“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, 32, 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.
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