Posted in: January 26, 2024

Categories: Host ESC, Send ESC, Volunteering

Project: EU.Motion

Type of Programme: European Solidarity Corps 

Organiser: AMC Portugal 

Sending Organisation: Xena – Centro scambi e dinamiche interculturali

Here I am to share my experience with you!

My name is Sara, I am Italian, and for 10 months, I participated in the “European Solidarity Corps” volunteering project in Lisbon at Associação Mais Cidadania.

Describing this adventure in text is a complex task because for some things, there are no words to use, only moments to live.

The city of Lisbon welcomed me immediately with its warm light and reflections on the Tejo. Walking through the city streets, it is impossible not to look up and admire the colorful buildings, stop at one of the many miradouros to enjoy beautiful landscapes from different perspectives, and sip a Sagres or a Super Bock in good company. In Lisbon, it’s easy to feel at home immediately. And that’s what I like the most.

Let’s get to the heart of the project: AMC. During these months, I got to know the association, its mission, and its projects, collaborated with the team members, and assisted them in carrying out various activities. I worked within the +Skillz youth center, supporting the operators in planning and implementing educational and playful moments for the young people. During the experience, I also worked with the AMC group, assisting them in tasks more related to the communicative sector. I also had the opportunity to carry out a personal project related to Fast Fashion and Sustainable Fashion, allowing me to delve deeper and reflect on the theme. Carrying out these activities helped me learn new skills and get better at the ones I already had, both in my personal life and at work.

However, what made my experience even more unique is the people I met. From each AMC member with whom I could chat during coffee breaks and lunches, who told me about the various Portuguese traditions; to my volunteering mates who shared this journey with me and were important points of reference, as well as true friends; to the young people from the youth center who endured every incorrect Portuguese sentence of mine and made me feel part of a big family; to each person with whom I spent unforgettable moments.

If I think of one word to describe this experience, it is: SMILE. The smile that I had on my face for months and months, the smile of the people who welcomed me, the smile of the people I helped, the smile of the people I met, the spontaneous smile that still comes to me today just thinking about my ESC.