“International volunteers bring excitement and new energy to our projects,” says one of ELI Abroad’s partners, director of a Porto initiative that distributes unwanted food among the hungry. “And it keeps us going strong even during the vacation season when many of our regular staff and helpers aren’t available.”
Grocery stores, cafes and restaurants all participate in the effort, donating unused produce and meals which are delivered daily to those in need in and around the city. “International volunteers have also inspired some locals. They see these people from overseas helping out during their vacations and think, wow, this must really be a worthwhile cause.”
“But it’s fulfilling for the international volunteers, too,” she quickly adds. “ELI-ers who work with us become part of a community, make friendships they wouldn’t have ordinarily, and get to know Porto in a deep, very un-touristy way.”
In fact, some past international volunteers have become so inspired by these Portuguese efforts, that they’ve started similar NGOs in their countries.
“We had a participant from England who saw how our program worked, decided it could work in her home too, and started a chapter in London!”
Ready to be inspired and to be an agent of change in Porto?
Then ELI is ready for you.