Youth Act -Portugal – Sara Cascais

Since 2016 participating in EDIW projects, our Youth have been experiencing an intensive and creative
multicultural exchange and promotion of participation. Youth Act in Portugal consists of two groups: one
centralised in Lisbon and the other in Oliveira de Azeméis, where our movement has begun in a
volunteering project with children from challenging backgrounds. And this was the foundation and the
place where five youngsters started to connect with the big group of EDIW, and afterwards the Youth Act.
Going back in time; we recognize we were teenagers that were part of a group with dreams, with ideas and
willing to participate in a change, in the creation of something bigger. And this was the first step for our
group: the recognition of wanting to participate and communicate with others that have the same feelings
and desires.
Through this path, we are able to recognize the knowledge we acquire, the capacity building endorsed by
this program, the promotion of exchange in a multicultural background and the certainty that the Youth is a
powerful voice for our societies. In these lines, it is important to highlight how Youth Act contributed to
the formation of our groups and to what extent it contributed to our personal development. After the
Covid-19 pandemic we faced some challenges regarding the possibility to meet, the difficulties in working
with minorities groups due to safety reasons, and the feeling of a society in an intense change. In this

scenario, participating in the Youth Seminars (online and later in-person) were important to reconnect and
have a boost in our hope, functioning as an extraordinary empowerment. And this may be the best
description of how we felt during our participation in Youth Act: the feeling of belonging to an
empowerment network, a place with shared beliefs and a structure to promote projects and participation.
An important note for the lessons learnt during this project: leadership and adaptation to new scenarios
and realities; development of communication (formal and informal); acquisition of information skills,
including finding, evaluating and using the most relevant and reliable information for your assignment/
project; and above all the understanding and penetration into a multicultural network to build a more
equal and empathic society for the future generations. Youth Act was important to provide for tools to
implement projects in the communities, to identify the strengths and weaknesses in these plans and to
make them happen. In our country we were able to continue with the volunteer work with children from
challenging backgrounds, integrating youth in volunteering with the homeless as well as education
programs. All in all, this network provides us with the top inspirations and empowerment needed to act
and keep believing there are dreamers and doers.