Ashoka Fellow
Belgium
Fellow Since 2010
    This description of Emilie Meessen's work was prepared when Emilie Meessen was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
    Introduction
    With nearly 3 million homeless people living on the streets of European cities, street social workers struggle to find adequate answers to help the most excluded change their situation. Through a revolutionary process that bridges life on the streets with the traditional health care system, Emilie Meessen is supporting homeless people’s dignity and self-esteem while facilitating their social and professional rehabilitation. Emilie has successfully created a network of “watchdogs” that act as an early warning system. Using hygiene as a stepping-stone, they are empowering the long-term homeless by helping them to take charge of their own bodies and lives.
    The New Idea
    The Problem
    The Strategy
    The Person

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