This is how we started – Meeting on Youth Associativism and Active Citizenship


Partilhar / Share

On 26th January, another action of Outros Campeonatos(Other Championships), took place in Quinta do Cabrinha.

The meeting “Foi assim que começámos” (This is how we started), aimed to collect and share, in a relatively informal way, stories of experiences of youth associations happening in the Lisbon area.

Following the guidelines of “Outros Campeonatos”, the testimonies of the invited associations were directed to the Quinta do Cabrinha community and the young people strongly answered the call.

This initiative came as a follow-up to a conversation with Jorge Ramos, a member of the young informal group “Ventos de Mudança” (Winds of Change), our partner. Jorge, being inhabitant of the neighborhood since its genesis, had already undergone the process of trying to create a youth association here in Quinta do Cabrinha. This attempt was ruined but the bug stayed and came back now.

We came to the conclusion that it would be of interest for the young people of Quinta do Cabrinha to hear stories of people who have gone through this process, and sharing difficulties, sweat and willpower, have succeeded in achieving their associative efforts.

We have invited associations with activities as disparate as we have remembered to demonstrate that ideas are powerful things, that by reflecting on what we want to change or accomplish we can dream solutions and projects to achieve our goals.

We have invited associations with activities as disparate as we have remembered to demonstrate that ideas are powerful things, that by reflecting on what we want to change or accomplish we can dream solutions and projects to achieve our goals.
Members of the “Rede ex aequo” (ex aequo network), the Locals Approach, “Rede Participação Juvenil de Sintra” (the Sintra Youth Participation Network) and the Academia Cidadã (Citizenship Academy) were present. The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Development of the Lisbon City Council, Paula Marques and the President of the Town Council of Alcântara, Davide Amado and the President and Coordinator of the “Projecto Alkântara” (Alkantara Project), Filipe Santos.

The meeting took place in a register of informality. We, from the “Outros Campeonatos”, opened the hostilities by telling the story of how the Citizenship Academy and the project that now runs in Quinta do Cabrinha came up and Jorge Ramos told the story of “Ventos de Mudança”, of how they never came to formalize the group and why the idea of creating this meeting.

The conversation continued, and always directed to the young people who were in the room, in the words of Paula Marques who stressed the importance of the young people there to be willing to join and to know ways to carry out together what they wanted to see happening in their own neighborhood.

The interventions of the guests were succeeded and there was a primacy of enthusiasm for the presence of so many young people in the room. A trend has emerged that has centered on the need of creating a thematic focus of intervention from a future association and on the availability to assist in solving problems facing each other in and out of the neighborhood.

Finding solutions to issues related to public hygiene, illegal parking of cars on the streets of Quinta do Cabrinha, the scarcity of cultural and sporting activities for its age group, use of public space and tourist trips, were mentioned by young people as a necessity.

It was also presented the importance of having space available to hold meetings of this group of young people, something that President Davide Amado said it is not a problem of difficult resolution.

During an hour and a half it was made reference to several projects, we talked about difficulties of managing associations, of gratification for seeing good and well done work arising from the heads that imagine it and there was a climate of support and will of seeing new things arise.

It was good to see so many people around the table and to feel that it is possible to put things in progress. Now we need to continue with sleeves rolled up and move on.

That’s why we’re here.

See you soon!

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