Stephanie Benoit April 13, 2018

Every spring, we start raising funds for an initiative particularly close to our hearts: the Benin Summer School. The Benin Summer School aims to stimulate local development in Benin by coaching the eight most promising high school students in the Papané region. After two weeks of developing their own projects aimed at helping the local community, the three best participants are provided with a university scholarship, which will hopefully lead them to become the future changemakers of Benin.

This year, our software department challenged the company to raise the ambitious amount of 10,000€ - and even introduced some friendly competition in pitting Materialise headquarters against all our offices combined. So if we were going to be successful, it was clear that we couldn’t just stick to the traditional Run4Benin, the race we run each year to raise money for Benin.

We didn’t just get the Run4Benin: this year our software team organized soup days, Pilates sessions, Bike4Benin, a quiz night, dinner with the Chairman of the Board and a ride home in the twike of our CEO, as well as a truly delectable international lunch week! Here’s how it went down!

The team behind the organization of the Benin activities




Getting sporty at work

Not everyone likes running, but we take health and wellbeing seriously at Materialise. We motivated employees to get moving by broadening our selection of sporty activities for Benin – so not only was it an opportunity to get a bit of exercise; it was for a good cause as well! Software organized Pilates sessions for those of us who prefer to exercise at a slightly slower tempo. For the gearheads in the company, there was also Bike4Benin held at the same time as Run4Benin. While the runners ran their laps, the bike enthusiasts of Materialise embarked on several trails of different difficulties. The winning runners were BeNinjas in first place, and STRE4MLINERZ and Benidorm Bastards 1 in a close second and third. Congratulations to all teams!

The trophy for the most generous donor

The silver trophy for the fastest runners

Hobnobbing with Higher Management

Higher management also got involved. Places were auctioned off for a dinner at the home of our Chairman of the Board, Peter Leys. And none other than our CEO, Fried Vancraen, auctioned off a ride home in the passenger seat of his twike, which he uses to commute to work every day. Unfortunately, rides were restricted to the Leuven area only – foiling a plot hatched by some of our employees to get a ride to the other side of the country.

The Vice President of Software, Stefaan Motte, also got involved with the quiz night! As the quizmaster, he put our brains in overdrive with his devilishly difficult questions and unique scoring system. In the end, Team “NaN is not a number?” (can you tell we’re an engineering company?) emerged victorious.

The bikers prepare to leave Headquarters

Experiencing international culinary delights

For several months, Software organized “Monday Soupday”, where different volunteers brought homemade soup to work for sale during lunch. Not only did we get to try a variety of amazing recipes, we also got thoroughly warmed up during the cold winter months!

And as the cherry on the cake, in the weeks leading up to the Run4Benin we were served some amazing food from around the world in the International Lunch Week. Our Italian, Brazilian, Greek, Middle Eastern and Limburg colleagues went all out to provide us with a lunch feast. Many of us got to try homemade dishes from a cuisine we had never experienced before – including delicacies such as bombadeiros, karboet, and burak with baba ghanouj. Yum!


Team STRE4MLINERZ nears the finish line

The final results

So how did we do? We not only hit the target of 10,000€ - we’re proud to say that we went above and beyond by raising a total of 21,404€ at Headquarters! Our offices also made an impressive effort with many locally organized fundraising initiatives, such as the Benin Blood Drive (by donating blood) and Materialise Japan’s Choco4Benin event. We’re already looking forward to what next year’s Run4Benin has in store for us!

Materialise is involved in several charitable initiatives. Discover more about them on our website, or read the stories on our blog!

Thanks to Pasco Promotions, De Sportpraktijk, and Tambeur for their generous contribution to our activities.