Campus and Community

“Helping others will make us better persons”

This was one of the many lessons learned during the Social Responsibility Day held at Taguspark campus, involving the participation of several voluntary organisations and social solidarity projects.

The Social Responsibility Day held at Taguspark campus took place this Wednesday, May 16. This year’s edition was devoted to voluntary organisations working in Oeiras municipality on the topic “Social Responsibility: where, how and why?”.

According to the president of Técnico, professor Arlindo Oliveira, “Técnico students were always sensitive to social issues as shown before the 25 April 1974, when Técnico fought for social causes”. At this moment and facing a different reality “social issues are just as important now as they were then, or perhaps even more” and so the president of Técnico expects that “Técnico students, in their role as the intellectual elite and project executors, continue to be vigilant about these issues, without forgetting the diversity of society”.

The voluntary organisations that participated in this year’s edition – Acreditar; Amal; Aria; Associação Coração Amarelo; DarISTo; Fundação a Comunidade Contra a Sida; Just a Change; Make a Wish; NEEGICares; Programa Oeiras Solidária and Serve the City – shared their experiences and motivations. “I was a cancer patient and, at that time, Acreditar was very important to me, and that’s why I am here today”, said Jorge Palha, volunteer at Acreditar and Técnico student.

“DariSTo is the result of an idea of a group of mothers from Técnico who wanted to donate some things of their grown children”, explained Cecília Moreira, responsible for the project and Técnico employee. Alfredo Abreu, volunteer at Serve The City, explained the several activities of the organisation and pointed the need of increasing the number of volunteers: “We are what we give so I ask you: what are you?” and then he piqued the audience “helping others will make us better persons”.

Helena Rogério (Serve the City), Paulo Ponte (Acreditar) and Duarte Fonseca (Just a Change), as well as Gisela Damásio (Auchan) and Paula Viegas (GRACE) shared the motivations, strategies, difficulties and the benefits of volunteering: “it can be done whenever and wherever we want”.

Duarte Fonseca from Just a Change shared with the audience:“A volunteer of Just a Change convinced a lady to walk out and go to the hairdresser, which was something that she didn’t do for about 10 years”. “Volunteering helped me learn more about myself and to deal with the others”, shared Helena Rogério. “When we see the joy in people’s faces, it well worth the extra effort”, she said.