2019: The story between Belgium and Argentina goes on!
David Raemdonck, President of the Belgian antenna of the Fundacion Emmanuel returns from Argentina boosted with admiration and determination to strengthen Belgian - Argentinian cooperation.
"Having some members of my family living in Argentina since the 60s, I visited this country a few times since my childhood", says David Raemdonck.
"Knowing the country and having my awareness raised by its issues, it has been relatively natural to be moved by Fundacion Emmanuel when I met its founders."
"After visiting Fundacion Emmanuel on site more than 10 years ago, my wife Géraldine and I decided to join actively the team of Fundacion Emmanuel in Belgium .
Each time I have the opportunity to visit my family on the other side of the ocean, I take the opportunity to visit Colonia Urquiza, to see the evolution of Fundacion Emmanuel and to meet the Argentinian team. My last trip dated already back to 2013, so when I received the invitation to attend my godson's wedding, I did not think twice and flew to Argentina the last week of February and the first week of March. Monica and her colleagues from Fundacion Emmanuel were delighted of the timing of my visit as it coincided with the inauguration of the new building.
On February 28th, Candelaria and Maria Virginia from the board of FE picked me up in Buenos-Aires and we travelled together by car to Colonia Urquiza (1 hour driving). I was very happy to meet these 2 young and dynamic ladies who gave me fresh news from the Fundacion.
In Colonia Urquiza, I was amazed by the progress of Fundacion Emmanuel since my last visit in 2013 : the children looked even happier and all the members of the team looked more enthusiastic. Of course, it was a lovely Argentinian summer day with shining sun and blue sky but you could feel there was a real pride to be part of a growing community composed of blossoming children and well-organized team of educators.
After a tour in the different buildings I came across familiar and new faces and gave a hand to help in the last preparations before the official inauguration of the new building."
"Thanks to the determination of people and help of local initiatives, Fundacion Emmanuel converted an old shed into a wonderful space destined to welcome children from the Fundacion and from the local community to practice various sports, among which softball.
The official inauguration took place in the afternoon and was honoured by the presence of the Mayor of La Plata (capital of Buenos-Aires province), the regional minister of social security and 2 federal senators who helped the project right from its beginning."
“Official the event was indeed as it launched officially the start for this new place destined to facilitate the exchanges between children. The atmosphere was also casual and the “officials” spoke at ease to the happy crowd. When you look at the pictures, you will probably feel the good vibe of the event and the happy faces of everyone !"
"The day after, I collaborated with Monica, Candelaria, Maria Virginia and Ramiro in the office of the Fundacion in Buenos-Aires. There also, beyond the figures and the real facts of the day-to-day administration of Fundacion Emmanuel, I could feel the power of their enthusiasm."
"Of course some of this boosting energy came back to Belgium with me and I am more than ever determined that our help from Belgium has made a difference, so let's continue ! They so deserve it!"