15 fevereiro 2018

O testemunho da Katarzyna

It was a big step. Big step for me. New country, new people, new reality. 
I have been visiting other countries few times, but never for so long. Never for 7 months. 
Lisboa was somewhere in my head. Yellow trams, Ocean, narrow streets… All of this I saw many times somewhere in the Internet, books, magazines, TV. But this time I was about to see it on my own eyes. 
Two years ago I have decided I will take part in EVS program. It happened just after my first Youth Exchange in Romania (EU program), where I found that something like EVS exist. I felt there huge energy coming from this mish mash of cultures, people, ideas. Maybe it is possible to change my life? To make my dream come true? 
First step: I have changed my job and start working abroad while applying for EVS. However, not every EVS, not everywhere. Only the ones, that I felt connection with. In some I was rejected, in some didn’t even got an answer. And then BINGO! I got accepted in SPIN in Lisbon! Brilliant! 
1st September 2016 I was sitting on the plane to Lisbon. For 9 months project. The adventure have just begun. It was exciting and fantastic and also nervous at the same time. Didn’t know what to expect. I was on the plane to Lisbon, and when we’ve reached the city, the captain said: “Ladies and Gentleman, we have to fly to Porto, cause there are technical issues at the airport.” Nice start I thought. I will see two cities on one way! 
What did the project give me? 
Everything. 
Self confidence, space for me, time, time to think, to figure myself out, friends, new culture, laughter, homesick, possibility to appreciate your own country, understanding how important your family and friends are in your life. But also huge vest of opportunities to try new things: playing Frisbee in a team, cooking for 12 people Polish dishes, to handle with winter without radiator at home ;), to speak Portuguese (even knowing only with words), to drive a car in a foreign country, to hitchhike, to date foreigners, to speak more often foreign languages than mother tongue, to eat tuna!, to eat pumpkin soup almost every day, to perform in front of students and speaking there Portuguese and English, to write letters with fountain pen all night, to live in a tenement house with 7 people from all over the world and see how different and the same we are, to sing karaoke in the kitchen in languages I don’t know. 
My mindset was broaden and I knew If I want to fulfill my dreams, I need to take actions. So I did. And I am doing it and will be doing. I figure out that I want to work as a tour operator representative abroad so I send my CV with my new gained experience as volunteer at SPIN in Portugal. And you now what? I have got that job!!! :D 
Everything happened for something. One step is making another. So have the courage to take the very first step. Not once, not twice, but even hundred times. 


Every time while you are taking the very first step, the whole universe is opening new doors for you! As it opened for me ☺

O testemunho da Joana

Olá!!! Hoje estou muito triste, já termino o meu SVE em Lisboa. Cheguei no dia 1 de junho a esta maravilhosa cidade, onde aprendi muitas, mesmo muitas coisas. Foi no final do mestrado quando ouvi falar sobre o SVE e da possibilidade de faze-lo na SPEA (Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves), e nem hesitei. Como poderia perder esta oportunidade? 
Parte do meu trabalho consistia na assistência ao projeto LIFE Berlengas, entre cagaras, gaivotas, galhetas e roques-de-castro. Uma das tarefas mais importante na recuperação deste arquipélago tão giro, e remoção de chorão, uma planta invasora que põe em perigo as plantas nativas da ilha, é um trabalho muito duro, mas é reconfortante. 



Aprendi coisas novas, como avaliar a interação das aves com as artes de pesca. Embarcar foi uma experiência incrível, a possibilidade de ver aves que em terra são muito difíceis de observar, e conhecer gente com uma cultura diferente. 


Mas, nem tudo é trabalho no SVE. Viver com pessoas de todo o mundo e partilhar novas experiências têm feito deste ano algo inesquecível. 
No principio disse que estava triste porque isto estava a terminar… más estava a mentir, fico cá, o SVE foi uma oportunidade perfeita para conseguir um trabalho na minha área e continuar a lutar pela conservação da natureza.

14 fevereiro 2018

O testemunho da Natalia

I still remember the first time when I came to Portugal… three days were enough to fall in love in this amazing country and I cannot believe that now I have the possibility to live in Lisbon. 
When I received an e-mail with information that I have been selected to do an EVS project in Bola p’ra Frente I was the happiest person all over the world. At that time I was working full time in Poland, I decided to quit my comfortable work in the office to do something different. 
 I was not afraid at all to move abroad since I had the opportunity to live in Portugal before. The only thing that scared me a bit was how it will be to work in the biggest social neighbourhood in the Iberian Peninsula with kids and young people without having any professional experience in this area. Now I know that it was the best project I could ever dream about. 
During my project, I work in Bola p’ra Frente and my daily activities are linked with spending time with young people, helping them with homework and supporting the organization in every task I am able to help. The organization develops social and sports activities founded in models of non-formal and formal education methodologies. Three times per week we play street football and organize other sports activities for kids from the neighbourhood. People who are part of this organization are amazing and full of passion. They really want to change the situation of young people from the neighbourhood and improve their competences as much as it is possible. It is not only work with youngsters but also with their parents and other family members. 
During last 5 months, I gained so many new experiences. One of my favourite activities in the organization are workshops with Cris on her project RE.criar. The idea of the project is to create new things from old materials to teach young people how to be creative and not waste materials. Every week she presents me new tools that I would never expect to even hold in my hands. 
So far I had the opportunity to see The Voice Portugal in the film studio, football matches and many cultural events which organization prepares for kids. Moreover, I supported the organization while making activities for international days like Dignity or Peace Day. Once I even baked 5 cakes for the anniversary. Each day in Bola p’ra Frente is different and full of new challenges but after 5 months I can say that kids accepted me and I feel a part of the organization. 
EVS project is about giving and sharing your knowledge and skills but it also a great opportunity of meeting amazing people every day. Lisbon is the city where you cannot be alone. I am so glad that I have already met so valuable people and I know that these relations will be friendships for life. I love travelling thus in my free time I try to discover new places where I have never been before, improve my Portuguese as well as my skills in Portuguese cuisine. I spend time with my friends and eat too many amazing desserts which you can easily find in every corner in Lisbon.

02 fevereiro 2018

O testemunho da Cristina

Olá, meu nome é Cristina, sou da Espanha e estou em Lisboa há 3 meses, a cidade onde faço o meu SVE e em que vou passar mais 6 meses.

Eu quero começar meu testemunho dando conselhos a todas aquelas pessoas que estão pensando em ser voluntário, e para aqueles que não o fazem, também: faça isso, não pense muito, faça com medo, com alegria, com tristeza, com nostalgia ... mas faça isso, merece muito a pena. Então eu vou explicar o porquê.

Cheguei em Lisboa em 1 de novembro de 2017, com medo e incerteza, não vou te enganar, um novo país para se adaptar, uma nova língua, etc ..., esse medo diminui e até desaparece porque ... pensemos nas coisas boas: novo pessoas a conhecer, novas experiências, aprendizado e diversão, o "mau" é bem recompensado.

Eu percebo meu EVS em uma Sociedade de Esclerose Múltipla, e para mim, que eu amo minha profissão (eu sou educadora social) e as relações diárias com os usuários, estou encantada com a vida. Desde o primeiro momento, tanto os usuários como os colegas de trabalho me fizeram sentir parte de tudo, apesar da minha dificuldade com o português (calma, pouco a pouco, você aprende).

Hoje participei de projetos com várias atividades, ri, fiquei excitado, dançava sevillanas, me disfarçei, cantei, aprendi músicas, ditos populares, costumes portugueses ... Em geral aprendi e gostei de fazê-lo.

Digamos também sobre a cidade ... "Lisboa menina e moça" cantou Carlos de Carmo (sim, descobri que adoro fado). Lisboa é uma ótima cidade, muito bonita, com muitas ruas calmas e não tão silencioso para andar, milhões de pastelarias para retornar à Espanha rolando, deliciosos cafés em cada esquina, miradouros com vistas de ataque cardíaco, países naturais e praias infinitas, muita vida na rua, pessoas amigáveis ​​e sim, muitas inclinações também jjjj. É uma cidade que vale a pena descobrir, e que melhor maneira de fazê-lo durante 9 meses de sua vida.

Em geral, estou muito feliz por ter tomado essa decisão, não tão fácil, mas preciso crescer e seguir em frente, e acabei com esse testemunho quando comecei: animar-te para fazer um SVE, você não se arrependerá.

31 janeiro 2018

O testemunho da Flavia

It's almost one month that I've finished my EVS experience ad the Academia Sénior de Carnide and I'm not able to stop thinking that the past 10 months have been such a big opportunity of greater awareness of oneself as a person and a human being. 

I was really happy to create new friendships with people of different ages, because each one of them had something to teach, from the 90 years old to the younger ones. I made a really strong bond with some of the elders and of course with the work colleagues with whom I spent more time. Each day has been an occasion of self-improvement because of a constant interaction with other people's different needs, problems and thoughts. The office work and the customer reception one taught me how to be patient and how to deal better with people's requests and complaints. The teaching job made me understand the importance of giving comprehension and assurance but also the significance of value different opinions and efforts when someone else had more competences in the field or just a better idea to develop. The feeling of being part of a community stimulated my desire to collaborate for its well-being and my civic sense of citizen increased, as a representative of Carnide district. 
During the time spent in the customer care job, I learned how to organize myself without being stressed by the constant contact with the public. Teamwork was really important as the planning of time and goals! All the Academia Sénior‘s activities where I was involved have been occasions for learning new things: a greater knowledge about Portugal and its culture, about the city of Lisbon and about the many changes that have occurred in the country during the years. Take part in group tasks as an active member was really important for the development of my self-confidence. Face unexpected events not alone but being part of a group helped me learn how to deal with anxiety and negative thinking and how to encourage and reassure others. 

During the activities that I realized, I learned the respect for elders' emotions; during the lessons that I taught, the values of patience and gratitude but also the self-confidence and the humility for face an unforeseen situation where results were negatively different from expectations. During training, I learned the pleasure of living together with different cultures, sharing quite the same problems and joys. 
My sense of initiative and entrepreneurship increased because of the realization of several activities to be developed with the elders with the purpose of catching their curiosity, increase their skills and stimulate socialization, having always in mind the costs of the materials and the available hours and spaces in the Academia Sénior. A significant part of my job as a teacher was to coordinate the “pupils” with the purpose of creating balanced groups where everyone should have the opportunity to express herself or himself shameless. This has meant to give rules and sometimes recall the order, asking people to be quiet or leave the other “schoolmates” speak or read aloud without being interrupted or disturbed. 
It wasn’t easy at the beginning because of the generation gap: it’s unusual to ask people whose age could be one of your relatives to be quiet, to be respectful with the mates and to work hard! But with the practice, it turned out to be not so difficult with a little sense of humour. 



I improved a lot my language competences and the better knowledge about the formal and informal history of Portugal, makes me feel more satisfied with being part of the European Union. I feel more confident about the way I relate to the others and I wish I‘ll be able to realize similar experiences in others countries and host foreign people in the same way I was received by Carnide district. The support given by Spin was essential and I thank them for all the help! 
I highly recommend the EVS experience to anyone who would like to find out more about himself!

22 janeiro 2018

O testemunho da Joana

Fazer o SVE sempre foi um sonho. Um sonho daqueles que sonhamos e nunca pensamos que algum dia pode vir a tornar-se realidade. Porquê? Porque sempre achei que nunca teria coragem de o fazer....e agora aqui estou em em Cluj, na Roménia, a fazer o SVE de um ano. 

Foi super fácil decidir que queria fazer isto, mas deixar a família, o namorado, o trabalho e os amigos foi a parte mais complicada. Complicada mas fundamental, pois o apoio de todos foi incondicional. Mas a pergunta era sempre a mesma, com tantos países porquê a Roménia? Resposta ainda mais fácil: longe de casa para quando as saudades apertarem não possa vir a casa, é um país que pouco ou nada sabia acerca dele e por último as actividades faziam todo o sentido: dinamizar clubes interculturais nas escolas rurais e fazer animação nos hospitais. 
Infelizmente desde cedo que soubemos que a actividade nos hospitais teria de ser substituída por outra uma vez que esta tinha sido cancelada por motivos aos quais somos alheiros. 


Neste momento estou no 5/12 mês. Tem sido um desafio, viver com mais 5 pessoas, com idades diferentes, culturas diferentes, hábitos diferentes, pessoas com as quais estamos 24/7. Mas um bom desafio =) Aqui temos um voluntário de Espanha, um da Polónia, uma de França . Vamos uma vez por semana às escolas dinamizar sessões de 45m onde exploramos temáticas como a tolerância, o trabalho em equipa, as diferenças interculturais..... Como não temos os hospitais estamos ainda a tentar encontrar a actividade que encaixe nos interesses de todos. 

A cidade é maravilhosa, costumo dizer que "é uma Lisboa em ponto muito pequeno". Uma cidade muito jovem e cm muitos estudantes internacionais, o que faz com que o Inglês seja a língua mais usada, mas também falamos em Romeno, ou tentamos =P (temos 4h por semana de aulas). O pais em si, tem para ver e para descobrir, as cores lindíssimas (especialmente no outono), a cultura tão diferente da nossa, a língua, as pessoas.... Tenho viajado o mais que posso pelo país, mas com seis meses pela frente ainda há muitas aventuras para ver e viver. Nos tempos livres ocupo-me com coisas que me fazem lembrar Portugal: basquetebol, aulas de salsa, bachata e kizomba.

10 janeiro 2018

O testemunho da Petra

Hmm, my evs experience ... It's hard to write anything, because there are many different shapes, colours and emotions in my mind when I think of my EVS in Portugal and Lisbon. 
I definitely think every person should go abroad for at least 6 months. It helps you seeing some things clearer and it sure represents big step in personal growth and understanding of the world around you. So go!! :) And if you have already done it, try to convince someone else too. ;) 


During my EVS experience I realized some of my flaws and some good qualities I didnt know I had them before. I realised I dont like when people feel sorry for themselves, whine, look for excuses, blame others and never do any change. You can not expect different life, mood, emotions, if you are not willing to change anything within yourself. 


I am very grateful and happy I managed to do EVS! I would like to thank all who helped me in any way to get there and everybody who I spent time there with. ;) Obrigada. Beijinhos :*