In the last two weeks there was twice a "Stadsklap" (City talk). It is part of an integration course where people new to Belgium have the opportunity to talk to people of several organizations. Het Roze Huis is one of those organizations, but there is also a Stadsklap with an orchestra for example.
Stadsklap in Dutch (November 22nd 2012)
This Stadsklap was in Dutch and there were 8 people of the integration course along with a supervisor and 8 volunteers of Het Roze Huis. We started with an introduction game in the form of speed dating, followed by chats in smaller groups of 2 "new Belgians" and 2 volunteers. The talks of this Stadsklap were focused around LGBT themes and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the people had such an open attitude. They posed lots of questions and the other volunteers and I tried to answer them all.
Stadsklap in English (November 27th 2012)
For the English session, there were a lot more people, approximately 24, again nearly equally divided between students of the integration course and volunteers of Het Roze Huis. There were many volunteers of 'Why-me?' as well, an organization within Het Roze Huis for LGBT people coming from central and southern Africa. This made it a bit confusing since it was hard to tell the difference between both groups :-)
Again we started with a speed dating introduction after which we were divided in smaller groups. This time the topics were more related to living in Belgium and differences with the respective countries of origin.
The group was more reserved as the first one and the conversations went less smoothly, but it was still a very positive experience.
I am very happy that I was able to attend both times, since the initiative was very enriching and rewarding. It was both time very different and gave a great opportunity to meet people from another culture.