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Do you want to volunteer?

Portuguese organization tells you PARA ONDE (Where to)

DO YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER BUT DO NOT KNOW, FOR INSTANCE, HOW TO FIND THE IDEAL LOCATION FOR YOUR PROFILE? THERE´S A PORTUGUESE ASSOCIATION THAT CAN HELP YOU.

PARA ONDE? WAS BORN IN 2014 AND ITS MAIN FOCUS IS ON NATIONAL VOLUNTEERING, INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERING AND SOCIAL INCLUSION THROUGH ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP. DURING THE FIRST TWO YEARS, IT WAS “AN INFORMAL, INFORMATIVE ONLINE PLATFORM THAT FUNCTIONED AS AN EXTENSIVE ONLINE DATABASE OF VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS AROUND THE WORLD," EXPLAINS INÊS FERRÃO, COORDINATOR OF THE ORGANIZATION. AT THE END OF 2016, IT HAD ALREADY RAISED ITS STATUS AS A NON-PROFIT ASSOCIATION AND TODAY "WORKS AS A STRUCTURE FOR SENDING AND HOSTING SHORT AND LONG-TERM VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS”, SHE ADDS.

SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR, THE ASSOCIATION HAS ALREADY SENT ABOUT 300 PORTUGUESE VOLUNTEERS ABROAD, RECEIVED 30 FOREIGN VOLUNTEERS IN LOCAL PROJECTS IN PORTUGAL AND CARRIED OUT SOCIAL INCLUSION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ACTIONS IN THE NATIONAL TERRITORY THAT INVOLVED HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE.

“OUR MISSION IS TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE, WHO WOULD OTHERWISE NOT KNOW EACH OTHER, TO JOIN TOGETHER WHILE WORKING TOWARDS A COMMON GOAL, THUS HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES OF EACH ONE”, SAYS INES FERRÃO. ACCORDING TO THE RESPONSIBLE, “PROMOTING THE ENCOUNTER BETWEEN PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND FIGHTING CULTURAL IGNORANCE, ELIMINATES PRECONCEPTIONS AND PROMOTES PEACE”.

ACCORDING TO INÊS FERRÃO, A TRUE VOLUNTEER IS ESSENTIALLY “ONE WHO DOES WHAT HE DOES FOR PASSION, WHO DOES NOT GIVE UP IN THE MOST DIFFICULT MOMENTS, WHO CELEBRATES THE SMALL ACHIEVEMENTS AND WHO BELIEVES THAT DIVERSITY IS SOMETHING THAT ENRICHES THE WORLD A LOT”. HE/SHE IS ALSO THE ONE WHO “DOES NOT CARE IF HE'S IN MUDDY CLOTHES, WHO KNOWS HOW TO WORK AS A TEAM, WHO KNOWS WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO DO”. AND STILL A PERSON “WHO DOES FOR OTHERS, FOR HIMSELF, BUT NEVER TO SHOW HIS OWN ALTRUISM”.

A PARA ONDE? ATTRACTS MANY PEOPLE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS, IN ADDITION TO WANTING TO JOIN THE STILL VERY SMALL TEAM. NOW, THE ASSOCIATION HAS JOINED WORLD LIFE EXPERIENCE PROJECT AS A PARTNER BECAUSE IT BELIEVES THAT THE "12 PARTICIPANTS, THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, AND ALL THOSE WHO WILL ACCOMPANY THEM, WILL BE MUCH RICHER AND CAN START A WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT OF ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP”, SHARES INES FERRÃO.

MORE INFORMATION AT: WWW.PARAONDE.ORG

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