Bona Fides Association and “H2O” – Associação de Jovens de Arrouquelas are looking for 1 male volunteer (18-30 yo) to join a short-term project working with young people and local community in Arrouquelas, Portugal starting as soon as possible!

Place: Arrouquelas, Portugal
Dates: ASAP 31 May 2024
Duration: 59 days

Coordinating organization “H2O” – Associação de Jovens de Arrouquelas

ESC (European Solidarity Corps, a program co-financed by the EU: Since 2012, “H2O” has embraced this project, being an organisation accredited at European level to coordinate volunteer project, receive and send volunteers. This project has a great importance for the organisation, the young people and the community.

Strategy “H2O” is based on the voluntary and committed work of its young people, using group dynamics to promote the communication between peers and acquisition of competences, for the social development of their community and personal formation of each one. We value teamwork with an attitude of accountability, and openness to innovation, without dogmas or preconceived ideas with respect for cultural diversity and fostering European awareness. We intend to develop local, regional and international initiatives with the active participation of young people.

Mission of “H2O” is to create forms of participation and communication of young people through the promotion of pedagogical projects at the local, regional and international level, based on non-formal education, creativity, innovation and irreverence characteristic of youth, promoting citizenship habits that accompany the development of young people.

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About the project and objectives

The aim of this project is to give volunteers the opportunity to get to know our country, our culture and our work. Volunteers will live in our local community helping children and trying to integrate them with the elderly population. Volunteers need to be prepared to team up with the “H2O” volunteers in all the work our organisation does, both on a practical and logistical level. In Arrouquelas the population is mostly elderly, so we want volunteers to create a greater interaction between the young people and the locals.

In general this project has as main objective the Communication and the Education, because they will create various
forms of communication between the association and our young people. In “H2O” all the members of the board are
volunteers, so we have a characteristic way of working, but above all there are no limits to motivation and creativity. We intend to use non-formal education methods.

Volunteers should be able to promote the ESC program and represent the National Agency and “H2O” in the various events we participate in, such as exhibitions, newspaper interviews, TV and radio.

The volunteers will be divided into different work camps and the “H2O”

– At “H2O” they will take care of children after school hours, developing stimulating and creative activities. They will also create activities, trainings and workshops for young people in general and will learn and assist in the association’s administrative work.

– They will develop an educational project of social inclusion in a Social Institution in the city of Rio Maior – “O Ninho” – Special education center for people with mental problems. The users carry out educational, manual, artistic, agricultural, sports, handicrafts and other types of games. We intend that the volunteers integrate these activities and that they can develop other projects of their own that promote a greater interaction between our association and “O Ninho”.

– Another field of work is the “Naturidade” – Continued Care Unit in Arrouquelas, which supports the users in their rehabilitation, where the purpose of volunteering is to perform games, parties, conversations and activities that improve their self-esteem.

– There are also two other institutions where volunteers will do activities, the Fernando Casimiro Pereira da Silva school and Poeta Ruy Belo, giving support to leisure activities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, where volunteers will provide support in the distribution of food and essential goods to Families in the Rio Maior region.

– Project “Rio Maior Refood” This is a social project developed in partnership with the “H2O” and the Conference of St. Anthony of Rio Maior – Sociedade São Vicente de Paulo, and its senior volunteers. The project focuses on working together on an intercultural and intergenerational linkage of the volunteers involved, where the tasks are focused on the daily food collection and distribution of the same to the poor population of the county of Rio Maior.


Planning is carried out during the week or every week, always agreed with the volunteers. In addition to this typical program, there may be days when volunteers can present their own projects to be developed with the target group.
Short-term or long-term projects, for example, theatre or choreography.

Portuguese language courses – OLS (online language support provided by the program). We also provide additional support: Portuguese language training by local volunteers (basic level); depending on the season, the school in Rio Mayor can provide official Portuguese lessons outside of working hours with a certificate of Portuguese language level at the end of the course, but only on one condition – if the volunteers attend all the lessons of the course.

Events at H2O take place during school holidays and weekends, usually in the evening or at night. This schedule is consistent with the voluntary nature of our organisation, which involves placing participants after school or work hours. Volunteers can join weekend activities if they agree, and they also have the option to participate on weekdays.

H2O offers activities for children and youth after school, known as ATL (After School Time). ESC volunteers can participate in the planning and organisation of the association’s activities if they demonstrate competence and willingness to participate in the association’s dynamics. This involvement allows young volunteers to explore different areas of activity and establish close links with youth associations and their organisational structures. “H2O” stands out for its unique approach, where leadership is entirely based on volunteers.

Role of the volunteer

Volunteers will play an active role within the host organisation. They should be prepared to collaborate on socio-cultural and sporting activities alongside the young volunteers of our association, as well as develop their own projects and activities. From the very beginning, the volunteer will receive personalised support.

The project follows a structured plan, but we are also completely open to any ideas that may emerge before or during the project. We are flexible in aligning the volunteers’ motivations with our reality to ensure they have the best possible experience and gain diverse perspectives. Additionally, it’s essential for the volunteer to engage in weekly project evaluations with their mentor and coordinator. They are also encouraged to contribute articles for our social media, where they can express and share their experiences with other young people and the wider public. We anticipate that ESC participants will be responsible and creative, bringing positivity to our organisation and enhancing the work we do within our community and region.

Interpersonal and social skills

Volunteers are expected to return to their countries at the end of the project, thoroughly satisfied, having acquired a much deeper understanding of a different culture and new skills they did not possess before. New connections may be forged between the volunteers and the local population, possibly maintained over time, as previous experiences have demonstrated. It is hoped that the local community will similarly be influenced, potentially sparking new interests, such as foreign language learning. Local youth also receive a message of borderless volunteering and activism in the field of nature conservation, increasing their curiosity about similar activities and programs, often incorporating them into their lives, where they previously may not have been involved.

The main expected results of the activity include raising awareness of cultural diversity among different communities, including children, youth, and adults, both in rural and urban areas. Additionally, the project has a positive impact by promoting active participation, aligning with what the Youth Pass/ESC program proposes.

The project will also yield positive outcomes for ESC, as well as the communities, employees, and other volunteers involved. The ESC volunteer will develop additional competencies, while the association will expand its scope of work through intensified dialogue and other actions.

The target audience of “H2O,” which includes elementary school students and the rural population, will benefit from engaging in projects centered on volunteer culture and cultural differences.

These projects serve as a small window to another part of the world, which is not always easy to access. Through their involvement with the organisation and interaction with volunteers, they will continually learn about the lives of people in Portugal and, in turn, share information about their own cultures and developing countries.

Accommodation, food and pocket money

The volunteers will be staying in the village of Arrouquelas, in a rented house. We ask the volunteers to be responsible and careful. The house has a kitchen, 5 bedrooms (shared rooms, separated by gender), a living room with fireplace, 3 bathrooms, 4 multifunctional spaces and a patio with annex. All materials such as dishes, cutlery, towels, sheets and blankets are provided by “H2O”. The kitchen is fully equipped, and the volunteers will have to share it and be able to cook for themselves.

The volunteers are responsible for taking care of the house, farm, that located behind the house, garden and the headquarters of the association, as well as their cleaning and hygiene, always with an ecological attitude. The separation of the garbage is fundamental in the house, to promote the recycling. Volunteers have access to the internet at home or at the “H2O” headquarters, but there are also other places in Arrouquelas where participants can enjoy the internet.

We will provide transportation to the work camps, outside of the village. We provide the food money or we go
with the participants to the hypermarket or the local grocery store to get the necessary products. Anyway, when they buy food they should pay attention and buy the most economical products. Some meals can be made at work camp institutions. For each month of ESC, the host organisation gives pocket and food money to each volunteer, according to the financial statement of the Erasmus+ program.

Check out the INFOPACK for more details!


If you are interested in joining us, please send your CV and a motivation letter in English (with a title: “ESC in Arrouquelas, Portugal”) to and