20 junho 2020

O testemunho do Kerim No. 1 (Associação Spin)

Hello, My name is Kerim from Turkey. It has been 3 months since I started volunteering in Spin Association. Although the quarentina had been started because of COVID-19 after arriving Lisbon, I was lucky that Spin Association and other volunteers welcomed me sincerely. They were quite friendly and that helped me a lot to get used to of my new life in Lisbon. I am satisfied about my experience since the beginning even though I was working from home. Everyone in the association is doing his/her best in order to contribute to the community.

Besides, I have started to learn Portuguese thanks to our teacher Aurelie who is another ESC volunteer in Spin association. As a fresh graduated electrical engineer, I am improving myself in various fields by volunteering in Lisbon.

Long story short, I am quite happy about the decision that I made by coming to Lisbon. I am excited for the next months and always feeling motivated to do my best.

16 junho 2020

O testemunho da Polina No. 1 (SPEAK)

Hi! My name is Polina, and I am volunteering with SPEAK in Lisbon. I came to Portugal on the 1st of March and two weeks later we were told to stay home because of COVID-19. Luckily, I went to see my hosting organization during those two weeks so I got to know SPEAK people a little and could start working from home.

SPEAK helps migrant adapt in a new country through language learning and communication. It is an amazing goal and I am happy to become part of this important job. First weeks were difficult because I had to start working immediately and help SPEAK move language groups online. I worked with a team to create new guides and materials, then translated them into French. It was challenging but not impossible. 

I also met my flatmates and other volunteers in Lisbon. I really like spending time with them and discover new places of this beautiful city. 

04 junho 2020

O testemunho da Marta No. 2 (SPEA)

The time passed pretty fast the next months. I kept hanging out with my friends visiting villages around Lisbon and going for hikes, like Sesimbra, Setúbal, Cascais, ... The day of the Carnival we were in Sesimbra, enjoying the parades and the different costumes that the people were wearing. We had many rainy days, but fortunately for us, just during the week, the weekends were full of sun, laughs, beers and friends.

I went back to Alicante for Christmas and it felt good to see again all my family. I came back for New Year’s Eve with a friend from my childhood and I showed her around (Lisbon, Belem and Sintra). We enjoyed the party, fireworks by the river, the delicious Pastéis de Belém and the amazing palaces in Sintra.

After that I came back to work as usual going again to fieldwork in the International Park of Douro river. It was as amazing as the first time, we even made a new fluffy friend. Unfortunately, because of the sun, the wind and walking so many hours, I got sick, so I had to stay home for a couple of weeks to recover!

I went with SPEA to Campo Maior, almost in the border with Spain, for the arrival of cranes in their migratory rout. But first, we stop in one of the schools to do an activity with the children. We made them feel how is a day for a biologist at work, so they went birdwatching with us and some binoculars. It was a magical moment seeing the cranes flying in the sky with those beautiful sunsets. A trip to remember.

New volunteers came and we all started to get along very well, until… the Covid-19 came…