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  • Inclusion and Social Awareness

More human conection in Aveiro

Last April 25, Agora Aveiro promoted human contact through the streets of the city. On Cais da Fonte Nova a space was created for "Eye Contact" and several volunteers walked the streets to distribute free hugs.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute and 40 seconds

© Helder Berenguer

These actions arise to sensitize the population to human interaction, to the distancing of contact, touch and look, substituting them with screens and text messages. This withdrawal is reflected in the way we see and feel the world, in the way we understand our fellow humans, whether that is the front-door neighbor or a stranger on the news.

"Eye Contact" is a social experience that challenges two people who do not know each other to spend a minute "eye-to-eye" creating a platform that allows human connection and shows that despite the differences there is love and humanity in all people. At the Cais da Fonte Nova, several blankets and cushions were spread and several people responded to the challenge. "It's a new way to meet a person, without words but even more intimate," said one participant. Others have said that the shared time is intense and a challenging experience, which on a daily basis often falls into the distractions of the surrounding and a lifestyle too unbalanced that doesn’t allow us to be true with others and share moments like this.

Also in that day, Agora Aveiro spread free hugs. This was not the first time that Agora Aveiro had spread it around the city. After the success of the first edition, organized in February, it was the turn of the sunny holiday of April 25 to receive this action. With lots of tourists and families walking around the city, the volunteers' offerings have also influenced them and provoked spontaneous hugs between families and friends, demonstrating that a small gesture can trigger many smiles, sharing and some comfort. "You give a hug, but what you get is much bigger," says a volunteer from Agora. Agora Aveiro intends to repeat these actions in the future in order to increase the population's involvement. Hoping that April 25 was the seed and that in the next action are even more those who accept these simple but challenging moments.

Agora Aveiro