In 2020, the GBL Sponsorship Committee made its biggest ever contribution to civil society, pledging €1.9 million across 38 projects in the fields of health, education and the environment.
 

Saint-Pierre University Hospital

The committee released emergency funds to help hospitals manage the COVID-19 health crisis. €500,000 was allocated to four Brussels hospitals in the first half of 2020, including Saint-Pierre University Hospital.

The capital’s public health actor has two roles: it is not only a community-based public hospital providing high-quality care that is accessible to all, but also a reference centre for education and research.

It has been on the front lines during the COVID-19 crisis, having admitted more than 800 COVID patients, including almost 100 in intensive care units, during the first wave of the pandemic. In response to this huge influx of patients, the hospital quickly made a call for donations to allow it to set up and equip a new intensive care unit. 

Support from donors, including GBL, enabled it to purchase around 10 additional respirators and all the equipment it needed to open the new unit on 26 March. At the peak of the crisis, the hospital had a daily capacity of up to 125 COVID patients in inpatient units and another 33 in intensive care units.

 

Water classes

As water is a vital and fragile resource that we need to protect, the non-profit organization Good Planet has created ‘water classes’. These classes educate primary school children about water, making them ‘hydro-citizens’ by the end of the course.

In 2020, the GBL Sponsorship Committee’s decision to support Good Planet Belgium resulted in 800 new hydro-citizens.

In 2021, the aim is to train 1,000 new future hydro-citizens and to raise awareness of this key environmental challenge among nearly 8,000 students, both in the classroom and beyond. This project, supported by GBL, is already well established in the Wallonia region, and now has its sights set on Brussels and Flanders.

 

SUGi

SUGi is a citizen platform that plants forests in the heart of cities around the world, helping restore biodiversity in urban areas.

Based on the research of botanist Dr. Akira Miyawaki, it works to naturally replenish forest ecosystems in small areas in just two years.

With the support of GBL, SUGi Belgium and its forest maker Nicolas de Brabandère launched a forest restoration project in Pontisse, near Liège.

With the help of their families, the community’s children planted 26 different types of native trees and shrubs in what they now call ‘Charlemagne’s forest’.

This forest is the cornerstone of a bigger community project spanning 50 years, which will include a church, a school, a sports hall, a public garden and a cycle lane, which will benefit all residents and – more broadly and sustainably – society, the climate and the planet.