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European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.


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Agoraveiro


EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
organisation_acctype: 
Sending
Receiving
Coordinating
EVS accreditation expiry date 31/05/2015
Location Aveiro, Portugal
Organisation topics
organisation_theme: 
European awareness
Youth leisure
Inclusion topics
organisation_inclusion: 
Educational difficulties
Social difficulties
Cultural differences
Economic difficulties
Geographical difficulties

EVS accreditation number

2012-PT-27

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

PROJECT ENVIRONMENT:

Projects will take place in Aveiro, city of 70.000 people in the central Portugal, 60 km south of Porto. It is an urban area, with all the conditions for living, learning, leisure. There is a public hospital, several health centers, private hospitals, banks, University, ATMs, post offices, free rent bicycles, supermarkets, sport pavilions, swimming pools, restaurants of every kind, cafes, cinemas, theatres, public library etc. All of this is situated at most 15 min walk from our offices. There are also a few beaches around (12 km from Aveiro).

Aveiro is a city with solid cultural offer – concerts, music gigs, expositions are happening occasionally. The great thing about this city is that It has over 12.000 students, which gives life to the city. During the school year it is always crowded with students, and during the summer, which here lasts until October  it is full of tourists.

We have here excellent possibilities for sports, especially water sports.

Public transportation is easily reachable (bus 5 min walk distance, train 15min walk distance, airport 70km). It is easy and not that expensive to get here and then go around.

As about Agora Aveiro -- our association headquarters are situated in the very city center of Aveiro.

We share the newly restaurated building with a few more associations, not as active as we are. We have one office, and the big space for workshops and other activities at the attic. In our association we don’t have space for volunteers to live (sleep), but they can spend there quality time in their free time (we have common area and Wi-Fi internet, toilets, classroom…) or get any support needed.

Volunteers will be living in the city center of Aveiro, approximately 5 min walk to almost any important service or place and the same distance away from our office. Apartments are completely furnished and equipped.

There are a few options for volunteers – younger would live in the rooms that locals rent, and older would share the apartments with other volunteers or students (erasmus or portuguese). Food is also a subject to agree about. Volunteers can choose to eat in the local restaurants with the discount we can provide for them, cook at home, or, of they live with the families, eat in the houses of the family.










PROPOSED ACTIVITIES FOR EVS VOLUNTEERS:

We can offer to our volunteers possibility to participate in organization of any of our activities. This is interesting since it includes small activities that can be prepared during 3 days, but also big conferences that are being prepared during months. Our volunteers can take part in any level of the organization (management, marketing, communications or any other) and learn about the process.

Sometimes, because of the scale of the event we cooperate with professionals in different areas (design, communications), so, this can be a nice opportunity for them to see how things work in real companies.

We have a great cooperation with the City Hall of Aveiro, so we can also offer small study visits to their Department for Youth. Also, we have already co-worked with Professional School of Aveiro (Secondary School) and CERCIESTA (Local institution for Education and Rehabilitation of people with different disabilities) and we can organize visits and workshops for our volunteers also in these institutions. We closely cooperate with Aveiro Entrepreneur Association, which again can be a great experience for volunteers interested in this area. All will depend on interests of volunteers and the type of project they are in.

Besides, our team is made of people of different nationalities, so we also provide pleasant international environment where no one will feel like he/she is “from another planet”.

We will also organize portuguese (and if there is interests other languages) classes for our volunteers in order for them to easily integrate. Classes are obligatory to attend and it will be held from 3 times (6 hours) per week, to 2 hours per week later on.

There will be defined one particular day of the week with the activities that are developed by volunteers.

Volunteers can’t work more than 35 hours per week. (7 hours per day + free weekend)
Regarding accommodation and food there are a few options.

Accommodation:
- staying in a room / shared room in a house with a landlord in the city centre
- staying in a shared fully equipped apartment in the city centre. They will share it with local youth or other volunteers.

In any of cases, volunteers will always be guaranteed their privacy and a pleasant and clean place to stay, always near the city centre.

As for food, every month volunteers will receive an allowance that is supposed to be spent on food. This way they can buy their own supplies and cook at home. In Agora Aveiro they can use our cooking facilities if they wish to have a meal in the association.

- Pocket money will be given to the volunteers each month and it won't be used in other purposes.

What we expect from our volunteer is to understand and be involved in our ideas and projects, but also to have his own ideas. We expect willingness to learn, share and teach, to be open minded and good with an international surroundings that he/she will be in.

Roles can depend of his/her preferences… There will be a project to follow, but also a lot of flexibility for volunteers to discover and develop their own ideas. It can be more office-like role, because we have permanent tasks related with our databases, website, Facebook etc, or it can be a role of organizer of a proposed activity, helping organization of our activities etc.

We will encourage (as we did with some Erasmus interns that we had hosted) culture related activities – language and culture sessions, etc. If they have any creative idea for the activity, event, promotion of the association, we are open to talk about it. We want our volunteers to learn with us, but we also want to learn from them. Only that way we see this process successful.

Also, our volunteers will be asked to run a blog about their activities in Agoraveiro and life in Aveiro. This we will use for dissemination of the results of the project and to provide to the people who are thinking of doing EVS info from “first hand”.

Examples of typical activities for the volunteers are various:

- helping organization and promotion of any of our activities (workshops, events out in the streets, conferences, guerrilla activities…)
- developing their own activities (eg. Workshops that they can give, language and culture meetings, activities for the improve of Agoraveiro…)
- keep up the website and social networks
- database maintenance









VOLUNTEER PROFILES AND RECRUITMENT PROCESS:

EVS is open for everyone ( the only limitation is the age -- 18-30) and we don’t ask you to have any special knowledge in particular. Our choice of a volunteer won’t be made based of nationality, ethnicity, gender or religion.

However, we would more likely decide to chose a volunteer that is:

- proactive and enthusiastic, willing to share and learn
- creative
- with initiatives
- open minded
- high sense of responsibility
- ready to dedicate themselves to our association
- volunteers with fewer opportunities are very welcome, as well as from rural areas, with cultural or social obstacles.

Unfortunately, we can’t receive disabled volunteers, since approach to our office is not adapted yet for this. We are in search of reliable and trustful sending organization to cooperate with. Can be also from non-EU member coutries!

We will be announcing open call for volunteers. All the candidates will go through a Skype interview.The final decision will be taken by the direction of the organsiation after an interview and the analysis of the profile and needs of the volunteer as well as strong motivation.









NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS HOSTED:
2










RISK PREVENTION, PROTECTION AND SAFETY:

We will provide to our volunteers personal, task-related, linguistic, administrative and all other kind of support needed.

All the activities are done in safe and protected environment. Besides, team members will take a special care regarding safety of our volunteers. During the activities developed with small children, normally we have more volunteers involved, sometimes these activities also involve parents, and since we have as an active volunteer one doctor, she attends activities with children in most of the cases. During the activities with smaller children, we also adapt our space to them, we protect stairs, door, etc.

Our office is a safe place to work – the door is locked all the time, we are in the safe part of the city and most of the time there are policemen around. As for living conditions in a relation to the safety, volunteers will always be accommodated in the safest part of the city, with a street lights in the evening, and advised what part of the city they shouldn’t go during the night.

One of our volunteers is a doctor, so she can always give an advice when needed.

Besides that, with the insurance that volunteers will make they will have right to go to the hospital if needed.

Supervision of a tutor is obligatory -- project managers with whom volunteers will work will also take a role of a tutor: there will be organized small trainings, teach, guide and assist the volunteers in their daily activities and integration within the organization. Regular meetings in little groups will ensure support related to the tasks of volunteers. Tutors will offer any needed support to prevent or help overcome any difficulties in volunteer's life and activities. Our local volunteers will always be on disposal to our EVS. They will help when needed inany daily life activities – discovery of the city, additional language class, meeting new conditions, better integration in the local community…

Motivation and EVS experience

Motivation to be Sending Organization:

Main goal of our association is promoting an active citizenship in the best possible ways and we think that giving a chance to our members to participate in EVS programs is one of them. We believe that this way they can easily learn about different cultures, gain some European awareness, learn about their areas of interest, but also about themselves and this way we get back citizens that can give more to their community. Our experience so far says that EVS is not that popular in Portugal, and since some of the founders of Agoraveiro has already done it, we know how important it can be, and we would like to promote it and to have more young people from our city participating in it.

Motivation to be Host Organization:

We want not only to give but also to receive knowledge, and having EVS volunteers in our NGO is the best way to do this. We know something, but we don’t know everything, and surely our volunteers could help us to learn more, but we can also give them back what we know. Besides, we want to bring interculturality to our city since we feel that is not so open towards newcomers, immigrants, different cultures etc. The best way to overcome this is exactly having youngsters from abroad who will make this city a bit better, more colourful and cheerful. We have our projects that volunteers could be involved in, but we also have space to allow them having their own ideas and developing them.

Description of the organisation

Aims of Agoraveiro: Aveiro is a small city of 70.000 people and it needs some dynamics, or at least different type of dynamics. Our aims are to show to people that there are other things to be done in their free time besides shopping and play station. We would like to raise social and cultural awareness of people, to make them think not in a widely accepted consumer’s way of thinking, but also about things like: healthy lifestyle, recycling, sustainability, interculturality, non violent communication, self development, entrepreneurship, voluntarism, raising European awareness, new ideas etc. This we intend to do through our local activities, but also by sending significant number of youngsters to participate in Youth in Action projects all around Europe.

Regular activities: Agoraveiro is quite new organization, but already some activities that we have are becoming regular. We co-organized TEDxYouth conference in Aveiro, under the licence of TED and we will do it again this November, involving in this project all local secondary schools and giving them chance to express their creativity, talk about what inspire them, learn about the organization of such a big event etc. Also, smaller but not less important local activities will be organized for the second time this year by us: in September – European day of languages, in October – World Origami Day. We will keep having our intercultural activities: Easter and Christmas Intercultural Workshops, participation in Municipality activities with workshops of recycling and reutilization etc. We normaly have at least one activity each month, but if we have volunteers around it can be much more. In May and April for example we had over 20 activities with help of 3 volunteers from Czech Republic.

Staff:

1. Andre Costa (34) – chief of the division of Economical Development in the City Hall of Aveiro, also in charge of Aveiro Entrepreneur organization. President and volunteer of Agora.
2. Rosa Rufino (24) – freelance designer and MA student. Creative director and volunteer of Agora.
3. Natasa Golosin (30) – freelance journalist. Project manager and volunteer of Agoraveiro.
4. Anastasia Savchenko (27) – economist. Project manager and volunteer of Agoraveiro.

+ Over 20 active volunteers and over 200 members. Over 2800 followers on Facebook.

Our target group

In most of our activities (70%) our target group are young people (15-35 years of age). Our volunteers are also mostly this age. Nevertheless, we ocassionaly have activities with children (6-14) and elderly people. Some of our activities like Origami Day or Day of Languages are the activities where anyone can participate. It is actually nice to see intergenerational colaboration during some activities.

Contact details
Organisation name Agoraveiro
Street Casa Municipal de Cultura, Edificio Ferando Távora, Praça da República
Postal code 3810-156
Town/city Aveiro
Country Portugal
Email address agora.aveiro@gmail.com
Website agoraveiro.weebly.com
Telephone number +31 234 482 585
Fax number

Last update: 08/06/2012