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Holding Hands With Other Habilities
Start date: Aug 3, 2015, End date: May 2, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

APCC develops, within the European Voluntary Service (EVS), a project called «Holding Hands With Other Abilities» that focuses mainly on social, cultural, leisure, and outdoor activities. These activities involve children, youth and adults with disabilities or incapacity (the «clients»). The institution considers EVS inclusion important because it promotes interculturalism amongst its target group, and gives volunteers the opportunity to develop new personal and social competencies towards an active citizenship. This will promote new experiences, and competencies in those who are directly (EVS volunteers, clients, national volunteers, and collaborators), and indirectly involved (families, community). This is a six month activity that will host 4 volunteers coming from Germany, Italy, Spain and Bosnia with ages between 20 and 26 years old. They are committed and willing to participate in such project. Two of them studied human and social sciences. Other just finished high school and want to volunteer before starting university. And the last one, has a specialization in enviornment studies. The EVS volunteer activity will be included in the annual program developed by APCC, called «Vontades Solidárias». They will meet national volunteers and develop activities together, in a program designed to promote as much experiences as possible for clients, national and european volunteers, and collaborators. They can: create materials to support the activities, take part in daily activities, participate in leisure activities; help with meals, assist at the playground (with children from kindergarden, school and others coming from schools of the community); support therapeutic activities such like hippotherapy, hidroteraphy and zarabatana, and sports activity; develop workshops and participate in social activities with the adults from the residences. APCC believes that an effective integration in the action plan will give an overview of the field work (something that all are waiting for) and promote the relationship with beneficiaries. The volunteers will be encouraged to develop their suggestions too. APCC has been improving the project. It was designed to have different phases: the volunteers will start with the portuguese language and culture course at Coimbra's University (in the first three weeks of september); after they will meet the services of the institution, its collaborators, and clients, observing what happens in each department; they will try all the volunteer activities and the final program will be designed according with theirs preferences. They will be invited to implement theirs personal projects, and near the end of the activity they will do lunch and intercultural dinner with collaborators and clients. The Youthpass will be done in the beginning of February. There will be meetings between the volunteers and the staff in order to plan, adapt and evaluate the activities. There also be moments provided for personal and integrational support, including informal meetings with national volunteers. The volunteers will be supervised in the activities by the responsible of each. The mentor of the EVS project will be in permanent dialogue will all. The Volunteer Department, in which they will be integrated, will be available to assist volunteers in all the time (even after work). «Holding Hands With Other Abilities» main aim is to allow the clients to have contact with people (theirs characteristics, realities and experiences), with which it would be difficult to be if not for this EVS project. APCC believes (and has confirmed) that is working social inclusion, while allows others cultures to meet Portugal, and more specifically Cerebral Palsy, and disability in general. APCC verified that the impact of this project is in the personal development, and in the social inclusion that so enhances. Consecutively, as benefit there is the contribution given to the improvement of the life quality of all parts, and specially of the person with disability or incapacity.

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