Our history


An overview of the most important milestones in the history of De Overmolen.

The Overmolen was founded in 1992, when five friends in a Brussels café between pot and pint decided to buy a big house. There they wanted to provide shelter to various welfare organizations where people with their help questions and problems can go. That same year, Adzon (Adolescents without a name) was also launched, a project for outreach work with young people in prostitution. Adzon was further expanded with a reception, medical consultation and a prevention and counseling service and subsequently included in CAW Mosaic. These two projects were the start for the further development of De Overmolen.tes show moments for the general public, both in Flanders and in Brussels.

Reception for victims of trafficking in human beings

The youths of Adzon had no home, prostituted themselves and were victims of trafficking. Then came the initiative for a shelter for homeless youth (Araña) and a new organization against trafficking Pag-Asa. This operation gave the European tone the tone, dealt with hundreds of cases over the years and has defended many victims and offered new opportunities. Because many prostitution youngsters died of AIDS over time, they started with the non-profit organization Zorgwonen (now non-profit organization Lhiving), an assisted living for disadvantaged AIDS patients. This way we could offer them a dignified farewell to their lives.

Reception for unaccompanied young people and artistic refugees

From contacts with foreign unaccompanied minors, the Minor-Ndako operation was established. Several refugees carried out artistic activities in their own country and often had to flee because of their sharp artistic criticism of the regime. Because they have no or a bad house here and live in precarious circumstances, they barely succeed in further developing their artistic qualities. Globe Aroma gives them a studio and creates show moments for the general public, both in Flanders and in Brussels.


Since 1996, De Overmolen has focused on the problem of affordable housing in Brussels. Through donations, subsidies and mandate contracts, various houses and buildings were acquired, which are rented at social prices. In order to take over the operation of these houses, a new organization was set up: social rental agency Baita vzw.

De Overmolen increasingly invested in affordable and accessible office spaces over the years. Buildings were bought and renovated, and sometimes resold. In 2004, the Konica site was acquired, a large industrial building in Koekelberg. It has since been transformed into Campus Hovenier, a site for training and employment. In 2010, a building was purchased in the Lakensestraat and then completely renovated. The Lakenhuis is now the home base for various organizations from the Dutch welfare and health sector.

Offers opportunities for work experience

Over the years De Overmolen also developed a whole series of employment projects. Samira (2002-2004) offered training opportunities to refugees, her successor Right2Learn (2005-2007) extended the effect to asylum seekers. In the years 2005-2008, the Rainboweconomy project offered a stimulus to newcomers to start their own business as a self-employed person, which later became the foundation of the Micro-Marché cooperative. The Debu (u) t activity cooperative, later incorporated into the Job Yourself organization, also finds its roots here. In the same period, a training employee also went to work. In 2006, MIRA started a media campaign on mixed cultures in the labor market in order to increase the chances of employment for Muslim women.

“Vakantie doet wonderen”

Parallel met de activiteiten in Brussel werd in de Vlaamse Ardennen gestart met De Kleppe, een vakantiecentrum voor mensen in armoede, met een beperking of nood aan zorgen. Het voormalige klooster in Everbeek-Beneden is gelegen in een groene omgeving, ideaal om met precaire doelgroepen uit Brussel af en toe te kunnen verademen. Het vakantiecentrum is het hele jaar rond open. De ontvangst, begeleiding en catering gebeurt al 15 jaar door vrijwilligers. In 2014-2016 werd het gebouw gerenoveerd tot een volledig toegankelijk vakantieverblijf voor 49 personen. De Kleppe legde op die manier de grondstenen voor de eerste vorm van zorgtoerisme in Vlaanderen.