During 2020 and the first half of 2021, La Ruche hosted the team of workers who were selected and trained to improve and regenerate central green areas (see the first journal). To date, and since late 2021, three calls for projects were issued with the aim to “explore new ways of activating, share and occupy new spaces of encounter and sociability” (from the project website). In particular, as the guidelines for applicants claim, these calls seek to provide people in Seraing with “the opportunity to share their ideas, their passions, to propose a dynamic and social activity, or embark on an entrepreneurial project”. The ambition is to get more people informed about the project, throughout three subsequent calls for projects, to encourage more citizens to visit and get familiar with the space of La Ruche à projets, to promote the emergence of encounters, new initiatives and collective actions. This virtuous process is thus expected to support the rise of a community of motivated people eager to move to La Maison du Peuple and La Cour des Mârets, once works are completed.
Each call involved various activities, such as communication, briefing sessions, networking, workshops, social and cultural activities taking place at La Ruche.
The first call for projects was launched in November 2021 awarded 4 citizens and 5 projects of which a description is provided here. The second call, launched in March 2022, awarded 5 more projects, welcoming at La Ruche from June to October 2022 5 new activities that are explored here. To resume, the winning projects share the common goal of providing a social space where citizens can learn new abilities (such as repairing clothes and reusing fabrics), get assistance and build synergies to develop new projects, practise physical activity, people with particular needs can find support and mutual aid (such as women searching for a confidential atmosphere, people on the autism spectrum and their families, single-parent families, schoolchildren in need).
The third and last call was launched in September 2022 and awarded 4 more projects (a description here, in French) that will develop soon their activities within the premises of La Ruche : a tea room where conversations about the protection of the environment could be held; theatre studios to learn how to control one’s own emotions and gain self-confidence; a coaching service for people who wish to initiate their own business or professional activity; a radio station to keep citizens up-to-date and promote activities and initiatives taking place at La Ruche.
Assembling a community of people very diverse and with different approaches requires some rules to be shared. While having in mind practical and immediate needs, the team studied some tools to be tested at La Ruche in order to be possibly adjusted for the future community hub at La Maison du Peuple. For instance, they fixed some concrete rules about how to use the premises, manage the key and respect each user and, most of all, drafted a charter establishing five main values that every resident at La Ruche must adhere to:
- participation to collective life of La Ruche, willing to be part of a community;
- experimentation, with the possibility of sharing issues and challenges with other residents to grow up together;
- intercultural approach and togetherness, avoiding any form of exclusion;
- cooperation through communication;
- sense of humour and harmony by disposition.