Charity begins at home in Belgium
A survey carried out by the coffee company Douwe Egberts reveals that while 99% of Belgians are prepared to give money to charity, but 88% prefer to give to good causes that help people at home rather than abroad.
So far this year, around nine out of ten Belgians have given money, food, clothing or household goods to a good cause.
Belgians believe that charity begins at home and most of us would rather help the disadvantaged here than give to charities that help those living in poverty abroad.
According to the Ghent University sociology professor Piet Bracke, globalisation of the economy has served to increase interest for more localised initiatives.
“People are prepared to give if they feel that they can make a difference by doing so".
Food, clothing money and furniture
When asked what they had done to help charity, 62% of respondents said that they gave clothing, 33% said they gave food and 26% said they gave money. 14% of those questioned said they gave household goods such as furniture.
Despite the current economic crisis, almost 50% of Belgians say that they are going to do something to help those less fortunate than themselves during the Christmas period.
Some will give money, food or other goods, while 19% of those questioned said that they planned to lend a helping hand to a charitable organisation during the festive season.
No idea about poverty levels
Many of those questioned had no idea how many people in Belgium live below the poverty line.
Most respondents underestimated the number of poor people.
Just 30% knew that just over one in a hundred people living in Belgium received help from the Food Bank charity, which gives food aid to those unable to make ends meet.