LAFAYETTE, La. — Catastrophic flooding destroyed many parts of Southern Belgium, including municipalities that have sister cities in Louisiana — Rochefort (twinned with Broussard), Durbuy (Ville Platte), Fleron (Jennings), and Namur (Lafayette).
La Fondation Louisiane, a tax-deductible organization based in Lafayette, is working with Namur-Lafayette in Namur, Belgium, to raise funds for families who have lost everything in Southern Belgium. Because of very special ties between Belgium and Louisiana, the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) and the Lafayette International Center are assisting La Fondation Louisiane in this effort, according to a spokesperson for Lafayette Consolidated Government.
As French teachers arrive in Louisiana for the upcoming school year, CODOFIL Director Peggy Feehan stated, “There are many CODOFIL teachers in the state that are from Belgium and that have family and friends in great need of financial assistance. Our Belgian friends need us right now, please consider making a contribution to help them get back on their feet.”
In 2005, Belgian organizations and individuals showed their solidarity for the people of New Orleans and Lake Charles following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, holding several fundraisers and sending money to Louisiana.
Lafayette International Center Director Dave Domingue said, “Many people in Southwest Louisiana were devastated by the storms last year and this year, so it’s easy for us to identify with the overwhelming loss and grief facing our friends in Belgium. We encourage everyone who is able to do what they can to assist those grappling with similar hardships. For many years, our office has worked with many of these cities, particularly those which are twinned with cities in Acadiana. We have now sent them messages of consolation and encouragement and urge everyone to make whatever financial contributions to this effort that they can.”
"It's a time for us to show our solidarity. When Katrina and Rita hit south Louisiana, the people in Belgium sent money and sent teams to help and sent food and letters of
encouragement and now it's our turn," Domingue added.
Fondation Louisiane President Dr. William Arceneaux added, “The people of Belgium and Louisiana have a very special relationship that goes back more than 50 years. We must help Belgium in their hour of need.”
Click here if you would like to make an online donation to the GiveButter crowdfunding platform or mail your tax-deductible donation by check to SOLIDARITY WITH BELGIUM, c/o La Fondation Louisiane, 735 Jefferson Street, Lafayette LA 70501.
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