INTERVIEW: Volunteer Inge Liebaers

"The warm and friendly atmosphere within Nasci is an important factor."
After a career full of challenges and accomplishments as a doctor and professor at the Free University of Brussels, Inge Liebaers decided to look for a meaningful use of time in retirement. She found her calling as a volunteer at Nasci. Her story is an inspiration to others who want to remain actively involved in society after retirement.

May 13, 2024

How does Nasci specifically support single mothers and what challenges are often involved?

NASCI supports families in several areas of life. The tangle of administrative issues often makes it difficult , so sometimes you don't know where to start. Communication can also be quite a challenge.


Can you share an example of a single mother who has made significant progress through Nasci's services?

We have two colleagues who were once helped by NASCI as mothers and are now a fixture on the team at one of ours. Better examples do not exist, in my opinion.


What are some of the main obstacles single mothers face when it comes to finding support and help?

It is sometimes difficult for families to tell their story in a different place each time. We try to limit this by working efficiently with other organizations. Communication is also difficult when they do not yet speak a national language, for example. Fortunately, within our team there are many languages spoken and we also make do with translation programs. So usually we find a solution, but it is not always obvious.


How does Nasci's Social Information Point work with other organizations or agencies to offer a broader range of support?

NASCI is part of the local childcare counter in Brussels. Thanks to their platform, we can easily look for a childcare center as a bridge person.

NASCI is also part of House of the Child Brussels. Houses of the Child aims to bring together organizations concerned in some way with growing up and parenting.

Through this partnership, some lasting contacts with partners in the field were already established.


In what ways is Nasci working to raise social awareness around the challenges of single mothers?

We do this through formation, meeting and individual conversations.


What are your personal motivations and satisfaction you get from working with this target group?

It is nice to see changes in the families and to see that after a while they sometimes take big steps forward in their lives. Every mother wants the best for her children and it is valuable to be able to contribute to that.


What advice would you give to people who want to contribute to supporting single mothers in their communities?

Families who are surviving often do not consider other issues such as emotional well-being and empowerment. Helping meet basic needs frees up space for other issues.


How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the needs and challenges of single mothers, and how has Nasci responded?

The pandemic made the most vulnerable even more vulnerable. Families who just stopped needing us came back. We heard one tragedy after another. NASCI quickly shifted gears. We were only concerned with individual by-appointment material distributions and left our social activities for a while.


How is cultural diversity and the different needs of single mothers from diverse backgrounds handled at Nasci?

At NASCI, everyone is welcome regardless of culture, language, religion, nationality. We try to approach everyone in a unique way with respect for their origins. We try to dialogue and learn from each other during formations.


What are some of the main goals or projects Nasci is currently working on to further support single mothers?

Currently, we are striving to guarantee our basic offer both in Schaerbeek and 1000 Brussels.

"Inge, can you tell us how you got involved with Nasci and what your role as a volunteer entails?"
"Of course! After retirement, I wanted to spend my time in a meaningful way. I chose to volunteer at Nasci because I really liked Nasci's message and mission. I also felt it was important to do something with children."

"What does your typical workday look like?"
"What I am primarily involved with is sorting clothes and assisting in the boutique for moms. My involvement not only gives me a sense of connection to Nasci's mission, but also a deep satisfaction."

"Nasci is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and it is notable that many volunteers are retirees. What makes Nasci attractive to people after retirement?"
"The warm and welcoming atmosphere within Nasci is an important factor. It is not only a place where we volunteer our time, but also where we experience positive interaction between volunteers, employees, mothers and children. The organization is edifying and offers a valuable contribution to the community."

"We thank you for the interview and hopefully we will see each other again at Nasci!"
"You're welcome and hope to see you soon!"

Inge Liebaers is a testament to the dedication of retired volunteers at Nasci. Her story illustrates not only the commitment of individuals, but also the attractiveness of an organization that builds positive relationships and a supportive community.

Like Inge, do you want to make a difference in the lives of mothers and children? Then sign up now as a volunteer via this link And contribute to positive change!

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