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Belgium in Brief: Share The Good News

I recently heard of a Brussels store that accepts no money for goods and services and is instead asking would-be patrons to leave ‘thank yous’ in exchange for second-hand goods.

It got me thinking about all the little projects that can easily go unnoticed.

We’ve spent months in our telework bubbles, our lives have become very small, but here is a store focusing on giving stuff away to those in need.

I’m here for it and now I want to know more.

Belgium is certainly an interesting place to live. There’s so much going on, so many small things, that sometimes it’s impossible to keep track.

So today, perhaps ambitiously, I’m turning to the audience to ask about any community-driven projects that you think deserve to be put in the spotlight.

Now’s your chance, Let @johnstonjules know (or email me

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. A look inside the Brussels store where you pay with ‘thank yous’

A Brussels second-hand store offering everything from toys and books to clothes and homeware in exchange for nothing more than a simple “thank you” will be able to become a long term feature of the neighbourhood after receiving financial support from the Public Centre for Social Welfare. Read more.

2. Bait bikes won’t work if theft isn’t prosecuted, says cyclist group

Brussels has a lot of cycling initiatives on the mobility agenda, including tripling the use of bicycles by the city’s residents by 2030, but it will be difficult to reach any of the ambitious goals before addressing a major problem: rampant bike theft. Read more.

3. Study: Microplastics ‘negligible to low risk’ to environment

Microplastics in the water in Flanders present a ‘negligible to low’ risk to the environment, according to a study carried out by the University of Ghent and the Flemish Institute for Technical Research (Vito). Read more.

4. All higher education students in Brussels can return to campus full-time

Students in higher education in Brussels will also be able to return to campus full-time when the new academic year starts; however, face masks will be mandatory. Read more.

5. Hotline 1722 activated amid storm warnings and code yellow alert

Once activated, the phone line for non-emergency fire-service interventions allows people who are experiencing storm and water damages to submit a request for help via the e-counter, or they can call the number 1722. Read more.

6. Man hit in the rear during a shooting in Saint-Josse

In the Brussels’ municipality of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, a man was hit in the buttocks during a shooting in the Rue d’Aerschot on Tuesday evening at about 7:00 PM. Read more.

7. VAT to be reduced on wigs for medical reasons

Hair loss can be a result of various medical conditions, among them cancer (and the treatments for cancer) or conditions such as alopecia. Read more.

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