independence” project.
The support of the non-profit Queen’s Charitable Fund will enable Solidarité Logement to hire a social worker to visit the associations and the young people, specifically focussing on the process by which the young people gradually become more independent. This will complement the work of the associations’ social educators.
You can find more information about Solidarité Logement on its website (Solidarité Logement (solidarite-logement.be)).
The non-profit Queen’s Charitable Fund is entirely separate and independent from the King’s Civil List. It has its own Board of Directors.