Discovering oneself and the world of employment

This year (2023), the Collibri Foundation has teamed up with Story-me, an innovative guidance programme designed to help young people in Brussels, most of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, to get to know themselves better and build their self-confidence, guide their learning in a positive atmosphere and help them envisage the professional world. It's a programme that has been put together and co-constructed through the collective intelligence of eight associations, and it's full of discoveries for young people, starting with self-discovery, but also looking at the variety of professions and the world of employment.
From 2023 to 2027
50,000 euros/year for 5 years

“More than 1,500 young people in Brussels aged between 14 and 17
are getting to know each other better and actively building their life plans.”


A huge source of potential talent

Many young people end up on vocational courses by default rather than by choice, as a result of school relegation and the prejudices that still surround these courses. Faced with a loss of meaning and a lack of understanding of the world of employment, they often fail and then drop out of school, and some come out with no qualifications. In this context, positive guidance for young people has become essential!  Vocational education needs to be upgraded, because it’s a breeding ground for tomorrow's talent and a response to the many shortages facing businesses today. Through its activities, the Story-me project is working to deconstruct stereotypes among pupils and their parents, helping them to discover the variety of careers and informing them of the multitude of future possibilities. 

Experience from the youth:

Tricia:“Story-me gave me a sense of direction and where I wanted to go.”

Shubham: “Story-me has enabled me to create bonds.”

Mateo: “Story-me has enabled me to reassess my values.”


Facts and figures

  • In Brussels, 15-20 % of pupils leave secondary education without qualifications.
  • Up to 32 % of under-25s in Brussels are unemployed.
  • In vocational education, 2 out of 3 pupils are more than two years behind due to repeating a year.
  • Pupils are enrolled in a small number of options that do not lead to employment.
  • There are many prejudices about manual and intellectual occupations, and about ‘gender’ in relation to the world of employment.

An innovative and positive approach to guidance

The Story-me programme is deployed in schools offering technical and vocational courses in the Belgian equivalent of UK years 9 and 10 (2ème and 3ème secondaire). In other words, at the most critical point in the school career, when the risk of dropping out is at its highest.

The project’s aim is to help young people become active stakeholders in their own careers, to strengthen positive guidance practices within the beneficiary schools and to bring about fundamental change in the culture of the 12 schools involved.

In total, some 180 teachers and educators will have been trained by 2024 and by the end of the three years of the project’s implementation in these schools, while some 4,400 pupils will also have benefited from the guidance provided by the programme.


beneficiary schools

> 1.500

young people, 4,400 in total


teachers and educators trained and advisors

Story-me objectives

The Story-me educational programme has a number of objectives:

  • To help pupils in the equivalent of year 9 (2nd year of secondary school) get to know themselves better, gain confidence and take a positive approach to their learning.
  • To enable pupils in the equivalent of year 10 (3rd year of secondary school) to refine their choice of options and discover careers.
  • To train and equip teachers and educational teams in the guidance approach.
  • To help schools achieve these objectives and work with external guidance providers to this end.

The Story-me project and sustainable development objectives

The Story-me project is in line with several of the United Nations sustainable development goals, which Colruyt Group also supports through the Collibri Foundation:

High-quality education

By giving young people a clearer direction for their education, Story-me gives learning a new meaning, helps prevent school drop-out and gives young people a better chance of entering the world of employment.

Gender equality

Story-me aims to deconstruct gender stereotypes and highlight female and/or male representation in sectors and professions negatively impacted by prejudice and stereotypes.

Decent work and economic growth

By increasing young people’s knowledge of the trades and their entrepreneurial skills, Story-me is helping to create the conditions for access to decent employment and offering businesses the chance to grow thanks to motivated, well-trained young people.

Reduced inequality

The projects aim is to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are affected by school relegation and the stereotypes associated with training and vocational courses.

Measures to combat climate change

The Story-me programme looks at the challenges of the energy and digital transitions through the testimonies of the people involved and their career paths.

Collibri Foundation


Colruyt Group
Edingensesteenweg 196
1500 Halle


+32 (0)2 363 55 45
during office hours


KBO 0753.616.160