On 13 September 2015, in Parc Léopold (Brussels) the rain held off just long enough for 11 brave teams to go for a little run. The 55 participants in the first ever Run for Employment each had to run 1km before handing over a symbolic briefcase to the next member of their team. Children and adults, women and men, seasoned runners and struggling newbies, everyone stepped up and gave it a go. The prize? A 50€ voucher for The Black Sheep bar…and eternal glory.
Through their efforts the runners helped the organising NGOs, Project 668 and Brussels Interns NGO, raise 550€ to help the International Young Professional Foundation develop Job’N’Coop. This app will empower young people to find and create jobs, sharing skills and setting up social enterprises.
However, the Run for Employment, accredited as part of the European Commission’s Week of Sport, was about much more than that. With 22% of young Europeans out of work and clear links between unemployment and mental health issues like depression, substance abuse and even suicide, Europe is facing a double crisis. Not only are young people unable to develop their careers and contribute to the economy, they are risk of long-term psychological damage.
The Run is a positive answer to this crisis. Physical activity and sport have been proven to improve mood and mental wellbeing. Jogging will not get you a job or solve Europe’s economic problems. But it can give young people the strength, self-worth and resilience to survive this crisis and work for a better future. Let’s take the next step.
We would like to thank all of our sponsors and partners, without whom this event would not have been possible.
The final results (time for 5km):
Drinkers with a running problem (19:39)
The COOLS (20:23)
PubAffairs Bruxelles (20:17)
AEGEE Europe (21:06)
JCI THOE (22:38)
Sabor Choco (23:06)
Europe Active (23:16)
Team skeeled (23:32)
myGRASP Bruxelles (23:37)