What have you done today to change the world? Integrate disabled people in the society

“Sometimes I think I’d like to volunteer somewhere else in the world… but there’s still so much to be done in my community!”

Fabíola Lebre Lago, Portugal

 

Fabíola Lebre Lago is an actress, a Special Needs educator and an inspiring human being.

For over 10 years, she has been a volunteer collaborator of CERCICA, Portugal (http://www.cercica.pt/), particularly connected to the Vital Project. Its main goal is to integrate and promote autonomy of young people and adults with disabilities (physical or mental) in the society.

The project entails several types of activities (cultural, recreational and sports) taking place outside the institution’s premises, on some weekends of the month, previously planned by the educator in charge and followed by volunteers and participants.

Usually, they go to the movies or to the theater, watch art exhibitions, play sports and radical activities, go to a bar to socialize, etc. Most of all, the participants should use public transports autonomously, order their own lunch at a restaurant, feel like they are going out with friends, talk about the activity practiced that day and keep entertained and amused, outside the house, on weekends. Additionally, these activities allow the’participants’ families to have some free time to themselves.

Fabíola also volunteered at Casa do Alecrim, a day care center/home for people with Alzheimer’s (http://alzheimerportugal.org/pt/text-0-10-54-87-lar-e-centro-de-dia-casa-do-alecrim).

In her opinion, the help she provides others with changes her more than them. Volunteering has this ability of operating changes and evolution within, in the volunteer more than in the aided person. It makes sense if one thinks about the satisfaction inherent to the act of contributing, even if just the least bit, to another person’s well-being and, who knows, happiness.

. What have you done today to change the world? .

by Cláudia Gomes Oliveira

linkedin.com/in/claudiagomesoliveira

What have you done today to change the world? Inspire children

“Our dreams are some of the most precious things we possess. I hope my speaking and singing have a positive impact on these children.”
Kevin Short, USA
Kevin Short is an Opera singer and has been performing since 1987 in theaters all over the world.
Recently, within the scope of the commemorations of Black History Month, in USA (celebrated in February), he started visiting schools and talking to children (aged 6 to 12 and from varied backgrounds) about the vital importance of pursuing the dreams cherished by each one of us, and keep them free from external influences that may eventually, for one reason or another, end up annulling them.
Another relevant part of the talk was about the beauty and the significance of cultivating perseverance. In most parts of the world, and due to the way societies have evolved, associated with advances in areas such as technology, communities got accustomed to results and rewards coming rather quickly.
However, in order to keep cherishing our dreams and, along the way, get to fulfill some (or all) of them, it is imperative that we maintain hope and sheer belief in our visions. Only so will we sustain dreams and renovate vitality. Only so, will life itself have opportunity to happen.
Hard work, or facing whichever tasks, ideas or plans we have with perseverance, is not only a way to build inner strength and positiveness, but it’s also a solid means to understanding our life learning path.
The benefits of such commitment may not always be obvious or immediate, yet carrying on with a certain work ethic and engaging ourselves in the best way we know, will eventually lead to the desired achievement of goals and our involvement will certainly not have been in vain.
Dreams belong to each one of us and each one of us should have the freedom to try to pursue them.
. What have you done today to change the world? .
by Cláudia Gomes Oliveira

What have you done today to change the world? Sponsor a Child

“I was so impressed with the Cambodian people – they always have a smile on their faces despite the extreme poverty in which most of them live. I started to do some research on the Internet and that’s how I came across CCF – Cambodian Children’s Fund.”
Lurdes, Portugal
Lurdes is a retired English and German Teacher and a devoted mother of two (now, adults). Before visiting Cambodia, Lurdes was aware that the country had been under a severe dictatorship by Khmer Rouge, responsible for a mass extinction of the country’s population. She also knew that Cambodians were widely known for their kindness and warmth. After her first visit, in 2008, she was amazed with the country’s beauty and even more with its people’s, and when investigating a little more on that special place, she found CCF – Cambodia Children’s Fund.
CCF’s founder, Scott Neeson, is the former President of film production company 20th Century Fox. While visiting Cambodia, in 2003, he witnessed the misery of so many children and their families and he simply couldn’t go back to his old luxurious life. He sold all his assets, moved to Cambodia and created the CCF (https://www.cambodianchildrensfund.org/).
Lurdes decided to sponsor a child and contacted CCF. When asked if she preferred a girl or a boy, she said it didn’t matter. Srey Rath, a 15-year-old girl, was assigned to her and that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship nourished through e-mails and regular visits. The yearly sponsorship is 1200 USD (or more, if one so desires).
Srey Rath is now in the university, studying Management, and will remain under the care of CCF until she’s independently established in life.
Lurdes always refers to Srey Rath as her Cambodian daughter.
. What have you done today to change the world? .
by Cláudia Gomes Oliveira