15 dezembro 2022

O testemunho final do Amr (Spin)


Hello People and welcome to my last testimony,

Time ran out and it is time for me to leave my Spin family, I came to Spin having in mind that I will be a volunteer for only 9 months, however, my project was extended for a couple of months, but those also came to an end. However, during these two months, I learned a lot. 

 The last two months I joined the mid-term training in Braga, it was a new place for me, unfortunately, it was only for 3 days however it was worth it as a new experience with new people for me to get to know, new places to explore and a new opportunity to express myself and share my culture.


 The last two months for me with spin I gave goodbyes to people I wish had stayed longer, but also welcomed new volunteers that I wish I had known earlier, I spent some wonderful moments with them and I’m also grateful for that, nonetheless, I was feeling like a guest having in mind that all those who began volunteering with me were gone and soon I will be.

The last two months were very intense for me for I was going back and forth between finalizing my project and the uncertainty I had to stay in Portugal or go back to my country and what is consequent to either of them, although I pursued means to stay. it took me a while but I recently had more sudden reasons to Leave.

In the end, I feel like I have a lot to say, and yet I won’t be able to lay it out properly, I have been reflecting on the things I am most grateful for. so simply put I’m proud of taking this step that taught me a lot of things that I take forward in time with me and enabled me to explore beautiful places and meet amazing people from around the world that I will always remember, and so this is a “Thank you” for everyone who knows me, who was a part of this chapter of my life, and remember you’re always welcome in Egypt. 
 See you around.

O testemunho No. 1 da Dina (Bola p'ra frente)


Hello everyone,

My name is Dina, and I come from Serbia. I’ve been volunteering for a month at the Associação Nacional de Futebol de Rua in Lisbon, Portugal. The association is located in a neighborhood where there are many children of various ages and different backgrounds. More precisely, fewer opportunities, facing poverty, being exposed to bullying, overall violence and delinquency, and members of different ethnic groups that are being discriminated against. Therefore, the association represents a comfortable space for everyone. Apart from the amazing facilities the association offers, it is first and foremost a warm corner with dear employees, interns, and volunteers who are always in a mood to dedicate their time to every child that comes and support them in any way. Simply put, ANFR is a place to share your life, no matter if it is happy, sad, tragic, or lonely. We stand united and stronger, bearing the upcoming days side by side.

Frankly speaking, saying that I am a volunteer is not adequate and precise. I feel more like I am doing the work of a superhero. The super hero who always has time to listen to many struggles and sad stories, and bring colors into gray children’s lives Apart from being a shoulder for crying, we share very happy moments. We have already celebrated more than 5 birthdays, one of them being the association’s 15 years of existence. Each birthday and holiday are celebrated with delicious food and drinks, which we embellish with colorful and sparkly handmade decorations.

As I don’t speak Portuguese, communication has been a bit challenging, but we manage to understand each other by using nonverbal communication. One of the things I usually do at ANFR is help kids with their homework, mostly mathematics, arts, and English. Together with colleagues, we deliver different educational presentations and workshops regarding many topics like violence, healthy lifestyles, sustainability, and others. Furthermore, we play various games, starting from simple ones to more advanced ones, where different values and knowledge can be gained. Lastly, we use street football to develop different skills, like teamwork, self-control, time management, patience, empathy, discipline, and many others. Some of the activities that marked this month were a visit to a professional hairdresser, a movie at a cinema, a visit to local activities, a picnic, and a celebration of Magusto.

My amazing flatmates  and their stunning personalities should not be overlooked. They contribute a lot to my life in Portugal. We spent a lot of time together. We explore all the possibilities Lisbon offers daily. Aside from that, we visited many surrounding cities and beaches. Long conversations in warm and cozy clothes with hot chocolate are my favorites.

Overall, I am really happy to be here and surrounded by amazing people, as well as to be a part of the association and to contribute as much as I can to make the lives of children happier, better, more interesting, and richer when it comes to knowledge and skills because, at the end of the day, don’t we all need someone to bring colors into our lives?

O testemunho no. 1 da Irene (SPEA)


Hola a todxs!

O meu nome é Irene e tenho 26 anos. Sou da Espanha e comecei o meu projeto na Sociedade Portuguesa para Estudio das Aves (SPEA) em 2 de Novembro. Este primero mês tem sido cheio de emoções e surpresas. É o meu primeiro voluntariado fora da minha cidade natal e para mim tudo é novo. Na casa Bernardim somos várias pessoas de diferentes países e divertimo-nos muito porque nos dias em que não estamos a trabalhar, fazemos excursões a diferentes lugares da cidade.

Para conhecer mais a cultura dos países das pessoas que vivem na casa, organizámos um Brunch Cultural e isso foi um dos meus melhores dias aquí (a comida era realmente boa). Posteriormente, vários de nós (Dodo, Magda e eu) fomos dar um passeio pela cidade e comemos pastel de nata. Alguns dias depois, como tradição, fomos beber Ginjinha com as pessoas da Spin e bem, DON’T DRINK IT IN ONE SHOT!

Quanto ao meu trabalho na SPEA.... (projetos: As aves semeian florestas | LIFE LxAquila) Já conheci várias pessoas que são um amor. Este primeiro mês é sobretudo sobre atividades em escolas com as crianças de 6-8 anos. É engraçado quando as crianças descobrem que sou espanhola e querem ouvir-me a falar espanhol ou "português" (mal consigo falar português...), mas é bom quando a atividade termina e elas vêm correndo para me dar um abraço <3

Este primeiro mês tem sido bastante chuvoso, pelo que não tenho podido ir observar pássaros (tenho mesmo saudades). Mas bem, estou ansiosa por seguir com este projeto em que estou envolvida e continuar a aprender mais sobre pássaros e crianças. Nos próximos meses continuarei com os alunos de algumas turmas e com outras tarefas do projeto LIFE LxAquila onde poderei estudar mais acerca das aves e as suas coisas.
De momento acho que não tenho mais nada por dizer (realmente tenho, mas não terminaria), por isso, até breve, beijinhos! 

O testemunho no. 1 do Mohanad (SPEAK)


Hello everyone,

“Sonder” is a rather unpopular word in the dictionary that most people never hear of in their lives. It refers to the intersection of different people’s lives by the tiniest chances that occur in everyday life. Think of it like the butterfly effect, where the smallest action you take can change someone’s life completely.The reason why I absolutely believe in the meaning of this word is that this testimony comes from sonder—everything that led me to this moment was unexpected.

I never saw that I will be an Erasmus volunteer until this year. I never saw Portugal as my next destination for a whole year until this year. I never expected to live away from Egypt and my family for this long time, but I am here and I am grateful.

I am Mohanad (aka Moka) and I am a 25-year-old aspiring polyglot (multilingual) and film enthusiast. My first few weeks in Lisbon were very overwhelming but in the most beautiful ways. I had a great time exploring the city on my first week by myself and with my mentor Rita and my flatmates.

I remember going to the beach with my flatmates on the weekend it was the rainiest day of the month by far (And there was also a non-comforting Tsunami warning sign) but it went more than okay. The following week, I visited Spin’s office and also went to SPEAK’s office for the first time we had dinner later on the same day to welcom

e me and a new person on the team. I am truly in love with where I work! (Just google it; it is called Casa do Impacto)

My second weekend was even better because I visited Madrid for the first time and spent quality time with a close friend there. Not the biggest fan of the city because it is super crowded and this is why I like Lisbon because it has this cozy feeling that no other city I visited felt the same.

The cherry on top of my first month was attending on-arrival training on the last week of the month in Braga. I went there with two other flatmates and had an amazing time meeting new people, learning about ESC programs, and doing various fun activities and hangouts.


I can tell you about many other things that happened during my first month, like when I tried Ramen for the first time in my life, dying my hair also for the first time, watching two spectacular films at the cinema with Portuguese subtitles, visiting the most magical place in Portugal, Sintra, and other warm little moments with my flatmates and new friends, but words won’t be able to describe how amazing this first month was. I am looking forward to the next few months with new wonderful memories and even more wonderful people. And hopefully, the next time I write, I will be able to maintain a basic conversation in Portuguese. 


O testemunho no. 1 do Donatien (Viver Telheiras)


Olá querido.a.s leitore.a.s ! 

  I’m Donatien from France. I’ve been now living for 2 months in Lisbon being part of the European Solidarity Corps. I enjoy my life so much here thanks to the people I meet, portugueses and foreigners, the other European volunteers, the people living in the neighborhood I’m working with everyday, as well as the beaches, the « doces » (I actually already tried most of them…) and the meaningful projects I’m involved in. 

Let me take you deeper into my projects in the wonderful association Viver Telheiras… This non-governmental organization facilitates community dynamics in the neighbourhood of Telheiras, in Lisbon, interconnecting local population, associations, institutions and economic activities’ interests and needs.

 My main activities are volunteering in the ongoing projects like FrutaFeia (delivering baskets of « ugly » fruits and vegetables to tackle food and resources waste) or Refood (collecting and preparing food from supermarkets, restaurants and small shops for people in need) as well as coordinating new projects like workshops in high schools to get students to take action about what matter for them. 

To finish with, one example to enable you to get to know more my coordinator, Luís. Only 2 weeks after starting my volunteering, I proposed him a new project, a Local Parliament… the project is launched and we are already working on it : the Telheirenses should be able to sit and debate about the problems they face and the solutions in few months. 

Testemunho da Anastasiya - Roménia, Projeto ''Solidarity in the Nocrich Community


Hello everyone,

 ''O ano que passei como voluntária na Roménia num Centro Internacional de Escoteiros, inicialmente, como short-term e continuando como long-term, foi uma experiência fantástica, que me deu a oportunidade de desenvolver novas competências, aprender uma nova língua e conhecer novas pessoas.

Experimentei um novo tipo de artesanato, a cerâmica/olaria, que me permitiu desenvolver competências artísticas. Aprendi muito com os escoteiros, em termos de aprendizagens práticas. 

    Desenvolvemos atividades com as crianças da localidade local, dirigidas para temas sobre a sustentabilidade ambiental, como também  atividades de escutismo.

Foi um ano cheio de oportunidades e aprendizagem, pelo qual eu estou bastante grata e pelas pessoas que me ajudaram nesse percurso.

16 novembro 2022

O testemunho no. 1 da Hanna (Spin)


Hello everyone,

      My name is Hanna, I`m from Poland. I came to Portugal to work for Spin having already had experience with an ESC short-term project. It gave me so many beautiful memories and ideas that I knew I had to repeat it. Unfortunately, due to the 2020 pandemic that made us all cancel or postpone our plans, I had to wait for a new opportunity to engage in a ESC project, but finally I made it. 

Me and other volunteers started our shared adventure at the beginning of November. We got to know each other and our organization during the welcoming meeting, which accept of first information and instructions gave us also  a chance to learn a bit about the local district and its history.

Further sessions introduced us to our association`s tasks and encouraged us to take individual initiatives in order to harness the time we will spend working here.

Besides the office job, I would also love to learn about Portugal, its culture and history, so I'm very enthusiastic about Portuguese classes we will start soon. I also hope to be able to explore and travel around the country. 

O testemunho no. 1 da Magdalena (Spin)



     Hello everyone,                                                                      

 Olá a todxs! Sou a Magdalena e tenho 24 anos. Comecei o meu projeto de voluntariado “Feel the Flow in Lisbon” em 4 de novembro. Encontrei esta oportunidade graças à Fundacja Rozwoju Społeczeństwa Przedsiębiorczego (FRSP) e decidi vir para Lisboa.

Os meus primeiros dias cá têm sido fantásticos. Em 4 de outubro almoçámos todos juntos, fizemos passeio pelo Bairro Padre Cruz e conhecemos várias informações sobre a Associação Spin. No fim de semana finalmente comi um dos meus pratos preferidos da cozinha portuguesa- bacalhau com natas- e junto com os outros voluntários bebemos um café em Estoril.


Adoro o ambiente no nosso apartamento (Casa Bernardina). Todos os dias são diferentes e nunca ficamos aborrecidos. Gostamos muito de passar o tempo a beber chá ou café, passear pela cidade e conversar até bem tarde da noite. 

 Acho que ser um voluntário na Spin é uma oportunidade única para todos os que queiram ajudar os outros e contribuir-se para o bem-estar da comunidade local. Estou muito contente de poder estar aqui. Lisboa é uma cidade pela qual me apaixonei já há três anos e desde então tem ocupado um lugar especial no meu coração <3

20 outubro 2022

O testemunho No. 2 da Beyza (Spin)


Hello everyone 

The month full of surprises. It has been almost 3 months since I was in Lisbon. I still can't believe how It went by so fast. already feel I am local here. This city has magic. I also really like the people at the office and the volunteers at home.

Me and the other volunteers decided to make a vertical garden in the office and I collected plastic bottles for this. Later on, we will paint the bottles and turn them into vases. It sounds interesting.

We decided to have an international lunch every week at the office. This week it was my turn. I cooked potato salad, shepherd's salad (çoban salatasi) , pastry (pogaça) and custard with mastic ( sakizli muhallebi) . We set up a table outside and we had a nice lunch together. Although I'm not very good at cooking, I think I did a good job with the help of others. :) Trying new things while I'm here makes me happy at the end of the day. I think that's the purpose of volunteering

The first week of September, we went to the weekend camp attended by volunteers living in Portugal. It took place in Camp Amarante. I had the opportunity to meet many volunteers from different cultures and learn about their volunteering experiences. It was a very nice experience.

Besides that, during this volunteering we have 2 training sessions and one of them was last week. I went to Braga to meet with the other volunteers around Portugal. It was an amazing opportunity. We had a chance to do activities and spend time together. I made new friendships. During the training the facilitators were teaching us how we can make our life easier as volunteers. After the sessions we visited the city centre of Braga and Bom Jesus Do Monte. The viewpoint from Bom Jesus was incredible.. 
Travel..... <3

This month I did a mini tour of Southern Spain. It was a trip that I was very happy with and saved a lot of memories. I had a reunion with many of my friends and I had the opportunity to get to know their family/friends. They showed me the important places in the city and we tasted traditional dishes together such as Crochettas, Paella, Gazpacho etc. The beauties of Andalusia and especially Alhambra impressed me a lot. I am hoping to go back there. Thanks.

O testemunho no. 1 do Cagri (Spin)

 Ola , everyone ! My name is Cagri,  I come from Turkey, and I started my volunteering project at SPIN in October 2022.

I had a Turkish friend who did his project at SPEAK this year and during our conversations , he told me so many good things about the volunteering and the life in Lisbon in general. So I decided to give it a shot and here I am. I was feeling nervous before coming to Lisbon because I have never been abroad before but after I saw the nice environment around me , all of my fears were gone.

The flight process was the hardest part for me because I was only able to find a transferred ticket from Istanbul to Frankurt then Frankurt to Porto. It was 2 AM when I landed on Porto Airport and there were no taxis waiting at the entrance of the airport. I was too exhausted but luckily I saw a taxi passing by and I stopped it then I went to bus terminal.

When I arrived at Lisbon I fell in love with its architecture. All of the buildings looked so historical. The city felt so alive and all the people around me were smiling. I was already amazed by this lovely city.

When I went to my apartment I was feeling too exhausted and I met with my flatmates and went straight to the bed and slept like 4 hours but during the night , we played some games together and this games helped me to know about their personalities. They are all nice and kind persons , I`m looking forward to share my apartment with them !,2 days later, I went to Spin office and met with my colleagues. My tutor Catarina informed me about my tasks and asked me a couple of questions about my goals in here. 
After that , they prepared a welcome day lunch for me and my roommate Amr and Lisa cooked some foods for all of us. The foods were delicious and our conversations during the lunch were pretty fun. As I never worked as a volunteer before, this is a huge opportunity for me to gain new experiences. So I`m feeling pretty excited right now ! Lastly , I have to learn about Lisbon as soon as possible because there are so many beautiful places to visit in this city and I want to see all of them. It all feels like a dream right now.

I`m looking forward for what`s to come on this new adventure.

Ciao for now !