The MS Societies of the Federal and Regional entities of Belgium have each contributed major efforts for World MS Day 2012 by rolling out new websites and hosting events to also coincide with the 30th anniversary of the two regional MS societies. The total number of people with MS in Belgium is estimated to be 11,000.

World MS Day will see the regional societies launch new websites in their respective languages with young people in mind. The Flemish MS society is launching a website for young people diagnosed with MS called “MS Jongeren” (MS Youth). The site will act as a space for users to share experiences, make social connections with people in the same situation and to provide information. Most importantly, this site was designed to be as interactive as possible, where young people with MS have complete control and can post texts, pictures and clips.

The launch of the new website coincides also with the 30th anniversary of the society, which is being celebrated on May 26th.  There will also be a sports day for people with MS and their families featuring a host of activities including golf, biking and badminton.

The French-speaking MS society is also launching a new website on this occasion, but for a different target audience: children with MS and those with a parent with MS.  The site is especially designed for children aged seven and up, featuring cartoon mascots, and will be informative, entertaining and attractive to help give a better understanding of the disease and its consequences. The site is called “Sep pas sorcier” (MS isn’t witchcraft), alluding to the possibilities of demystifying the condition, and that MS is not to be feared.

On 26th May, the French-speaking MS society is also organising a family day including a fair and a presentation Belgian chocolate-making, followed by a tasting session, which is certain to be very popular.

All activities are being organised in conjunction with the country’s National Belgian MS Society. “Across Belgium, we are taking World MS Day to heart and are determined to make it bigger and better than before. Perhaps most importantly, we value the launch of the new websites aimed at young people, which we see as invaluable resources,” says Charles van der Straten Waillet, the national society’s president.