Radio 2

Residents of Zaventem come together to help family that lost everything in a house fire

A heart-warming story of compassion and solidarity with those that are having a tough time has reached us from Zaventem, a Flemish Brabant municipality around 10 kilometres northeast of Brussels. There locals have joined forces to help a family that lost their home and their possessions in a devastating house fire last weekend. Gifts continue to flood in to help the Daoudi family that until the fire lived on the Weldadigheidsstraat in Zaventem. 

Such is the generosity shown by people in Zaventem that those behind the initiative are considering setting up a store where furniture, clothes and other essentials can be kept to help families that have lost everything in a fire or some other calamity.

Sofie Ronsmans (left on the photo above) teaches the Daoudi’s son Zacharia. The schoolboy even lost his satchel in the fire. After having spoken to Zacharia’s parents Ms Rosmans launched a collection among the families of the boy’s classmates.

She told VRT Radio 2 Flemish Brabant that "Very many parents have reacted and donated items. The response was particularly big. Some people even went and bought new things in shops”.

“We never expected this”

The family is currently staying in a hotel in Tervuren. Zacharia’s sister Loubna told VRT Radio 2 “We had never expected this. It is really heart-warming what people in Zaventem have done. Even people that we don’t really know”.

So much has been donated that the family is now able to pick and choose. “What is left we will pass on to De Zoekmand”, Loubna said. De Zoekmand is a local not-for-profit group that provides food, but also other essentials to people in need. One of Ms Ronsmans’ colleagues is considering setting up a platform where people can donate thinks they no longer need. The items could be stored and then used to help families whose home had been devastated by family or some other calamity. 

The local Alderman Dirk Philips (liberal) says that he will put the idea forward at the next meeting of the municipal cabinet. 

Radio 2

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