Oct 31, 2011

What to do (not) to prevent?!...

The Project + ATITUDE is an Education Project for the Health Cluster Schools Maximinos. It jointly organized a session for parents and teachers with the suggestive title: WHAT TO DO (NOT) TO PREVENT ?!...

The session, held on last Thursday at 21:00 pm, addressed the issue of prevention of deviant behavior, particularly drug use and explored the everyday educational approaches between parents and children.

Humor and realism were dominant in the presentation of Dr. Miguel Viana, the Director of the Center for Integrated Responses Braga IDT. The session lasted a couple of hours , but it seemed less because of the enthusiasm and involvement that has arisen between the audience and the conductor of the session.

This action also served to promote and remind about the existence of QUESTIONS ROOM- a service for students, teachers, and parents.

Ready, steady .... WAR!!

In September, on a Friday afternoon, in Park Bom Jesus do Monte, the MEET group organized a special war simulation for the Erasmus students of Portuguese course at the University of Minho. The goal of this simulation was demonstrating the Red Cross as a humanitarian organization acting in an armed conflict. 

Two groups of students had an opportunity not only to see the work of the Red Cross volunteers, but also had an idea for their role  in four positions- "Prisoners of War," "Artillery", "Humanitarian Assistance" and " Casualty of War”. They had to act as mediators, hostages or medical help. In my post, "Casualty of War" students dealt with four different types of problems- broken arms, internal bleeding, sprained ankle and a dead victim. The task was to decide, which of the victims had to be transported to the hospital first. As a deterrent, the information about the wounded was in Portuguese, therefore the participants could only speak in this language. It was not only supposed to be practicing Portuguese for the students, but also a demonstration of the language barriers that the Red Cross volunteers were sometimes obliged to face. The sounds of the battle created a more realistic atmosphere.

The reactions of students were different- some of them seemed to have fun with this exercise, others addressed the issues more seriously. After some group discussions ("Should we bury the dead person, leave him or take him to the hospital?"), small misunderstandings ("I have arm pain! I think she has stomach problems") and our help (sound signals and gestures were the universal language), finally, the victims were taken to the hospital. One time we made a mistake, the next we decided correctly. The most important thing, was not the order in which the victims got to the hospital, but for the students to understand the goal of our post- the priority was connected to the medical reasons, and not to race, sex, religion or nationality.

After visiting all the posts, the students as well as the volunteers together made a summary of the simulation activity, during which they once again underlined the rules of the Red Cross and clarified any doubts that arose. In my opinion, the project was well received, although it had some points that should be improved in the future.

Oct 28, 2011

Entering a new year

New year, new projects, the same objectives, maximum of commitment. That was the re-entry of the Red Cross Youth in Braga.

In the overcrowded room, all volunteers enthusiastically welcomed the news that stressed the fact that this year is special: Braga is the European Capital of Youth and will be the best ever!

All coordinators presented their projects and each one asked for the volunteers to join. Also the "instruction’s manual" was presented- which I must say - was a very useful tool in the sense of acquainting the volunteers with all the actions undertaken ​​by the Red Cross Youth. In the end we did a little socializing with some snacks and Porto wine!

I left with the feeling that I'm very lucky to belong to this "home" and that this year we will go further and (no doubt) once again make a difference.

Susana Costa, volunteer

Looking for volunteers. Choose your project already!

Oct 21, 2011

Meet welcomes the new students

It's official! Another academic year has begun! The number of students on the streets cannot lie. And, inevitably, the project Meet also entered the year that's expected to be a very productive one. In order to welcome the students Meet organized another one of the famous traditional dinners that isn't just a meal but a true cultural experience! It was followed by an unforgettable night in Sardinha Biba, with champagne of course! Patricia Ferreira, a Brasilian student at the University of Minho decided to share her experience with us.

The MEET dinner was not only a great opportunity to get to know the Portuguese cuisine, but also a way to meet the other international students and make new Portuguese friends. We also had the chance to see where's the party in Braga.
The initiative of the Red Cross Youth of Braga is amazing, we left home but we feel very welcome here.
Thank you.

Oct 20, 2011

Discovering Diversity: An EVS Experience: Call for Applications

The Portuguese Red Cross will host three young volunteers, one female and two male, in the city of Braga, Portugal within the project “Discovering Diversity: An EVS Experience”, which will occur simultaneously with the event Braga-European Capital of Youth.
Throughout 9 months, these volunteers will carry out different activities that aim to foster solidarity in children and youngsters, not only amongst themselves, but also towards every human being, regardless of nationality, gender or race. They will carry out a wide range of activities since working in a more effective social inclusion of children and vulnerable young people, living in “Bairro Social de Santa Tecla” (Social neighborhood of Santa Tecla), to organizing multicultural activities to foreign students from the city of Braga (mostly from University of Minho), concerning their cultural integration. The great majority of these children and youths belong to the Roma Community.

Reference: 2009-PT-17
3 Vacancies
Starting date: 1st March 2012
Closing date: 30th November 2012
(9 months)
Organization: Portuguese Red Cross Youth, Branch of Braga
Project: Discovering Diversity: An EVS Experience
Email: dbraga.juventude@cruzvermelha.org.pt

Phone: +351 916 984 123
Other Information: Basic knowledge of Portuguese Language will be valued
Application’s deadline: 20th October 2011
Some of these activities deal with topics that are of prime concern: “disguised poverty”, health, eating habits and the consumption of alcohol and other addictive substances, as well as school inclusion. The volunteers are going to work on a social store; promote actions in schools; develop leisure activities; collaborate in the development a hip hop group, flamenco dance group and carry out playful activities for children and youngsters.

The Red Cross Youth was at the Fair of Parishes

During the last weekend 24-25th of September, “Fair of Parishes” was held at the Avenida Central. The Red Cross Youth was invited by the organization “Braga 2012: the European Capital of Youth”, to disclose the institution, through the development of some activities for kids.

Therefore, on Saturday morning 14 children left for the historic center of Braga, along with the volunteers from the "Colorir of Sabado," with the purpose of participating in the Game of Science prepared by a volunteer of the Red Cross Youth.

Unfortunately, due to some obstacles, the initial plan was changed, however, it did not discourage the children, who enjoyed painting and dancing. There was great excitement and enthusiasm visible on their  faces.

The afternoon was dedicated to the project of Alimentação Saudável  (Healthy Eating), the kids played  the game "Through playing  find out how to eat healthy." Once the board game was  put out, many children enthusiastically joined the volunteers at playing.

The entertaining  game with questions, miming, drawings, proverbs, etc. enabled to clarify some issues and share rules of good eating habits.