Fika vzw and City of Bruges puts you on the path to physical and mental recovery

Fika vzw and the City of Bruges just launched “Fika Moves”, a project that puts people back on the path to physical and mental recovery after a period of illness. Exercise, sports and expert support are the three pillars of the project.

“The recovery phase after illness is often forgotten, not only by the outside world, but also by patients,” says Roos Stieperaere of Fika vzw. FIKA Moves wants to address this. Fika matches “movement” with people recovering from a serious illness and/or suffering from a chronic illness, and then these duos go for a walk, bike or swim together. Exercise buds usually have experience of getting sick and recovering on their own, and so they understand very well what it feels like to exercise recreationally for the first time after a period of illness.

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The duo is backed by a professional Fika and LO professional. They help couples set realistic movement goals and provide a listening ear in case of difficulties. There are currently ten duos who meet and support each other on a regular basis. “They all chose to walk. After three months, the project will be evaluated and in June we will start with a new group. Participation is free,” says Nikki Maes of Fika vzw.

“Exercising is healthy, and this also applies to people who have been sick for a long time. Sport helps them regain their strength and clear their heads. If they can do it at their own pace, with someone they can build a trusting relationship with, it can only help their recovery.” That is why we gave the project a boost with a subsidy of 2,337 euros”, says Alderman Frankie Dimon.

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He wanted buddies

Fika is always looking for volunteers for their friend’s project. Anyone who would like to be an exercise or recovery companion and would like to be involved in this project can contact Fika or visit Fika’s house on Fridays between 10 and 16 a.m. at Xaverianen’s Cottage in Sint-Michiels.

Friends commit for three months, during which at least ten “moments of action” occur. After these three months, if they wish, they can re-engage to help the new people transition.

Attention also to social healing

Fika’s home also focuses on social recovery. Hence, Fika-living is open every week for relaxing moments where people can catch their breath with a cup of coffee. Every month there is also a live chat between a journalist and someone who comes to tell their story. Taboos and difficult topics are not avoided. In addition, Fika also organizes walking tours, workshops and performances. (CGRA)

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Megan Vasquez

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