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    A nonprofit ‘dares’ MPs to donate salary to homeless women

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Job Dignity, a nonprofit organisation for homeless women, has challenged incoming Brussels MPs to donate part of their salary to a fund for homeless women in the capital.

    The challenge —launched via Job Dignity’s social media channels under the hashtag #chiche! (French for “I dare you!”)— calls on future MPs to donate at least one weeks’ worth of salary to the fund.

    Funds collected would be used to help put women back on their feet professionally and financially, a central focus of the Brussels-born nonprofit.

    RTBF reports that a number of MPs belonging to different political parties have already expressed support for the initiative, as is the case for MR’s Viviane Teitelbaum, Ecolo’s Zoé Genot or Parti Socialiste’s (PS) Nadia El Yousfi and Emin Özkara.

    The nonprofit has reportedly scheduled a meeting with other MPs and political figures, including Simon Susskind and former minister of social affairs and PS Brussels leader Laurette Onkelinx.

    Other supporters include head of Belgium’s Council of Francophone Women, Sylvie Lausberg, or Bruna Sassi, the coordinator for Brussels’ pending coffee initiative, which consists in paying for a cup of coffee in advance as an act of charity.

    Job Dignity was founded in 2011 by German-born Awatif Majid. A self-described “project incubator” for women and people in precarious situations, it is active in Brussels and some of its projects include a reuse-and-recycle sewing workshop operated by homeless or financially precarious women.

    A February report showed that nearly 60 percent of a group of homeless people questioned in Brussels had not had a permanent home for more than a year.

    On May 3, Brussels’ homeless support centre La Strada published a report showing that the number of people in precarious living situations in the Brussels-Capital region has risen by 142.2 percent in Brussels over the last ten years.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times