11 setembro 2017

O testemunho da Roberta

It’s already my 10th month here in Lisbon. My heart is full of emotions, someone already left, someone else is almost leaving, but right now I’m pretty sure to be in the right place to grow up in different ways. Volunteering in the Junta de Freguesia de Carnide is allowing me to discover what I really want to do in my life. Volunteering at Junta de Freguesia means that you pass through really different kind of works. What we prepared, and planned during autumn and winter became “real” starting from Spring. We realized many many projects and events in different neighborhoods that belong to Carnide, in partnership with other organizations of the area, and always with the involvement of the whole community.

For example, we organized 3 community moments, the “Dia do Vizinho” to celebrate one simple thing: relations between people. Each day of the “Dia do vizinho” took place in 3 different neighborhoods. In all these three moments we worked in synergy with a lot of association with theatre shows, traditional dances, children activities, sports activities and of course traditional foods! We also had an event for children and families, “Feira de Expressões”, making sure they were having a lot of fun, while wearing traditional and also mascots costume (You can’t imagine how much you can learn being a mascot, giving love and hugs to children). We realized four different “Caminhadas solidárias”-solidarity walks- to promote a healthy life style with a 4 km footpath in Carnide area and to involve participants in solidarity actions. During the organization of events, we ask for the participation of inhabitants and for the participation of all the entities. In august we realized the "Festa do Migrante", to involve all the different cultures present in a same neighborhood . During reunions with our partners we collect experiences to understand potentialities, necessities and to find strategies to motivate all the people to participate, with the collaboration of each organization/association of the Freguesia. We try to give education of citizenship, articulate plans and dynamics to create contacts. We created moments of sharing, moments of solidarity. Each action is a participative action based on cooperative and social responsibility for a sustainable development to support social programs in different areas and make impact in the quality life of the community.

I received a lot of trainings in the social area, having formal meetings with some social assistants, psychologists. You never stop learning in Carnide! I’ve been also mentor in the “Animações de verão o”, a program organized by JFC for children and young to pass summer days having fun at the beach, swimming pool, radical activities, parks, museums. I realized how much important is playing games in our life. You learn how to work in teams, you better know yourself and the others and all of this having so much fun! All of this working side by side with my tutor, who is also a Social Assistant. There is one day per week where we give free social care to people of Carnide area, providing people with bad living and/or working conditions, people who suffer of isolation, with information that helps them to get out of a sticky situation, and get back to being themselves.

Even if sometimes can be really frustrating to be in this role, my tutor has been there for me every day, I never felt alone, she gave me a strong basis of formation in each area, she explained me since the beginning what seemed to be simple for everybody and for me was really difficult to understand due to differences in the language, in the culture and in the organization. She gives me daily support, she gives me a hug when I need and some strict rules when necessary 😊 We create a great relationship to work together and to spend a lot of hours together making fun also in demanding situations.

Also, I really like being in such a collaborative environment with people who also care about people wellness. All the workers in Carnide do such a challenging work that to achieve important things for the sake of the community, they never stop to give me support, to smile every day, and a nice environment where to learn, and having fun at the same time. I learnt from all of them the power of values such as the community responsibility, solidarity, involvement of the community, participation, perseverance.

But EVS is much more, EVS is full of experiences. I met wonderful people thanks to my project, and thanks to Spin. I feel lucky to have met these wonderful people that shared their stories with me. We visited together so many beautiful places, and travelling around helped us to deeply know each other, to build a strong friendship that won’t end with the end of the EVS, because you can’t forget who you share this wonderful experience with. The EVS is a self-growth learning phase, and a way to deeply meet diverse cultures, a way to build bridges. EVS experience, with its ups and downs has been a great challenge and an amazing opportunity to expanding my roots as a bridge from one side to another, trying to embrace two different cultures, to accept differences and leaving those differences. It helps you learn to look things from a distinct perspective, choosing to see those differences to learn. EVS offers to aid you in finding how you can contribute in making the world a better place. And of course, thanks to the great “Associação Spin” for helping and making my year a wonderful year 😊 


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