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What is LEJO?

LEJO makes young people stronger.  We are an expert in experiential learning with youngsters who find themselves in a vulnerable situation.

The NGO LEJO is an independent youth organisation engaged within the policy fields of Youthwork and Education and Training. It is recognized and funded to a large extent by the Flemish Government.


In the field of education, LEJO specialises in the development of “Personal Development Pathways” for youngsters who are at risk of dropping out of their Initial Vocational Education and “Training in Alternance”.

  • Very often, they ended up in this form of education after a series of negative experiences  in other schools and levels of education.
  • These youngsters between the age of 15 up to 18 years old, can ‘unblock’ themselves and build up confidence in  Personal Development Pathways in our centres, out of the school premises. The aim is to help youngsters back on track towards a certificate of secondary education or towards employment.


LEJO Youthwork programs: local level, Flemish community level, international level

  • Within the domain of Youthwork, LEJO engages teenagers and youngsters from 12 up to 19 years old in their leisure-time. With LEJO the youngsters embark on a series of programmes: whether it be in their own street or neighbourhood, or for others on survival trekkings, an international exchange with youngsters from another country, a workshop or training,  organizing a skate-battle, …
  • Armed with enthousiasm and methods of experiential learning, youngsters, volunteers and facilitators go at it and push boundaries. We are very proud to see that some of them develop into trained volunteers, who take responsability in our programs.

What are the premises for the work that we do?

In all of our programs, whether it be in the domain of Education or Youthwork, we start from the needs, the ideas, and the possibilities of the young person. The characteristics of the group we work with (hurt, frustration, lack of self-esteem, defensive) implies that we position ourselves very close to the youngsters with a lot of respect for where they are at this point in their career or development.  In other words, we want to work with young people where they are in their lives, and not where society expects them to be.

Together with the youngsters we develop a process of learning that is built on the filosophy of Experiential Learning.

To use a metaphore: we help young people find their own way, not by drawing a highway through the maze they find themselves in , but by putting signposts that can help them make decisions or creating petrol stations where they can have a rest and fuel up for the journey ahead.

For this to work we believe the youngster should remain the owner of their process of learning. We watch over the limits of what is workable, but within the contours of this broad framework the responsability for the development and learning lies with the young person.

From our experience we find this to be an essentiel premise.  Young people tend to drop out or loose interest when they have the feeling they are not being heard or not being taken seriously.

What are the methods and programs we develop?

The Personal Development Pathways within the domain of education uses a combination of workshops (which can be either groupwork or individual work) and individual coaching. The workshops (cooking, technical challenges, ICT and multimedia, creative workshops, farming …)are not an aim in itself, they deliver material for reflection and personal development. Within the framework given to us by the ministry of Education and Training, we try to work as tailor-made as possible to the talents and needs of the youngster. If needed, we do not confine ourselves to the infrastructure and knowhow of our own organisation.

In our Youthwork programs we work with groups. In this groupwork there is always a lot of attention for the individual.  Vacations, summer camps, events (skate-battle, soccer-tournament, graffiti, teenage-elder programme, training workshops, training programme for volunteers, intercultural exchanges are all a product, the result of a process and a method at the same time.  At regular intervals, we stop and reflect on what has happened, how they experience a programme, an action, a discussion, an encounter, …  LEJO often uses the methodology of Active Reviewing, which enables youngsters to express and share in different ways their feelings and thoughts.


Other characteristics of LEJO:

  • Three decades of working with young people who find themselves in a vulnerable situation
  • 30 professional youthworkers are employed, and who are being supported by a group of 50 volunteers. We stimulate training and development for our staff and volunteers: our youthworkers are being trained on different levels in experiential learning, active reviewing,LSCI (conflict management), processes of group rehabilitation. A few of our staff hold competences in Dance therapy and Equicoaching
  • LEJO works on a local level and on the level of the Flemish community
  • Programmes: Youthwork, Education & training, teenage-parents programme, social tourism, intercultural exchanges



Postal address: Antwerpsesteenweg 701,
B-9040 Sint-Amandsberg

Tel. +32 9 223 21 54
Fax. +32 9  225 88 34

Management:  Peter Béatse – director –






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vzw LEJO
Antwerpsesteenweg 701
9040 Sint-Amandsberg
tel: 09/223 21 54
fax: 09/225 88 34

© 2020 LEJO vzw