• Inclusion and Social Awareness
  • Erasmus+

Solidarity Map of Aveiro

How far are you from the opportunity to create change in your city? This map includes the stories of ten organisations and projects that are changing Aveiro.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes and 52 seconds

© Helder Berenguer

What if it was possible to map the solidarity fabric of a city? What if consulting distances on a map triggered empathy? What if the scale, the ratio between a distance in a map and the real distance, could be related to the impact that volunteering has on the life of a community?

There was a lot of motivation regarding the creation of this project. It started from the need that we identified to connect people with free time, willingness to help, and institutions who need to reinforce their solidarity body. We recognized the difficulty that potential volunteers may feel when seeking how and where to help, so we've decided to provide them with a starting point. We’ve also recognized the lack of visibility of the third sector and of up-to-date communication platforms aimed at encouraging civil society to volunteer, donate specific goods that are lacking in institutions or fill other needs.

How was the project born? 

Through our work in the community, we have come to realize that many organizations find it difficult to make themselves, and what they do, known. Institutions, associations, and other entities that respond to all kinds of needs but which, whether due to lack of financial or human resources, remain “under the radar”. It is important to give visibility to the causes in which the institutions work, to know in greater detail the challenges they face on the ground, and to raise awareness about them in the community! To help solve this problem we decided to implement the “Solidarity Map of Aveiro”.

Mapping the society

During the last few months, our volunteers have contacted various organisations in the region to learn about their work and understand their needs. The cartographers responsible for this mapping decided to expand the concept of solidarity beyond social responses and also include institutions that act in the areas of inclusion, intergenerationality, multiculturalism, and sustainability.

This project resulted in a map with ten institutions that offer answers and provide services to the community in various areas. It also includes the information needed so that future volunteers can get involved and find out more about the work they do.

This map represents just the beginning, a matchstick, of what could be a collaborative and multidisciplinary network between solidarity institutions. How can volunteering fortify the communication bridges between the different institutions? How can the sharing of good practices and common problems fortify the answers that the solidarity fabric offers to the city?  

Proactive people, local businesses, other institutions... Anyone, in fact, can find a way here to establish and strengthen their networks. We can come together as a community to embrace solidarity and promote a culture of collaboration. Establish connections between the various “streets”, “nooks”, “reliefs”, “roads” and “arteries” of the solidarity fabric of our municipality.

In the next few days, we will publish the various parts of the "Mapa Solidário de Aveiro" on the Facebook page of “I Love Aveiro”. You can also consult the map through the “I Love Aveiro” page or download the printing version. You will have the opportunity to hear more about 10 local organizations working in different fields, all in some way related to solidarity.

The “Solidarity Map of Aveiro” was funded by the European Solidarity Corps program of the European Commission.

Jéssica Jacinto

01-05-2021