Associação de Jovens de Arrouquelas
"H2O" - 25 years of youth associativism
We are “H2O” – Associação de Jovens de Arrouquelas, a youth organization based in the rural village of Arrouquelas, in Portugal.
Our work is focused in the implementation of social and cultural projects, aiming the community, both youth and elderly.
This is a very special year for us, in spite of all adversities, because we are celebrating 25 years of existence.
Attached to this email we send you our partner form, hoping that we can be of use to you and your organization.
We wish all the best for your activities and projects and for the wellbeing of your organization and staff members.
Even under the pandemic, we kept all the dynamic that characterizes us, we adapted and moved forward.
We come to inform you about our activities and the work we do as an association located in a rural environment and leave our invitation to visit us. Throughout the summer, we have developed several activities at “H2O” – Associação de Jovens de Arrouquelas. The pandemic did not stop our work, we adapted to this new reality and continued to work for ourselves and for our community, focusing on the training and the personal development of our young Portuguese and foreigners. “H2O” is a youth organization, located in Arrouquelas, in the municipality of Rio Maior, with an important social work that contributes to the development of our community. This year is very special for us, despite the adversities, as we complete 25 years of existence of numerous regular activities.
Our association, “H2O” – Associação de Jovens de Arrouquelas, was founded in 1996 by a group of young people who had the objective of creating better conditions and opportunities for young people living in the parish of Arrouquelas. Several activities were created with, above all, a special focus on sustainability and preservation of the environment. There was also the objective of making Arrouquelas as a reference for youth associations. 25 years later this is still our motto. Young people continue to be our target group, environmental issues continue to be our mission and we are a reference for youth associations in Portugal. Arrouquelas has not been the same village since our existence and this is clearly visible. For over 10 years, we have been welcoming young people from various countries in Europe, who are staying with us in a 12-month European volunteer program. These young people create initiatives for the parish and develop volunteer work in preschools and primary schools in Rio Maior and also with social and environmental institutions in the Rio Maior area. At the moment we have 6 volunteers from France, Greece, Macedonia and Armenia, we are still waiting to receive, this year, young people from Guadeloupe.
Today, H2O is the only organization in the region with two quality seals, awarded by the National Youth Agency that coordinates the Erasmus + program financed by the EU.
• Erasmus quality seal +
• European Solidarity Corps quality seal
The applications were demanding and rigorous and H2O corresponded to all of them. For a youth organization in a small village with 600 inhabitants it is relevant, attributing to H2O a great responsibility in the execution of projects in these actions in the next 7 years, which will allow to involve approximately 1500 young people from various countries with sending and welcoming projects.
One of the projects that we continue to develop, in partnership with the PISY – Portuguese Institute for Sport and Youth, is the “Youth Volunteer for Nature and Forests”. This project leads our volunteers to give importance and visibility to the need to protect forests and nature from the fires that occur in summer. Twice a day, volunteers come to our watchtower, created to facilitate the visualization and identification of the area/ place where a fire breaks out. In this way, the identification of the fire is done earlier, thus allowing a faster action with less environmental consequences. There is also “Generation Z”, also in partnership with the PISY, where the youngsters enrolled carry out a work closer to the community, taking care of public spaces, helping seniors to correctly sort waste, etc.
“Conta-me Como Foi” (Tell Me How it Was), a project we created earlier this year, aims to create a collective memory of the village, making audiovisual recordings with interviews made to the senior population of Arrouquelas. In the interviews, questions are asked about the villagers’ childhood and adolescence, the way they lived their lives, their memories of the village and the Overseas War. Videos are shared on our Youtube channel and social networks, with the interviewee’s consent, the videos duly edited and subtitled in English, so that our foreign community can also have access. With these videos, those who follow us, particularly young people, can understand how the world has changed and empathize with elders, and later give relevance to the need to keep our memories alive.
Our partnerships with national and local associations were strengthened during the pandemic, due to the fact that we continued to collaborate with them, making our team of volunteers available whenever necessary. This was the case of Associação Patinhas de Rua, in Rio Maior, and the Municipal Kennel of Rio Maior. In this project, our young people learn to take care of animals, helping them walk the dogs, brush them and bathe them. We also help to improve spaces and offer material and food. With this project we can create relationships with animals, learn the responsibilities that having an animal involve and to have a bigger perception on how many animals are abandoned and how that affects them.
Recycling is Winning, it’s an activity that we also started this year. An activity that arises from the need to make the village greener and more environmentally friendly, encouraging the population to acquire more and better recycling habits. Our focus is above all the senior population, as they have greater difficulty in properly sorting the garbage or moving to the recycling bins, which are sometimes far from their homes. It also happens that, in some cases, the “mouths” of the ecopoints are too high, some people have motor problems, which ends up being a difficulty for those who want to recycle. So, we go to people’s homes, with a van and a trailer, and collect the garbage that they separate during the week. This activity takes place 1-2 times a week.
We invite you to get to know our mission and values better by visiting our:
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjWNgvQl4jarxzv5sNy3e8g
“H2O” – Associação de Jovens de Arrouquelas
Office & Post Address: Rua Fundadores da Junta de Freguesia n.73 2040-031 Arrouquelas PORTUGAL
Tel: +351 968 492 287
Visit Arrouquelas through these links. Work developed with the support of our European volunteers: Breja Fountain 360º: http://www.easy360cms.com/viewer showcaseRoom=6f4922f45568161a8cdf4ad2299f6d23
Headquarters of H2O and Letters 360º: http://www.easy360cms.com/viewer?showcaseRoom=70efdf2ec9b086079795c442636b55fb
Geodesic Landmark, Watchtower and Church (outside and inside): http://www.easy360cms.com/viewer?showcaseRoom=1f0e3dad99908345f7439f8ffabdffc4