Below are questions grouped into two categories. Do you have another question that was not asked or answered, please contact us.
Beyond the Moon is a non-profit organisation (vereniging zonder winstoogmerk or officially abbreviated as v.z.w. in Dutch and - association sans but lucratif or officially abbreviated as a.s.b.l. in French) founded by Ben Ancher and Pascale Somers under Belgian law on 29 April 2005 (statutes preparation date). Its statutes were published in the Belgian Official Journal ("Belgisch Staatsblad") with the national company and registration number: 873.856.370. In accordance with the law, it has its registered office in Belgium: Zandstraat 27 K, 2223 Schriek, Belgium. Beyond the Moon is an independent entity that is solely responsible for its own legal, financial, managerial and strategic decisions. A group of entrepreneurs, from different business sectors and various nationalities, supports the organisation by volunteering their expertise and network.
Our objective is to offer as many vacations as possible to families with a sick child that cannot financially afford an all-in vacation. Therefore, we sometimes work together with other charities or foundations whose objective is to provide medical assistance, healthcare and/or medical research. For instance, a collaboration is not excluded with an association offering home-based education for children with a chronic disease or supporting sick children with medical assistance or equipment. Beyond the Moon does not collaborate with associations that raise their own funds to organise holidays for sick children.
We are active throughout Belgium and we also help families in other European countries, because we collaborate with international companies that have offices spread all over Europe. When they make a corporate contribution or a donation on behalf of their international staff, with the help of Beyond the Moon, they can offer a vacation to a family in the region or country where this office is based. We are therefore active internationally, but we can also act as a local or regional charity. The donation we receive from a given country is used for a family with a sick child from this country. In short, anyone can sponsor Beyond the Moon and help sponsor a vacation for a family with a seriously ill child from their community, regardless of the region or country where the donor is established. There is only one contact point for those wishing to collaborate with Beyond the Moon, it is the head office established in Belgium at Zandstraat 27 K, B-2223 Schriek. There are no Beyond the Moon offices abroad. Our employees are multilingual and work from home, which prevents us from renting a common office.
The name Beyond the Moon (written with B and M in capital letters - t in lower case) may be used by third parties only if it is notified in advance to us and provided it is explicitly mentioned that this action is organised "in aid of" and not by Beyond the Moon. Our Beyond the Moon logo cannot be downloaded from our website and cannot be used for an action organised by third parties. For an action to be organised by third parties to the benefit of our charity, Beyond the Moon provides a special action logo that can be provided in .eps, .jpg or .png format. (as from 2017).
The texts, photos, drafting, lay-out, slogans, illustrations, logos and all the other elements published on this website, are protected by intellectual property rights that are exclusively owned by Beyond the Moon. Every copy, adaptation, translation, processing, use or modification of all or part of these elements, regardless of the form or means used, is strictly forbidden, except if it the source is mentioned and with the prior written consent of Beyond the Moon. Any third party organising an action expressly undertakes to integrally respect the intellectual property rights owned by Beyond the Moon. Beyond the Moon reserves itself the right to take all measures, which it seems adequate in order to prevent or terminate any violation of its intellectual property rights.
Contrary to other organisations, Beyond the Moon has chosen not to speak in terms of wishes, because we exclusively offer vacations to families with a seriously ill child. The family needs and/or the child longs for a relaxing vacation or a short break together with his/her immediate family (parent(s) and siblings) far away from hospitals and daily treatments. We offer them an all-in, cost-free vacation to a joyful destination appealing to the children's imagination and meeting the family needs. Since Beyond the Moon exclusively focuses on family vacations, in collaboration with specific vacation partners, any other wish request from a sick child will be redirected to other wish-granting charities to ensure that the wish is fulfilled.
We strive to annually book one family vacation per week, i.e. a minimum of 52 bookings per year. This number strongly depends on the funds we receive each year and can vary from one year to the other. A contribution we receive from a given country will be used for a family with a sick child from that country. Therefore, the number of families per country depends on the funds we respectively receive from each country.
Beyond the Moon is not state-aided, but totally depends on donations and corporate sponsorship, private benefactors, schools, sports and service clubs, etc to fund the family vacations. In-kind support of material, services and tools is of course also welcome, because it allows us to reduce our daily operating costs and to invest our energy and funds where they are most needed, i.e. to fund family vacations. As the number of applications increases each year, any financial contribution is welcome. Read the page What you can do for more details.
The sponsor fee for a family vacation is € 4.000 (average cost for 5 persons), regardless of the number of family members and the destination - see our vacation package.
The family vacation cost depends on the number of family members, the season, the transportation cost and airline fares to/from the country of origin, the medical needs of the child, as well as the individual travel and medical insurance. Therefore, this cost can either be equal to, more or less than the required sponsor fee. Any unspent portion will be mainly used to offer a Beyond the Moon vacation to another family with a sick child and/or to cover additional vacation costs for larger families (often new stepfamilies).
Beyond the Moon has limited financial resources. Therefore, our selections process is based on a well-considered list of eight criteria. Before a family is taken into consideration, we carefully examine every application in detail and we discuss it with the primary care physician of the child and the medical team.The eight selection criteria for a BEYOND THE MOON stay (3 days (Fri-Sun) or weekend (Fri-Mon)) or BEYOND THE MOON holiday (midweek (Mon-Fri) or week (Fri-Fri/Mon-Mon)) are:
1. The child is aged between 3 and 18 years old.
2. The child suffers from a long-lasting serious illness, a progressive disease, a life-affecting disease or a life-limiting illness.
- long-lasting and serious: severe chronic disease; serious illness of at least three months and longer (a child with a mere disability is not eligible)
- progressive: permanent progression of the disease, worsening of symptoms and / or complications, incurable disease
- life-affecting: potentially fatal condition, banal infection becoming life-threatening
- life-limiting: terminal disease, hereditary illness with limited life expectancy
3. The sick child wants to go on vacation (several days or a weekend) with his/her immediate family (parents and siblings).
4. The child's physical condition must be good enough to allow him/her to travel and to fully enjoy. A written medical authorisation from the primary care physician is mandatory.
5. This is a one-time holiday offered by Beyond the Moon to the sick child and all the family members living in the same household.
6. If the family was granted a cost-free family vacation of more than one night by a charity or a wish-granting organisation, the family is not eligible, unless that family vacation took place at least five years ago. (Note¹: We rely on the honesty and sincerity of the families who apply, knowing that there are many families with sick children who have never claimed a free vacation. Note²: In case only the sick child was granted a daily trip or a vacation or another wish (e.g. got something material, met someone famous...) by a charity or a wish-granting organisation that was not a family vacation, then an application may be submitted at Beyond the Moon.)
7. The child's illness (expensive care and high medical costs) is a significant financial burden for the family. One parent often stays at home (or both) or has given up work to take care of the child or the parents are divorced, sometimes due to the illness of the child. Result: going on vacation is ruled out and impossible, but would be beneficial to recharge their batteries.
8. All the family members, including the sick child, must have a valid travel and medical assistance insurance conceded by the National Health Service or a local and reliable insurance company. This potential cost will be reimbursed by Beyond the Moon, subject to prior consultation and agreement.
Before a family is found eligible, the request and our selection criteria are thoroughly discussed with health professionals, such as nurses, social workers, psychologists, doctors and professors. They know the background of these families and their needs. Once we get the medical approval for a sick child, we work out the most appropriate vacation package for the family. Custom work is only possible if we carefully and skilfully handle the confidential information received and we are able to meet the specific needs of the sick child and his/her family. Each child has a specific medical and social background and own needs. The timeframe between the nomination, the selection and the fulfilment may vary from 14 days to 2 months, and sometimes may even be longer. It depends on the cooperation of the medical staff at the hospital, the treatment and health condition of the child, family circumstances, availability at the vacation partner, specific medical constraints or other special needs. We believe it is utmost important and crucial to allocate sufficient time to scrutinise each application to prevent and avoid disappointments and risks.
The sponsor can nominate a family or Beyond the Moon selects a family by involving its network of hospitals and doctors. We also receive more and more spontaneous requests via our website. Beyond the Moon handles the entire organisation and administration related to the family vacation. We always endeavour to nominate a family that not only meets our criteria, but also lives in the region (subject to change) or country of the sponsor. This makes the sponsor's support very tangible.
First, we collaborate with professors, doctors and other healthcare professionals at various hospitals and hospices, who send us families applications spontaneously or at Beyond the Moon's request. With their medical background and knowledge, they help us nominate families with a seriously sick child who, based on our selection criteria, are eligible for a Beyond the Moon vacation. The biological parent, foster parent or guardian of a sick child or a colleague, relative, friend or the employer of a parent with a sick child can also fill in the online form Nominate a sick child. Nominating a family with a sick child does not guarantee that this request will be effectively and positively accepted. When it seems that the sick child and family meet all our criteria, Beyond the Moon must first check whether it has enough funds available to accept and carry out this request. To avoid disappointments, we kindly ask you not to make any promises to the sick child and his/her family until a full and thorough investigation has taken place. We respect the privacy of every sick child and his/her family. All medical information is treated confidentially and is neither discussed nor disclosed to third parties, unless it proves to be necessary for the achievement of this family vacation, and only with the prior consent of the child's parent(s), guardian(s) or foster parent(s).
Beyond the Moon collaborates with specific holiday partners. The family may possibly choose between a quiet holiday village or Disneyland Resort Paris, once all the criteria, as well as the advantages and disadvantages have been discussed with the child's primary care physician: a.o. Is the child fit enough for all our holiday destinations? Should some incentives be avoided? Can the sick child go into a subtropical swimming pool? Can all the medical equipment and needs be arranged on site regardless of the destination? In short, the doctor can be asked to help in assessing which holiday destination is most suitable. Many families prefer to stay close to home, so the trip is not too tiring for the sick child. For medically complicated situations, together with the doctor and the family, we can opt for a holiday destination located nearby a hospital.
Therefore, the holiday destinations are first thoroughly discussed and assessed with the child's primary care physician who, upon mutual agreement, delivers his written medical authorisation for this family vacation with the sick child.
The family can not submit her preference for or choose a specific holiday village at one of our holiday partners. This is determined by Beyond the Moon in consultation with the holiday partner(s). The possibilities are investigated according to the availability for the preferred travel dates, the size of the family, the age of the child(ren), the medical needs of the sick child, etc.
Sometimes. But, in general we would rather avoid green & white coats during this family vacation, if at all possible. In other words, a nurse or a doctor will only be invited to accompany the family should it be a medical necessity, and with the agreement of the primary care physician and the family.