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About Project SSMW

In general
What is SSMW?
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
How is MS treated?

In general

Echt ongelooflijk dat jullie zich zo inzetten voor zo een mooi goed doel! Goed bezig mannen!

Eva de Roo – Warmste Week 2018

Project SSMW has a long tradition at the Royal Military Academy. The final-year students organise various activities inside and outside the school, for pupils and non-pupils, in order to collect money for one charity. This year, they’ve chosen the Belgian National Multiple Sclerosis League.

This organization is committed to fighting Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system. It does this primarily by supporting scientific research and disseminating information about the disease and its treatment in order to raise awareness and make MS known to the general public.

The Board, Management, Staff, Volunteers and Members are extremely grateful to the National Military School and to the organizers of SSMW for their generous support. The more so that circumstances make it difficult for Persons with MS to move around normally and, for those who are fit to work, to do so in “safe circumstances”.

Thank you

Charles van der Straten Waillet
Chairman of the Nationale Belgische MS Liga – Ligue Nationale Belge de Sclérose en Plaques

She also fully supports the leagues of the two communities in Belgium and represents their interests to the federal government. MS Liga Vlaanderen and la Ligue Belge de la Sclérose en Plaques have a more practical approach. They make concrete efforts to improve the social functioning of the patients and their general quality of life. They guide them both psychologically and physically and teach them to cope as well as possible with all the limitations that the disease entails.

157 SSMW, the organisers of this years Project SSMW

What is SSMW?

Dare to take on responsibility. Approach every obstacle as a new way to grow and to develop yourself in the best leader you can be.

Grand Caque 2018-2019

Project SSMW is a charity project of final-year students in Social and Military Sciences (SSMW) at the prestigious Royal Military Academy.

Defensie | 21 - 07 - 2017

At this internationally acclaimed military university, young men and women are transformed into fully-fledged, highly trained officers within four or five years. Afterwards, they put themselves at the service of the nation and take command of a platoon of some thirty soldiers in the Belgian armed forces.

During their training, students at the Royal Military Academy are trained academically, athletically, militarily and character-wise.

In the academic part they follow a bachelor and a master course in Social and Military Sciences or Polytechnics (civil engineer). This course is fully supported by the Bologna Accords and attracts dozens of students from other military universities around the world every year. Recently, even students from the prestigious West Point in the United States have joined in.

In the sports section, students are prepared for the sometimes heavy physical activities they will have to perform in their later careers. Whether they train for a job as a para-commando or as an F16 pilot, a good physical condition can mean the difference between failure and success. With a minimum of five hours of sport per week and extensive coaching and medical guidance, the students are given every opportunity to develop themselves into true athletes.

When civilian students get their long-deserved vacation, the RMA students leave on a military exercise. For about two months a year, they learn the basics of military work. They start with drill lessons and handling weapons, then gradually build up to working at section and platoon level. They conclude their training with a large-scale exercise in the Moroccan desert, where they are given command of a full platoon on vehicles and have to deal correctly with the situations that arise, ranging from talks with local village elders to hugely realistic simulations of military attacks.

Finally, the character-wise part teaches the pupils how to behave as future platoon commander. Under the motto: “Leading by example”, they learn very early on in the training to commit themselves to a wide variety of projects inside and outside the Royal Military Academy. In order to honour their commitment to Belgium and its population, the students set up Project SSMW a long time ago: A charity project that allows them to show for the first time that they are truly committed to a better, more prosperous and safer Belgium.

Project SSMW is therefore a charity project in which final-year students SSMW are committed to the Belgian population. By organising about twenty events throughout a full year, they try to raise as much money as possible in order to make a difference to the project they have chosen.

These activities can take all forms: From informative conferences to raise awareness about MS to a cosy and warm Christmas market and from cosy parties to more fun activities and a real shooting day with professional guidance.

The highlight of the year is the 157-hour sports event. During this time the students of the 157th promotion SSMW will try to cycle as much distance as possible through the whole country. The cyclists will be followed live and through an original competition, it will also be possible to bet on the number of kilometers ridden and have a chance to win a spectacular prize!

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

In België alleen al zijn er meer dan 12.000 personen met MS, wereldwijd spreken we over meer dan 2,3 miljoen.

MS Liga Vlaanderen

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system. This central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord. If you have MS, the myelin layer, which is the protective layer around the nerves, is affected by your own immune system. This causes inflammation and damage to the myelin and (in some cases) to the nerves. Myelin is important to pass on stimuli quickly along the nerves. If the myelin layer is damaged, stimuli will be passed on more slowly or not at all.

Multiple Sclerosis is probably caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Although it is a non-contagious disease, genes do play a role. To date, more than one hundred genes have been identified that affect the likelihood of MS developing. It is therefore possible that the disease is passed on through those genes. You are not born with MS, but you are born with the genetic predestination to develop the disease.

In addition, environmental factors can also play a role. Several infectious organisms, such as the herpes virus or the Epstein-Barr virus, have been associated with MS for a long time, but there is no clear causal link. Smoking also increases the risk of MS, due to the harmful substances that are released. Moreover, smoking leads to a more aggressive form of MS.

How is MS treated?

Treatment of MS is roughly divided into two types: Treatment with medication and treatment without medication.

When we look at treatment with medication, we see three possibilities. In the first instance, we work preventively and try to prevent flare-ups of MS.

It is also possible to treat the flare-ups themselves. High doses of cortisone are administered intravenously for three to five days to stop the inflammation and the attack. Although this treatment stops the flare-up, it does not cure it.

Finally, the symptoms of MS can also be treated. However, as these are so different, it depends greatly on the patient.

There are also several options when looking at treatment without medication.

First of all, rehabilitation and physical therapy can already do a lot by means of guided exercises and improvement of movements.

In general, exercise is also a very important factor in combating and delaying MS. Remaining active improves overall health and functioning of the body and has a more beneficial effect on muscle strength, endurance and consequently longer lasting mobility and independence. A healthy and balanced diet also certainly plays a role in this.