what does it mean to be a volunteer of agora aveiro?

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What does it mean to be a volunteer of Agora Aveiro?

19 Nov , 2015  

Many of you have been asking us what does it mean to be a volunteer of Agora Aveiro, to whom are we helping, what are we doing and why. We will try to respond your questions.

Agora Aveiro is a youth association that promotes an active citizenship. We don’t fight for one specific cause or help one group of people. Our projects are diverse and we stand for everything that we think it makes sense – from promotion of healthy lifestyles, to promotion of more inclusive society, and much more. It’s enough if you look at the “project” area on our website and you will understand what kind of projects and activities we have been developing. Or, if you prefer using Facebook, you can check out our albums. Each one has a description of the project / activity, and many photos along.

We will give you here a few examples of our past activities and how could you be a volunteer in any of them, once we repeat them:

1 – Human Library – this spring we organised an one afternoon long event where we invited people with remarkable life stories to be “human books”. Anyone could come and “read” them, or, in reality – speak with them. We invited people that are often target of prejudice – for example – a disabled person, a Muslim, a refugee, etc. We invited our community of Aveiro to join the event and meet personally these people, talk with them and re-consider their opinion about them. Here you can learn more about this event.

What can you help here? Every project needs to be organised. It does not happen “just like that”. For example, in this case of Human library – we need to find people to be “books”, we need to find the venue for the event, to promote it (design and later distribute flyers, posters, send press release to media), we need to be there on the day and invite people to join the event, we have to take photos of it, film it and later make a little video, publish everything on our website and Facebook, make a report about the event, collect the materials and transport them to our office… etc. All these are the tasks where you could help.

2 – a Youth Exchange – another example is a more complex project – it’s a youth exchange, 10 days long, that happens near Aveiro, normally once or twice per year. Youth exchange is a ten days long meeting of 25-35 young people from different European countries. The purpose of their gathering is to exchange and learn about their cultures and besides, to learn about the topic of the youth exchange itself. The topics can be diverse… Normally our youth exchanges has as the main topic healthy lifestyles. We learn, in non-formal environment (this is a kind of learning that happens through workshops etc, not like in school environment), about the importance of sports, about healthy food, about importance of recycling etc… Here you can see some photos of our last youth exchange – WAVE2 project, that took place this summer in São Jacinto, near Aveiro. And, here is the report about it.

So, what can you help during this project? Well, as you can imagine, around 30 youngsters are coming, and we are hosting them. We have to organise a place for them to stay, 3 meals per day, to structure all the activities that they will do, find sponsors for some snacks, drinks, organise some excursion for them, take photos of the exchange every day and film it… to organise their trips from their counties to the local of the Exchange… afterwards, we create a video about the project, publish a brochure and disseminate the results… These are months of work, and you can, if you want, join this process and learn about project management, logistics etc. Later, you get to meet these youngsters, make new friendships, practice your English and other languages, etc.

3 – help integration our EVS volunteers – Every year Agora Aveiro receives several long term EVS (European voluntary service) volunteers. They live in Aveiro during seven months and help us develop our activities. They are always up to 29 years old and they come from different EU countries. If you wish to regularly dedicate some time to them you can be either tutor or language teacher. This is a serious task that you need to dedicate at least once per week, but it also brings you opportunity of meeting new friends, practicing your English or other language, etc.

4 – you can create your own project with Agora Aveiro! :) Yes! Not only that we have our own projects where you can help, but you can also come up with your own idea that our volunteers will support and help you develop it. In that case, you are the project manager, and you are the main responsible for the project  :)

These were just a few examples of what you can do as a volunteer in Agora Aveiro. Besides that, you can help us with general issues, such as – design of newsletter, promotional activities, fundraising or anything else that you feel comfortable with. Why should you do it? Well, if you want to learn, gain new skills, meet new friends, this is your chance.. If you don’t want to wait for things to happen, but instead, make them happen – then you should join us and put these ideas into action! It’s a great thing not only to boost your CV, but also to develop your social skills and have fun.

Lastly, but not less important – Agora Aveiro has numerous opportunities for our volunteers! You can travel and participate in youth exchanges and international training courses for free (or almost for free), get certificates and do EVS service (up to one year) in any European country.

If you have any other question, feel free to ask!

We hope we ll see you soon in our office :)

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Association that promotes active citizenship.