"H2O"-Associação de Jovens de Arrouquelas
description of organisation
«H2O» is a very small symbol but it can bear many meanings. Besides being the symbol of water it also symbolises life and important and necessary projects like ours. We are a youth association, a non-profit organization from a small village (Arrouquelas) with around 800 habitants, A rural region, 80 km from Lisbon, we belong to county of Rio Maior, district of Santarém. In central region of Portugal, call Ribatejo. Our organization, whose typical name is «H2O», was founded in 1996 and nowadays has more than 100 members whose ages range from 14 to 35.First we carry about people from our region, and for that we do several kinds of activities, which promote an environmental awareness; citizenship; active participation; social entrepreneurship. Our work has been acknowledged both by regional and national entities. Voluntarism and concentration characterise our work, which aims the education of the young people and this becomes considerably relevant in the communities development. Gradually, we have managed to orientate the young people in a region that despite being close to Lisbon has serious social and financial needs, connected with geographical obstacles. Generally speaking, our association aims to show that the youth in the rural areas can and should have the same opportunities that the youth in the urban areas have. Therefore we try to offer them activities that they can only carry out in the countryside, in which we try to match the countryside’s' best assets — the environment and nature— with the conditions they find in the cities.We often practise no competive sports all kind organize by young people for communitie; we organise debates on several issues, which are most appropriate to our youth, all aiming the protection of the environment; we promote awareness campaigns in which we conceive posters and fliers, we have partnership with several institutions around us, anyway wity some of them we are very close and we have projetcs together, we work with schools in the region; an institution that supports people with severe mobility problems and a institution to support people with intellectual disabilities in our region.We apply to Erasmus Programme, creating exchanges and training courses every year.During the year we have a service of leisure activities for the children of our village; we take care of them during school vacations, where a professional in Education takes care of them, makes games, reads books, sees movies and sings songs with them. We also make specific activities related with the Holidays, for example, Christmas, Easter and New Year.We create events related with the environment, for example, during the Summer our Association receives youngsters that pick up trash from the streets, go to the houses of the population sensitizes them to the practice of separating garbage, create posters, leaflets and videos depicting this theme, and then show the population. These young people make also the reuse of recyclable materials and make a statement in order to show the community.During the Summer we also have volunteers that go to the florets to protect them and prevent fires.To all this youngsters we give formation before the activities and a certificated after them.Our association has got its own facilities, which was built by our members. Despite some difficulties, we try to keep track of the new technologies, through our cyber space, which allows access to the Internet. Actually we already have our own net page: http://www.h2o.pt/.Our Association is composed by the President - Alexandre Jacinto, the Vice-President, Miguel Vitorino, the Treasurer, Barbara Carapeto and the vowels.All of the board member are volunteersThe Mission of "H2O" is to create forms of participation and communication of young people through stimulating educational projects under Local, Regional and International, whose foundations non-formal education, creativity, innovation and the characteristic of youth irreverence, promoting citizenship habits that accompany the social / educational development of young people.The strategy of "H2O" is based on voluntary work and committed to its young, using group dynamics to promote communication among peers and skills acquisition in favor of social development of their community and personal development of each. We value teamwork with an accountability attitude, and openness to innovation, without dogma or bias with respect for cultural diversity and fostering European awareness. We intend to develop the local level initiatives, regional and international with the active participation of young people.
This organisation is willing to involve volunteers who face situations which make their participation in activities more difficult, from the following categories for different types of project:
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