21 maio 2024

O testemunho no. 1 da Elina (Spin)

Hi! My name is Elina, i'm from Finland this is my first time volunteering in the Spin association. It was warm welcoming when I arrived and people are friendly. I'm happy to be here.

Due to fibromyalgia, I have limited disabled, but here symptons are milder its nice. Also the instructors are understanding and considerate. The workplace deals with important topics about environmental protection and teaching others, it's good to work related to it.

 In National holiday and freedom day we watched fireworks it was beautiful and also parade.

In the cultural visit day we went with Italian interns to castle of S. Jorge.

02 maio 2024

O testemunho final da Maryam (Spin)


Reflecting on my journey through the ESC program in Lisbon, Portugal fills my heart with an indescribable warmth and gratitude. Over the course of 12 transformative months, I not only explored the enchanting streets of Lisbon, but I ventured further into the heart of Europe, discovering the hidden gems of cities beyond my imagination. From the historic marvels of Rome and Florence to the vibrant energy of Spain and beyond, each destination left an indelible mark on my soul, enriching my understanding of the world and igniting a passion for adventure within me.

While my primary focus during the ESC program centered around social media management and logistical support, it was my personal project that truly broadened my horizons. Delving into the intricacies of project management and gaining insights into the inner workings of NGOs, I emerged with a newfound appreciation for the tireless efforts of those dedicated to making a positive impact on the world.

And let's not forget the culinary delights that Lisbon bestowed upon me – from the heavenly Pastel de Nata to the savory Cod fish dishes that tantalized my taste buds, each bite was a journey unto itself. As I prepare to bid farewell to this enchanting city, I carry with me not only memories but also recipes to recreate these mouthwatering delicacies and share them with loved ones back home.

But beyond the sights and flavors, it was the people of Lisbon who truly captured my heart. From my neighbors who welcomed me with open arms to the street cat I befriended and the friendships forged along the way, each interaction filled my days with joy and laughter. As I reflect on the friendships formed and the bonds forged, I realize that it's the people who truly make a place feel like home.

Indeed, Lisbon has become more than just a destination; it's a sanctuary where I found solace, inspiration, and a sense of belonging. Though I may bid adieu to its cobblestone streets and pastel-hued facades, the memories and lessons learned will forever be etched in my heart. As I embark on the next chapter of my journey, I do so with a newfound sense of purpose, gratitude, and an unwavering belief in the magic of new beginnings. Lisbon, you will always hold a special place in my heart. Obrigada for the memories, the laughter, and the love. Until we meet again.

15 abril 2024

O testemunho no. 1 do Vedran (Spin)

Magical, unreal, and a bit scary at first. That's how I felt when I first arrived in Lisbon from Berlin. But let's go back to the beginning for a moment.

Hi everyone, my name is Vedran. I'm 26 and originally from Croatia. For the past three years, I've been living my best life in Berlin. Then, late in 2023, I got this strange sudden feeling that I needed a change. I wanted to open a new chapter in my life, so I started looking for volunteer opportunities. After applying to a few, I woke up one morning to an email from Catarina saying I'd been accepted to work for Spin. Suddenly, my life took a whole new turn. I miss my family, friends, and especially my dogs, but this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. So, I accepted it and started on this new journey alone, all the way to the very west of Europe.

For the past five weeks, I've been in beautiful Lisbon, making memories, meeting new people, and experiencing the city in the best way possible. I'm trying to cherish every small moment and make something special out of it. One of the first things I needed to find, besides the usual shops and bars, was the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Lisbon has so many, and I just can't get enough of how breathtaking they are. Watching the sunset relaxes me, makes me happy, and puts me in this dreamy mood that I absolutely love.

My first day at the Spin office happened the following week on a Tuesday. I immediately loved the atmosphere; the energy of the people there is beautiful and genuine, which, for me, is the most important thing when it comes to getting along with others. Right from the first week, I was eager to take on tasks, and now I have the opportunity to manage Spin's social media. I get to capture moments of the people who work here, the activities we do together, and use my creativity to create engaging videos.

In addition to social media, I also have the chance to work on projects like "Live it Lisbon" and "Tempo dos direitos," where I can share my own ideas and turn them into reality.

I'm just at the beginning of this new chapter in my life, and I can't wait to see what the future holds. I know I'll enjoy working for Spin throughout the year, exploring Portugal and Lisbon's beauty, and, of course, catching many more beautiful sunsets. After my first month here, all I can say is that I'm filled with beautiful thoughts, and I hope to have many more in the near future.

12 março 2024

O testemunho final da Jessica (Spin)

The six months flew by and now I only have a few weeks left until I go back home. I've met a lot of great people here and made some friends. I'm sure you're wondering if I speak some Portuguese and I have to admit... Not really. But I have created many unforgettable moments. 


What I liked the most were the moments I spent with my friends. Dinner together, going out for drinks, watching movies, picnics, drawing, talking, laughing, traveling,…


In November, four of us went on a girls' trip to Madeira. In December, I turned a year older and my sister came to visit me. I couldn't miss the giant waves in Nazare either. New Year's Eve here was amazing. In January, I started skating again. From February the weather got better and better and we spent four days in Algarve. I spend March enjoying the rest of the time here in Lisbon. I could go on and on, but there would be no end.



In between, I also worked a bit – we were allowed to help with preparations for various events and the hostel. I was responsible for Spin's blog. Sometimes I helped with the design of flyers and posters. On the whole, it was very relaxed. 😉

The only difficulties were in our shared apartment. It didn't always work out so well with tidying up and it can get very cold in winter. From time to time I also missed my home. But these were just temporary things! 


My conclusion is – I would recommend it to everyone to have this experience. I don't regret a second that I was here and hope that the friendships will remain despite the many kilometers between us.


Lots of love 💗








06 março 2024

O testemunho no. 1 do Mattia (Spin)

Hi! My name is Mattia, I’m Italian and this is my first testimony of my volunteering experience at Associacão Spin! 

The 1 st month has almost passed and so far, so good! Moving to a different country can always be scary at first. Still, everyone at Spin has been super welcoming to me and I can say in full confidence that I’m ready to prove myself and to give my best to help everyone around to do the best possible job! This can be a great chance for me to learn something new and to help other people and I want to give my best: it’s a wonderful opportunity and I don’t want to waste it.

But going back a little bit, moving to Portugal wasn’t exactly planned for me, coming from 10 months in Lithuania for my Erasmus for my master studies, I increasingly felt like I wasn’t done with living abroad and I wanted to have another experience in another country to keep challenging myself. 

I’ve only just recently learned about the ESC volunteering opportunity. The whole process of applying and getting selected for this opportunity was relatively quick, so the time to learn about Lisbon and Portugal, in general, was not that much, but still, in my short time here I already feel that this city has much to offer.

Speaking about my work at Spin, so far, my tasks include helping with translating and delivering information to Italian students who are having an internship here in Lisbon with the Erasmus + program and helping with the various projects regarding the youth exchanges and the workshops that will happen in the coming months. I’m excited to make myself useful and to learn as much as possible in the next year!

O testemunho final da Katarina (Spin)

Time really flies. I am still processing the fact that I’ve spent almost a year of my life in Lisbon.

As I came back to my hometown, I started remembering how I thought of Lisbon as some city far away and impossible for me to reach. Now I think of it as my second home. 

I am existing in a different timeline now, far away from buildings with colorful tiles, away from pasteis de nata, away from sandy beaches and big waves, and the train that would take me there now is filled with some other people. It’s fine. I know I am going to be back.

The year behind me brought a lot of amazing things: experiences, connections, adventures, learning about others, learning about self, lessons, laughter, love…

Things took a positive turn since my number 2 testimony- mostly reading my flat in Lisbon. New volunteers arrived to casa Anjos, and they finally made me feel like I am a part of an ESC project. Coming from different countries, they brought their stories, their cheerful vibes and their exciting days into our home, and I have come to appreciate their company and sharing my space with them. 

I was also skeptical about sharing my room with someone, but my fellow roomie and I get used to each other and we grew closer. We shared our stories, funny and not so funny moments, traditional and improvised snacks, dreams, hopes, goals for the future and much more. 

Towards the end of my stay, we had a swap market at Spin, which I absolutely loved, but  didn’t help at all with my packing to go home, because instead of gifting stuff away and making my luggage smaller, I found so many cool things and I had to make an extra room for them. But I am a person who gets attached to things easily, so I am happy that now I have some stuff at home that will remind me of my time as an ESC volunteer.

As the time of my departure was approaching, I did my best to visit places I loved in Lisbon and around, so more than once I went to the beach just to chill and look at the waves. I also visited some places I was postponing, foolishly believing that ‘there’s enough time’. In the end, I didn’t even visit everything that was on my list, but I don’t mind - I always say that there should be something left for the next time. These trips also made me realize how much I actually grew and changed - I didn't used to go to places on my own and spend time by myself. Now that is a common thing like any other to me, and I can say that this ESC adventure I took pushed me to do some things I wouldn't do before, and for that, I am forever grateful.

In my last meeting, as I was reflecting on things I have achieved, I said: This was maybe not the experience that I wanted, but it was the one I needed. And I stand by it. So if anyone thinks about applying for ESC cares for my advice - It can never be absolutely the same as you imagine, and it shouldn't, so don't overthink it, just apply to the first program that matches your vibe, and by the end you'll realize that every challenge you encountered was worth it.

Shout out to Spin employees who always wanted to help and who always made me feel appreciated and welcome, I am thankful for giving me the opportunity to meet you all and have this experience in the first places, because without you it wouldn't be possible for me to live in Lisbon and have it made my second home.

I don't like saying goodbyes. As the day of my departure was approaching, people asked me how do I feel, am I sad, am I going to miss being there and so on...

Yes, I miss being there, I miss being around people and places. But my story is different, because I took the best of Lisbon with me, and I know I am going to be back, sooner or later.

Até a próxima!


O testemunho No. 1 do Simone (JFC - Culture)


Lisboa waaa what a life!

Every day I wake up grateful to be here. I feel like using my time in the best way. When people ask me why I’m doing a volunteer project in a library or what I’m taking from this experience, my answer goes directly to “I’m young and I have time to work until seventy years old” and then “every day I speak Portuguese, I read whatever kind of books and I have a house in the city center of a capital full of events. What I need more”.

So, this period flew really well adding the fact the I’m living with amazing guys and even SPIN’s friends are so cool.

But what about my lifestyle: 
I used to go to work from 10 am until 6 pm, in the middle I have one hour of break, where I am lucky because with the project, I’m allowed to eat in the canteen of the kindergarten of bairro Padre Cruz school. 

During the morning, I study the bibliography and reorder the books from previous loan. In the afternoon, instead, I look after on children and help them on find an interesting book. Of course, sometimes can happen some activities that are different and in the future other will be more related to the public, but until now those are the majors. Fortunately, I have even the time to read books and journals in Portuguese to increase my languages skills and being more useful to the Portuguese class or relaxed when I am doing tour into the city. 

And yes, each Wednesday afternoon, we used to do an inner Portuguese class, made by ourselves, with the objective to make volunteers more comfortable with the language and let it grow by themselves. Let’s call it self-learning accompanied. 

the night, maybe I don’t have so much time for doing some activities, but I like to go to the swimming pool to relax or spending some hours with the housemates talking about frivolities.

What happens during the weekends is more entertaining, I like to visit the city as: se de Lisboa; Gulbenkian’s foundation; Mouraria’s neighborhood and casa dos Bicos. And going out to festivals or events with friends. Lisboa gives you the opportunity to enjoy the youth a lot. 

Okay these were my words about my feelings and incidents that I had and still having during my ESC experience in Lisboa whit Spin association and Natália Correia Library. 

See you soon.