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European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.


AJA - Associação de Jovens da Apelação

EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
EVS accreditation expiry date 17/01/2015
Location Lisboa, Portugal
Organisation topics
Art and culture
Inclusion topics
Educational difficulties
Social difficulties
Economic difficulties
Health problems
Geographical difficulties

EVS accreditation number


For more information about volunteering and European Voluntary Service in particular, visit the Voluntary Activities section of this website.

Please note, information about organisations and projects is only available in English.
Project Environment


The volunteers with fewer opportunities will be hosted in the school and involved in the activities almost at the same way as the other volunteers; meanwhile we’ll have some cares more in many perspectives.

The mentors will dedicate more time for the evaluations and for the follow-up. They are supposed to have a weekly meeting with the volunteer, more if it would be necessary.

The volunteers will be included in some activities in the school and the youth centre that are aimed to fight social exclusion, help in integration between different cultures and follow programmes of non-formal education organised by the school.

They will have a different language course when the language is very much different respect to Portuguese and the educational difficulties will represent an obstacle we have to count with.

Due to personal economical difficulties we put into account we could need to provide the volunteer some practical and useful things: clothes in case of need, objects for him/herself the normal budget could not effort due to special requirements.

The Mentors are professionals in Social work and Social Inclusion and their role will be recognized and determinant.


The 3rd smallest parish and 7th smallest population (6043 habitants), the council registers the biggest increase of habitants (77% between 1991/2001) due to large-scale migration (district of Quinta da Fonte) that justifies the number of young people, the mean age is 30,9 years (25% <15 years-old and 65% with active age).
The parish is divided into 5 districts that form Old Apelação (Areias, N.ª Sra. Encarnação, Moinho de Vento, Olival dos Frades) and New (Bairro da Quinta da Fonte).

District of Quinta da Fonte
Between the olive groves and the Old Apelação the district with 776 fires is combined of 4-6 storied houses in a concentrated area, are built for cooperative habitation and used for social relocation after the requalification of the eastern zone of Lisbon – EXPO 98.
Today, numerous officials (who exclude a lot of families) include close to 2.206 people (DHM, CMLoures) from whom 40% of families are of African origin and 39% gypsies. With the increase of low incomes (low education and professional qualification, uncertain employment) are featured in professional areas such as civil construction, home services/cleaning and ~street vending.

Besides big economic and social weaknesses (small rise of profits) there is great social stigmatization (concerning Old Apelação, the council and a significant part of the country).

Naturally, those weaknesses are reflected in the younger people (children and youngsters) being marked as main problems:
• Indiscipline, violence, destruction and delinquency;
• Social and family problems;
• Social exclusion and stigmatization of the district;
• Dissolution of the district and low self-esteem;
• High legal and illegal substance abuse;
• Socio-economic problems and lack of basic necessities;
• Model of personal training;
• Low expectations for students and lack of individual life projects;
• Isolation of the Group and the parish;
• Lack of safety.

The volunteer will work in the school (Agrupamento de Escolas de Apelação) at Apelação but he will live in Lisboa with other volunteers and youngsters.
As the time for the travel each day is almost 40 minutes we considered a reduced timetable in order for the volunteer have time for himself and balance this travel time (see timetable attached). To get from his home to the school the volunteer will take the metro and then a bus that will lead direct to the school (30 minutes approximately). The bus is available from 6h to 1h and there are travels each 20 minutes so is a very good communication mean that allow the volunteer to be autonomous and is not restrictive.
The quarter has small shops and cafés so it’s possible for the volunteer to have a walk and buy something in case of need, there’s the post office and the police, while the service of health care is secured by the school, as well as the meals that can be consumed in the canteen.
In general the quarter presents areas typical for suburbs and there are still lot of people facing difficulties in terms of economical obstacles but in the last three years the situation started to change and even if the rate of unemployment is still high we can say the general feeling of the area is better than before and that people are more open to dialogue, to opportunities and the interest are growing thanks to the work of the school and the association.
Attached a Curriculum of AJA with details of the activities realized since the foundation until the moment of the application (2011)


We engage ourselves to ensure to the volunteers all conditions in order for them to have a very positive experience in the Association and in general during the time they’ll spend in Portugal. We preview a good follow up by the mentors and by the responsible in charge of the project to be sure in case of problems we’ll interview with success to solve any situation.

We engage, together with AMC, to take care of the bureaucratic issues concerning travels, residence permit, language courses, arrangement and all procedures will be necessary.

We’ll ensure the monitoring for trainings they’ll have to participate with the NA and for the evaluations (internal as Hosting Organisation with mentors and responsible external that we’ll have to present to the NA).

As for the information we provided to the volunteers there will be a signed Agreement that prove the volunteers are well informed about tasks, arrangements, objectives and rules the Hosting Organisation expect from them.

As for the visibility: the volunteers will have occasions to disseminate the work they’re developing in different ways: witness of their experience in all school events and meetings, groups of youngsters we work with, trainings for youngsters we constantly organise, partners Associations and Institution with whom most part of projects will be leaded, facebook and web site of the school.

AMC assures will provide to the volunteers the Youthpass through the EU procedure in order for them to have the official recognition of the European project they developed.

To reach our aim we operate in some different directions, represented in the following areas:
1. Communication and multimedia
2. Plus Citizenship Network
3. Youth Exchanges
4. Cultural events
5. Projects for youngsters in our neighbourhood: Apelação in Loures (social quarter with strong ethnic confrontation)

To each one of those areas correspond the following objectives as association:
1. …to improve divulgation of projects and activities of the school.
2. …to have a new collaborator giving contributions and learning about the activities of the Network, in the field of organization, contact making and for the multimedia aspects
3. …help in organization and creativity for meetings and exchanges
4. …to spread out our experience and confront with new animation ideas and methods in the field of arts
5. … Collaboration in animation and training for citizenship and participation

And for the volunteers therefore..: (Role and tasks of the volunteer)
1. give contribution with ideas and creativity in graphic arts for the divulgation of initiatives: creation of images, flyers and communication aspects of the School
2. to learn out working method in making contacts, in International partnership and in International perspectives, meanwhile to give new ideas according to his/her background and experiences; to link the Sending Organisation to our School in the official Network for future collaborations and creation of projects
3. to help in the organisation and in logistic way to the plan and realization of meetings (International and National level) and youth exchanges with the possibility to join the group and participate to the planned activities.

4. to give contribution to the organization and develop sensibility in the field of art dissemination and promotion, learning our working methods and giving inspiration for new initiatives
5. …to participate into the day-by-day life of the School at the side of technicians and professionals of social inclusion in order to acquire the tools we give to youngsters and the methods we are used to follow in our prevention-social intervention in difficult neighbourhoods, achieving experience in the field of multiculture and border line contexts.

We can define 2 main profiles for the volunteers hosted:
Volunteer. 1
• Support the implementation of the Canal 100 (News Channel from Apelação quarter, Loures Municipality);
• Support the training facilitation on audiovisuals and multimedia;
• Support the implementation of activities related with the School Radio;
• Support the video production and editing activities.

Volunteer. 2
• Support the implementation of dance workshop;
• Support the implementation of the community’s and school’s activities (sport and animation);
• Support the training facilitation on volunteer;
• Educational support in school.

At first we will dedicate time to the volunteer to settle in and feel integrated in our reality, in 3 ways:
- Find a good house with other youngsters to share the experience with in a pleasant way; help by giving information on services they might need (post office, supermarkets, medical issues..);
- Language support: depending on the needs of the volunteers we will provide the course according to the level they need;
- Making contacts with all project aspects and ambient we work with: schools, partner associations, institutions, guided visits to the city, youngsters they could work with.

The house where volunteers will be hosted will be guarantee and paid by the organization as well as the bills of water, electricity and gas. The volunteers will always have individual rooms, the rest of the house is shared with other volunteers/youngsters/students. Volunteers will live in a flat shared with other volunteers and students in Lisboa, near to the city center, this way the volunteers will be able to go out in the city easily, to meet other volunteers and have all facilities nearby. To reach the school they will take the metro and then change to take a bus that will lead directly to the school, the way back is the same. AMC as coordinator will provide the monthly pass for the transports.

A fix amount will be delivered monthly for the food expenses: they will have a house with kitchen where they can prepare food; in the office we have microwaves and means to heat and store in fridge food that they can bring.

The Hosting organisation will take in charge the tutoring and the organisation of the activities while the financial aspects and the issues concerning housing and relation with the sending organisation will be in charge to AMC (Associação Mais Cidadania), the Coordinating organisation.


We are very open into the selection of our volunteers: we don’t put restriction in gender, origins and personal situation of the candidate. On the other hand the condition we stated to ourselves was to guarantee pair opportunities and gender balance in our work place.

Very important for us is that each SO will guarantee that the youngsters of the short term are coming from situations of “less opportunities” that means they have to know the background of the youngsters and prepare them correctly giving them tools to face the experience of EVS. For the volunteers of the long term we search somebody which strong motivation and willing to stay in continuous contact with youngsters and children, no matter if they already have experience or not, we are ready to offer all the training they would need. In particular for the volunteer coming for short term we stated they must be youngsters facing a special situation linked to social exclusion and economic difficulties. The good partnership with the sending permits us to trust they will choose and prepare the youngsters with special profile and the work with them will be more attentive and followed up, meanwhile they will be in the team with the other long term volunteers and the staff of the School having activities and tasks exactly as the others.

We give lot of importance to the motivation the volunteers will demonstrate and to the justifications written into the motivation letter, trying to find people moved by the same willing to work into the social field and that transmit willing of commitments and versatility in the volunteering, having this school a very vast range of different methodologies to deal with social intervention.

What we search in the volunteers is:
-Versatility and spirit of adaptation (live with other youngsters, participate into different methodologies of work and different cultures)
-Willing of learn and give ideas, taking active part in the projects
-Some skills or willing to learn in multimedia and informatics (but not necessary)
-Share his culture with us!

The Sending organisations will send to us candidatures and profiles of youngsters previously evaluated by them and we’ll evaluate each one here in the School, comparing different profiles and discussing among us, according to the need every department could have.


Maximum 2


AJA understands and recognizes risk prevention as a key element for the success of an EVS experience. At practical level we’ll provide to guarantee a good accommodation, as in the house as in the work time and we’ll help concerning bureaucracy, medical aspects and every need the volunteer might have. In this perspective we’ll take care of the general situation of the volunteer: to make him feel comfortable with us, the project and the work situation. The work place is a modernized building with good conditions and all the necessary fire and safety requirements that everyone is committed to follow.

The tutors will represent a relevant figure being the “mediators” between the HO and the responsible/work place. In case of need they’ll be always at disposal in terms of crisis management, discussion, mediation, suggestions and follow up.

We aim to ensure a good follow up as for the activities as for the stay and we’ll do a monthly evaluation in the 3 points of view: the volunteer, the mentor and the School.

Contacts in case of need will be always: Luisa 966155245; António Nascimento 963144608.. Other emergency contact is 112 that in Lisboa links directly with fire department, the police and the hospitals.

We expect the volunteers to be prepared firstly from their sending organisations, and they would attend the pre-departure training. During the activities the volunteer will always work with a professional and will not be left alone.

As we have experience with all the partner organisations we already know their working methods regarding the preparation of volunteers, anyway at the arrival we have a double direction of intervention:
- From one side they will participate to the On-Arrival training that will permit them to make contacts with lots of volunteers with whom they will share their experience; in the case of the long term volunteers a second mid-term training will prepare them for the evaluation and we will integrate it supporting some activities and training about how to profit and transform this experience.
- On the other side we plan to furnish an adequate preparation for bureaucratic issues (receipts, pocket money management, temporary residence certificate) and for cultural and logistic aspects (language course, introduction of the city, help in localizing basic services for the daily life such as post office, supermarkets, medical services…). AMC will provide the volunteer with insurance as required by the European Commission (medical, travel).

Actually the preparation phase will start with the selection of the volunteers and the preparation of the specific tasks for the Volunteers.

We asked the short term sending organisations to prepare the youngster we’ll host with special care and time in order to avoid fears and lack of trust. We have prepared special mentoring to guarantee monitoring and constant evaluation of the situation.

After the approbation of the project, once we’ll know the amount granted and the real possibility for the volunteers join us we’ll start with the coordinating tasks that are necessary to prepare the arrival: research of the accommodation, the language course and preparation of the logistic material that we preview as necessary for each volunteer.

During the implementation it will be very important the follow up of the responsible in charge of the project to assure activities, conditions, define tasks and coordinate the development of the project itself.

The evaluation will permit the responsible to make the follow up useful for us and for the volunteers to understand and quantify the good development of the activities and to identify problems or difficulties that could surge during the implementation of the work. In this sense we’ll take care of the general situation of the volunteer: if he’s feeling comfortable with us, with the project and with the work situation.

The role of mentors in this case will be fundamental to assure the good exchange of opinion and ideas. In every moment the mentor will take care of his/her well-doing in the city and in the School, in collaboration with the coordinator of the project and of the colleagues of the office. As for the mentors we have already chosen the persons and we assure they will receive a very adequate preparation, the coordinator of the project will participate in a specific European Training Course for EVS Mentoring with YIA.

Since we want to ensure a good follow up for the activities as well as for the stay we’ll do a monthly evaluation in the 3 points of view: the volunteer, the mentor and the School.

Motivation and EVS experience

The idea for AJA starting to host EVS volunteers was born with our opening into the European level in different contests.

From one hand the youth workers that are managing the International Youth Department of Associação Mais Cidadania (AMC, our Coordinating Organization) are former EVSs, an Italian and an Estonian girl. For this we know quite well the EVS reality and we think that they as the tutors of the volunteers that we will hosted and sent, will interpret all their needs in a right way, thanks to the positive experiences developed during their EVS (in Portugal, respectively 2004-2005 and 2010).

AMC has hosted 4 long term and 2 short term volunteers and sent 5 long term and 2 short term volunteers. Furthermore, at the moment AMC is involved in many ongoing and developing projects - we feel this could be a comfortable place for an EVS to get experience, having now the possibility to offer different fields to develop a personal work in a professional and satisfactory way. One other interesting feature of the Association is that we work in a Portuguese ambient but we deal everyday with immigrants and with multicultural issues; moreover all the employees come from abroad, so the volunteer will never feel as “the stranger”.

We think that an EVS in AJA is very interesting both for the volunteer and the school – the volunteer has the opportunity to work actively with projects at a European and local level and the school can share new ideas and suggestions with a person coming from abroad with new cultural enrichment.

Description of the organisation

AJA is situated in the parish of Apelação, council of Loures and most of the associated come from the district of Quinta da Fonte, that is a consequence of a translocation during the EXPO 98. This group has been integrated in the School of Apelação and the youngsters associated cooperate there to give support into the Program of Educative Territories of Priority Intervention (TEIP2) since the school year of 2005/2006.

In the school year of 2009/2010 the group was made part of Integrated Basic Schools of Apelação that unites grades 1 to 3 (at the school), basic school of grade 1 with kindergarten nº1 of Apelação and basic school grade 1 with kindergarten nº2 of Quinta da Fonte.
The school is geographically located in the periphery of Grande Lisboa.
The school population consists mainly of people from the district of Quinta da Fonte that arose in 1996 and is composed of people who used to live in shelters and/or illegal districts.

It is a geographically isolated district since the buildings of Quinta da Fonte were constructed with a distance from older areas of the parish of Apelação (Old Apelação).
Concerning safety, the area is considered by the police as extremely dangerous due to some conflict situations between its residents.

Furthermore, the second Social Diagnostics of Loures (2005), parish of Apelação is isolated from the group and the parish, the district is stigmatized with social exclusion, dissolution and low self-esteem, socio-economic problems and lack of basic necessities, also social and family problems that reflect daily in the school; indiscipline, violence, destruction, insecurity, delinquency, substance abuse and low expectations for the students.
In Quinta da Fonte there is also a great ethnical diversity since its habitants are mostly with African origin (mostly from Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea and São Tomé) and Portuguese gypsies.

The majority of families are unstructured, a great number of unemployed or tentatively employed people who work far away from home. They benefit from social welfare from the Social Action of Schools, 329 students from Step A and 97 from Step B. There are 31 students with special education needs marked by the Group, 2 are in pre-school, 9 in 1st grade, 8 in 2nd grade and 3 in 3rd grade.

The academic results of the past three years (2006/2007 to 2008/2009) verify that the level of failure of the students of the Apelação Escolhas Group has been decreasing, though very gradually. However, by analyzing the school year it is possible to see one where failure increased during the last school year. In fact, the results of the 2nd grade are worse (see image 3).
In relation to school dropout there is a progressive tendency in all school years, except 1st and 2nd grades. One of the reasons brought forth for school dropout is related to the reluctant attitude of the parents towards school.

When we look at school absence it was seen to rise suddenly in 2007/2008 for the next school year. This situation is particularly visible in the 2nd cycle (where the level is highest, 36,2%) and the 3rd cycle (25%). The school’s opinion is that the incapacity of some students that attended classes is besides the fact.

The school’s problems, according to the actual project TEIP2 (2009/2010) are related to academic failure, the inadequacy of the school to offer necessities to the community, non-sustainability of intervention in the community and the school, lack of resiliency with obstacles that need to be confronted or unforeseen things that follow in coordination of communitarian intervention by partners and projects.

The staff working actively in the association is composed by a group of 10 youngsters where 3 of them work regularly and full time in the school in projects that links the community to the school. The workers are inserted in the group of animators of the school, thanks to a special programme that allow the recruitment of extra workers, being the school a special one in terms of Ministry’s Priority Programmes. The others work as volunteers or sporadically for specific projects.

AJA wants to be the group that gives positive inputs to the youngsters of the community passing through the school and organizing events for the quarter in order to give models of behaviour and positive attitude promoting active participation in society. The target group of student and youngsters to whom the activities are aimed comes from the neighbourhood of Quinta da Fonte and the age is comprised between 6 and 18 years old. The activities are linked to the improving of the good behaviour and to learn rule of life in common, be prepared in terms of citizenship and healthy practices through sports and outdoor activities. Thanks to this group there are football teams, dance groups, citizenship clubs and cultural activities.

AJA works in cooperation with the school and AMC and the main activities are:
• Animation with children for extra school timetable and during school timetable;
• Dance activities;
• Sport and outdoor practice;
• Parties and fairs linked to the community and the multiculturality;
• Project for the dissemination of healthy behaviors;
• Promotion of the intercultural dialogue;
• Organization of camping and holidays for the different ages (children, youngsters, adults);
• Promotion of volunteering and active participation of youngsters in the life of the community;
• Activities in and out of the school to promote the importance of education and fight the school dropping.

Always following the three principles (openness, inclusion and training) the Group defined its plan of action to overcome problems mentioned before with the following vectors: academic recuperation of students, adequate offers for the community, developing competencies, training, communitarian celebration and intervention, social network and social marketing.

Contact details
Please note, the selected organisation cooperates with a different EVS organisation to handle enquiries on its behalf.
Organisation name Associação Mais Cidadania
Street Rua do Teixeira, 13
Postal code 1200-459
Town/city Lisboa
Country Portugal
Email address maiscidadaniapt@gmail.com
Telephone number +351 211 937 977
Fax number +351 211 937 976

Last update: 18/01/2012