terça-feira, março 19, 2019

Act for you, act for all

It might not be a coincidence, that my EVS project in Portugal has the same message as it was my mission when I was actively working with youths in my home country. My sending organisation PiNA from Slovenia made a great introduction for me with Associação Juvenil Rota Jovem in Cascais, where I spend the most of my portuguese days for 6 months (until July).

Since the arrival in Portugal was quite a quick decision, I let the project to happen in its natural pace. I had a brief picture about the whole experience, since many friends of mine already finished their volunteering abroad but no particular expectations besides discovering the country, nature and culture. Coming to youth organisation, which provides an open space for new ideas for young generations, was a nice surprise with support in the office by answering all my questions which were not very few.

In Rota Jovem I helped to organize the communication plan for this year and so I got a clear picture about the organisation’s annual programme as much as about new events, which are also popping up all the time. Flexibility is crucial for healthy collaboration and I enjoy new points of view or little skills that I gain during the daily office life. I frequently use all my skills of graphic design and in help to prepare the building for the renovation with my architecture experiences. It’s quite rewarding to visit educational institutions where we promote the European mobility and its opportunities for youth. When we share the informations and personal experience to ones, who hear that opportunities are available around the corner, it’s nice to follow the process of discovering and deciding about the future plans. I’m very grateful for the possibility to organise my own events. So far I’ve been trying to gather the running enthusiasts and in next days I want to inspire people for help at beach clean ups and youngsters in creative industries to start their own businesses.

Besides the work occupation it’s the biggest advantage to explore the surroundings and visit all that famous buildings, which I’ve been always observing only in the books during the architecture studies. Since I’m a huge thalassophile (*someone who loves the sea/ocean), it’s amazing for me to get in touch with the ocean and do all kind of outdoor activities with people, who grow up in this environment and conditions. To understand culture itself for me it’s very crucial to meet people with diverse backgrounds, interests and ages.

Living in Lisbon and working in Cascais I found as a privilege, even though I spent a part of the time at the transportation. I can observe the situations in two quite different places and also better understand how the society works. The city of Lisbon itself is very intense and I really love to get in touch with nature every now and then. I’m impressed by all the possibilities which one can find in the city and also sometimes sad, when I observe the impact of massive tourism on local community. It makes me think about my daily decisions as much as future plans. We all have a lot of impact on our surroundings and the least step we can do is that we don’t take them for granted.


segunda-feira, março 18, 2019


Montassar Tizaoui from Tunisia

I am Montassar Tizaoui from Tunisia. I am living a great volunteering experience in Lisbon. I’m hosted by Rota Jovem and I’m currently working with Associação de Actividades Sociais do Bairro 2 de Maio.

Volunteering in a foreign country and you know what is more? Is that I work with children. These three fundamental factors made of my experience such an amazing one. 

The first important factor is volunteering. One of my principles in life is to devote energy, skills and competences to help others. I strongly believe on sharing and this is what I am doing here. Everything is shared. I share the same house with colleagues. I share my energy and skills with children.

The second factor is that I spend my days with children. I take care of these children as if they were my own. I love them and they love me. I am not parent yet I feel as if I am a ‘daddy’ to so many little ones.

Each day brings new excitements. I start my day with innocent faces, we spend quality time together, and I read stories to them and see different reactions on their small faces. Although I do not speak the same language, I feel that we are all connected and we communicate well. 

I give them advices and I try to facilitate the integration of all children without exception. I know it is huge responsibility to work with children, that is why I pay attention to every single world and action. I feel the importance of contributing to the character’s building of these miniature humans. Let me give you a glance about my daily routine with my angles. Everyday morning we start by drawing or gymnastics, and then it is lunchtime. This is a challenging part of the day. I help them to eat all their food without forcing them. After eating, it is time for them to take a nap. After having a rest they eat their snacks and it is time to dance and play different games.  With their sweet company, time flies so fast. 

The third factor is that I am discovering a new country with a new culture. Lisbon is such an amazing city as it is one of the world's oldest cities. Every day I enjoy the beauty and richness of this place.

Volunteering in a European country and within the field of children care is a very rich experience. I think that I am lucky to have such an opportunity to build up myself and to promote human values. I am learning lessons every single moment and I will go back to my country with many beautiful memories.