To alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 policies, many initiatives have been developed by civil society organisations – NGOs, local governments, or citizens. A team of national researchers from the RESISTIRÉ project has collected and highlighted a set of particularly relevant initiatives in 27 European countries and in Iceland, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. These Better Stories cover eight specific domains: gender-based violence, the labour market, the economy, gender-pay and pension gaps, gender care gaps, decision-making and politics, environmental justice, human and fundamental rights.

This Better Story was collected by Nathalie Wuiame


The Fédération des services sociaux (FDSS) operates in Wallonia and Brussels. It has an ambitious vision of supporting social actors through developing projects and providing training and expertise, particularly in the right to food, water, and energy. The project also contributes to social work through its research projects through formulating recommendations to the attention of policy maker, administrative and associative actors.

A free phone line to reduce the challenges

The COVID crisis along with the digitalisation of services have exacerbated the lives of vulnerable populations; many people do not find the assistance they need. To reduce the challenges that the communities are facing, the FdSS set freephone number to listen to and redirect them.  In Wallonia, a free phone line was already existing but was reinforced due to covid in partnership with the network fighting against poverty.

A model that defends fundamental rights

The initiative has several other objectives. Among these:

  • Fighting against social inequalities through questioning the system and advocating to strengthen social protections and better tax justice.
  • Ensuring fundamental rights via defending and promoting access to these rights; the rights to social protection, justice, privacy, health, food, energy and water, a healthy environment, culture, citizenship, etc.
  • Defending social work by ensuring that the code of ethics is respected and fighting against the instrumentalisation of social work for security, control or repressive purposes.

Find out more about the initiative

Photo by Freepik