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Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Feb 29, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

We are surrounded by rural areas that were long closed to the outside world, whose senhoralismo and the practice of a subsistence economy kept the inhabitants of these regions below the poverty line, almost to the present day. A lot of the youth is unemployed and does not enjoy an active, healthy and full citizenship, which is reflected in the low levels of youth volunteering, reinfocing the fact that they possess low self-esteem and individual self-recognition, a low capacity to engage, to take initiative and poor access to information. Therefore, it has become very important to submit this application and we hope that through the contact with volunteers, while developing activities, the young people in these regions experience different moments compared to the older generations, acquire new skills and discover other cultures. Furthermore, we want the young people to invest in these opportunities to rebuild their path. This way, they be able to overcome the obstacles that have crossed their everyday lives and will feel more like European citizens. We could not help but also mention that another fact we wanted to address with this project was to allow the local population to live with people from different cultures, promoting solidarity between individuals and a true 'learning service'. With respect to the volunteers, regarding the instable environment we are currently experiencing in Europe, we intendedfor them to acquire a set of tools and skills that are useful in their professional, personal and social life and get to appreciate a different culture from theirs, enjoying the place we live in and our country. Objectives of this project were to promote the acquisition of new skills for the personal, educational and professional development of the volunteers, through non-formal learning experiences; to develop the spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect in the community; to provide the youth, the community and the young volunteers with the concept of interculturality; to boost creativity and entrepreneurship, fostering job creation; to raise awareness of the European citizenship and the sustainable growth; to develop the youth's interest towards the EVS. The two young volunteers of this project come from Germany and Romania. In this project a participatory methodology based on non-formal education and informal activities was applied. The volunteers were involved in supporting the operation of the Community School, supporting the monitors during daily activities that they develop with children and young people. According to their skills / abilities and their knowledge they developed activities in the space of the Community School and also supported the Project Office for Social Intervention. Moreover, they were involved in the publishing of the newsletter "The Caroça", conducting interviews and preparing texts. They also had weekly language courses. Furthermore, they assisted the teachers in extra-curricular activities in the Agrupamento de Escolas de Arga e Lima and they collaborated with the Centro Social Paroquial de Deão. This project woke and strengthened the enthusiasm of the youth for the place. With the outlined activities the volunteers acquired and / or enhanced skills and competences for their personal, professional and social development, encouraging their creative spirit and entrepreneurial capacity, while also having learned a new language. Therefore, this project boosting training / education, encouraged the volunteers and the youth who participated in the project to learn, study and refresh their skills. The volunteers also expressed their personal commitment, their ideas and experiences in activities involving the Community School, promoting their creativity and entrepreneurial skills. This boosted the creation of new products / ideas or knowledge of best practices that can be applied in their territories, promoting job creation and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, being involved in non-profit activities and benefitting the citizens of a country other than their country of residence, the volunteers became more aware of the importance of volunteer work in the community / Europe. By facilitating joint activities with participants from different cultural backgrounds (volunteers and community), the spirit of interculturality, solidarity, respect and tolerance among individuals was developed and it will allow to identify common values among all. This project also instilled in all participants sustainable concerns, which they will use later in their lives.

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