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For more information, contact project manager Elisabet Van Wymeersch.

SOLIGION: Co-creatie van complementaire vormen van sociale ondersteuning door levensbeschouwelijke en seculiere welvaartstaatsinstellingen

Supervisor: Bert De Munck, Second supervisors: Stijn Oosterlynck, Patrick Loobuyck, Peter Raeymaeckers, Mieke Schrooten (UA), Bert Broeckaert en Kaat Wils (KULeuven), Kim Christiaens en Peter Heyrman (KADOC) en Griet Roets (UGent)

Our project sets out to produce better forms of collaboration and more complementary forms of solidarity between faith-based (including humanistic) organisations (FBOs) and secular welfare state institutions (WSIs). It does so by 1° examining the dynamic interaction between FBOs and WSIs in an interdisciplinary way and through a multi-method approach and 2° the co-creation by both FBOs and WSIs of new practices of solidarity and social support. The interdisciplinary and multi-method approach serves to 1° reveal the potentialities and frictions of FBOs in relation to the political standards of secular WSIs and 2° transcend essentialist and dichotomous views so as to understand existing forms of negotiation and mutual adaptation.

In concrete terms, the project will map the FBOs active in the field of local social support in five cities (Research Project 1), examine the interaction between FBOs and WSIs from an historical and political-philosophical angle (RP2 and RP3), and create shared insights as well as new procedures and practices through action research (RP4). Building on this, the process of co-creation will involve two related working groups. WG1 will produce a concept and pilot for a dynamic and interactive social map and ICT-interface, proceeding from existing (fragmented, non-dynamic and non-interactive) social maps and the results of RP1 while jointly tackling issues of selection and definition. WG 2 will build on the insights generated in the scientific part so as to conceive educational and training modules for 1° volunteers and social workers, 2° local employees (of WSIs) and policy makers, 3° instructors and mentors involved in the integration of newcomers, and 4° future professional social workers. Implementation is ensured through close collaboration with organizations targeting exactly these groups. The method of co-creation fosters implementation because the results will be based on shared concerns, insights, and objectives.

Meet the team

Anke De Malsche

As the valorisation manager, Anke De Malsche will manage the second working group, educational packages and training courses. Anke graduated from Ghent University in 2019 with a Master's degree in Gender and Diversity and a Master's degree in Communication Sciences. She also has a Bachelor's degree in German and Dutch Language and Literature.

Silke De Troyer

Silke De Troyer has a Master's degree in Social Work. Within the SOLIGION project, she is responsible for the fourth research package, in which four specific problems concerning philosophical organisations (FBOs) and secular welfare state institutions (WSIs) are examined. These are in particular: referral, funding, bridge figures and the core task debate. She will conduct action research in which dialogue, participation, interventions, interaction between the two types of organisations, and change are central.

Margot Lavent

Margot Lavent graduated a few years ago as a Master in Social Work. As part of her master's thesis, she collaborated on the book "Transmigration. Providing help in a world of superdiversity". After five years of work experience as a social worker, she is responsible for the first doctoral project in the SOLIGION project. Research project one maps out the activities and practices of faith-based organisations. This mapping of FBOs will form the basis for a new, dynamic and interactive social map.

Els Minne

Els Minne (°1996) graduated in 2019 from the University of Antwerp with a Master's degree in History, for which she examined care within eighteenth-century brotherhoods. After that, she studied cultural management for a year. Within the SOLIGION project she is responsible for the history part. She will investigate how Catholic poverty organisations, the formation of social assistants and the welfare state interacted between 1945 and 2000.

Marjan Moris

In the coming years, Marjan Moris will be working half-time as a valorisation manager at SOLIGION. Within the two-headed team for valorisation, Marjan will take care of the 'INTERSOL' working group, which is looking into the development of a new kind of social map. To this end, she will also work closely with researcher Margot Lavent, bridging the gap between science and practice. The shared search for meaningful divisions and overlapping interests fits in perfectly with the field of interest of this anthropologist/social geographer.

Joni Van Damme

Joni Van Damme graduated last year as Master of Social Work at the University of Antwerp. While writing her master's thesis on the non-realization of social fundamental rights, her interest in academic research grew. Within the SOLIGION project she will investigate the interaction between philosophical welfare organisations and secular welfare institutions in order to identify opportunities and challenges in the cooperation between both types of organisation.

Elisabet Van Wymeersch

Elisabet Van Wymeersch is a postdoctoral researcher at the Urban Studies Institute. She has a broad interest in research questions concerning urban development, social change and social justice.

Previously, she was project coordinator at Het Pandschap (Ghent) and the research group Henry van de Velde (University of Antwerp). As a doctoral researcher she was attached to the Research Group on Urban Development (University of Antwerp) until July 2020. She graduated as a political scientist at the University of Ghent and obtained a Master's degree in Business Economics: Management of Government Organisations at the same university.

In the SOLIGION project, Elisabet takes on the role of daily manager and coordinator.