What is ECS?
ESC or European Solidarity Corps is a volunteering programme of European Union, which allows young people to work on meaningful projects abroad. Projects are in different fields of expertise – from working with disabled people to organizing sports activities in schools. Therefore, everybody can choose what suits them best.
Why have I chosen exactly this programme?
I have lived abroad for a couple of years and I wanted to do a long-term volunteering project, which would bring something meaningful for society and enhance my experience. Therefore, I have chosen a project in Lisbon, Portugal, in an NGO Bué Fixe.
The Bué Fixe is a non-governmental organization for development and immigrants. They have been working with the youth since 2003, when the magazine Bué Fixe was founded in São Tomé and Príncipe. The main goal of the magazine was to inform and educate the youth about STI, HIV and AIDS.
Since then, the organisation has moved to Lisbon and extended its scope of activities. They support young people primarily from African Portuguese-speaking countries living in the most vulnerable communities of Greater Lisbon. The youth who struggles with unemployment, social exclusion and various forms of discrimination.
The Bué Fixe actively works on removing barriers in exercising social and human rights of the vulnerable youth. Mission of the organization is to promote and carry out social programs with and for young people. Bué Fixe encourages their active participation at all levels – local, national and international.
The Bué Fixe runs several activities which include education, health, street actions, opportunities for employment and international exchanges for the youth.
So, a couple of months ago I have started an adventure of a lifetime – my ESC programme in Portugal, Lisbon. Before coming here, I was looking for a meaningful project, where I would be able to contribute to society, locally and internationally.
My main tasks are connected to project writing, implementation and management, as well as writing articles, enhancing social media networks of organization; participating in the conferences.
I had a chance to improve my skills in project writing, and now I know how to write, implement and report about project cycle. My colleague Monika and me have enough free time to explore the city, learn Portuguese, enjoy the sun and vibes of Lisbon.
If you are now thinking about participating in ESC programme, I would advise to choose wisely. Choose something which will bring you pleasure or a room to learn. This programme is designed to give you an unforgettable experience, but it’s up to you, what will you take out of it.
Autor: Yasmina Stupak