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 :*

08 janeiro 2018

Intercâmbio TH!NK: youth & the post-truth era

Aqui podem ler mais testemunhos dos participantes do intercâmbio TH!NK: youth & the post-truth era, que decorreu de 9 a 17 de Outubro de 2017 em Lisboa.

Alessandro Ameli, Italia
Hi! I'm Alessandro, I was the Group Leader of the wild Italian bunch. I'll share some thoughts about TH!NK, the Youth Exchange we participated on October 9th-17th, in Lisbon.
First of all: I don't mean to brag, but my participants were the absolute best: responsible enough not to give me much to do as a Leader, and a lot of fun to hang out with. Francesco, the youngest but most experienced of the Fantastic 4, was always the life of the party. Elia, who experienced a Youth Exchange for the first time, adapted very quickly to the spirit of the Youth Exchange, and I was happy to see him open up and share experiences with the other participants. Sejvi and Esmeralda (first time for both of them), were... just perfect. We couldn't have survived the Italian night, when we had to cook dinner for everybody, without them (in particular, without Esmeralda's tiramisù)! All the other participants, from Poland, Scotland, Estonia, Macedonia and Portugal, were fun, interesting, intelligent young people. They made me feel a bit old sometimes... just because I was the oldest one ;)
As for the theme of the Youth Exchange, post-truth era, I think it was very well developed and analysed during the Activities. The non-formal education Workshops were well structured and thought out... and think we will "steal" them to replicate in Italy! The study visits were very interesting... and of course, Lisbon is amazing. In particular Barrio Padre Cruz, where the SPIN Hostel is located and where most of the activities were hold, was a pleasant surprise. We lived the Barrio, we loved the Barrio... we were the Barrio, at least for a week! Street art is everywhere, and we noticed that many NGOs in the Area are working side-by-side to make the place better and better.
A big thank you to Aneta, the Project Manager, and in general to our hosts of SPIN, and to the great EVS guys that have been so friendly and kind to us: yes I'm talking to you, Maria, Camilla, Petra, Mikhail, Katerina and Ana (I hope I'm not forgetting anyone!). You're a big international family and it was a pleasure to be part of it for a while. Cheers!

Sejvalda Hasani, Italia
It was my first time participating in a youth exchanging program. I never thought it would be such as beautiful experience as it resulted to be. The first day we had our presentation game and it was a very interesting and different way to know other people whom the previous days became very close to me. I appreciated the availability of everyone how works at spin for being willing to help us with anything we needed. Regarding the topic we had to discuss, it was eye catching for me. A topic which concerns all of us. We made some team works with participants from different countries. So, different ideas, different ways of seeing the situations. It was an amazing time spent in Lisboa and I'd be so happy to experience other exchanges in the future. Thank you for everything!

03 janeiro 2018

O testemunho da Nives

My name is Nives and I come from Italy. I arrived here in Lisbon the 1st of October and only now, after almost three months, I'm beginning to realize this change of life. 

I had just finished my studies in psychology, but I felt the necessity to take a pause experiencing something new before continuing the professional path, also to clear my ideas about what I really want to do in my future and in what I want to specialize. In that sense, I thought that EVS was a perfect opportunity, and ‘till now I'm very happy to have taken this decision. 

I'm not a really adventurous person, I’m not so extrovert and this is the first time that I am abroad for so long and that I participate in an Erasmus+ project. So, I think this experience could be even more challenging for me. The first weeks it was not so easy to change my habits, try to communicate in some way and to understand a little bit of a language that I didn't know at all. Now I’m more aware that every day I learn something new and that all this, even if sometimes could be hard, can only be good to form myself as a person, to discover new sides of myself and limits too. I'm just at the beginning but I'm sure that at the end of EVS I will gain a new awareness of myself. 

I joined the team of Associação Salvador, an organization that supports people with motor disabilities. I do some office work, but I also have on some occasions the opportunity to be with the supported people. Till now, besides the office work, I’ve helped for the preparation of some workshop that we organized and I was the official photographer of two events promoted by the association. I think I’m very lucky to be in Salvador because it gives me also the possibility to travel (I was in Badajoz the last weekend of October and in Praia São Julião some weeks ago) and discover new beautiful places that in another way I wouldn’t know. 

I was in the On-Arrival training some weeks ago and it has been a good opportunity to meet new people and to share the first impressions, the worries and the excitement too. 

I'm starting to discover Lisbon and the other cities here around, and I found that Portugal is a magical place. I hope that at the end of my EVS I would have seen all the main places in this fantastic Country. Obviously, I fell in love with Portuguese food too, especially the sweets, and I love the fact that here is so cheap to have a dinner outside... I go to a restaurant almost every week, this is incredible for me! 

So, I'm just at the beginning and I have other 9 months here in front of me to implement my project, to discover Portugal and the Portuguese culture and to meet new people too... I hope that it will be great!