The Matosinhos Volunteer Fair is a showcase of the nicest and nicest things done in Portugal.


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At least 117 non-governmental organizations with a proven track record in the social and humanitarian fields are taking part in a volunteering fair in Matosinhos this weekend. The event, which is open to the public, will include a litter pick through the town’s streets to the beach and a program of conferences. André Villas-Boas, for example, will explain how his passion for cars gave rise to a project “for good”.

Share, inspire, involve. Like the Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger”, which motivates athletes around the world, these three verbs are at the heart of a volunteer fair being held this weekend in Matosinhos.

The initiative, which will take place at the Quinta de Monserrate – Club, aims to promote contact between social and humanitarian action organizations, whose work is developed in Portugal and abroad, and a curious public motivated to help.

In a green space surrounding eight padel courts, at least 117 non-governmental organizations will have a physical space to promote their work, get a message across to visitors and attract support.

Like a motivational vitamin, a group of personalities linked to NGOs or simply devoted to causes will share their experiences over two afternoons of conferences, starting at 3pm.

The list of 15 speakers includes André Villas-Boas (who channeled his passion for cars and rallying to found Race for Good), Pedro Geraldes (organizer of TEDxPorto), Jorge Rosado (of Palhaços d’Opital, which provides entertainment for elderly people in hospitals) or Constança Vasconcelos Dias (of Just a Change, which rebuilds homes for people in need).

On Sunday morning, from 11 a.m., German activist Andreas Noe (known as Trash Traveler) will lead an action to collect plastics, cigarette butts and other garbage, which will take place in the streets of Matosinhos, heading towards the beach.

The conference program will also feature testimonials from personalities who are, in themselves, demonstrations of self-improvement.

Examples include Catarina Oliveira, a paraplegic nutritionist who has become a campaigner for equal access for wheelchair users, and Romanian Roma Cristian Georgescu, who has come to terms with his past as a drug addict and is now president of the Saber Compreender organization, which supports homeless people.

The volunteering fair is an initiative of Heart and the World Awards. Founded by Gustavo Carona, a doctor experienced in international humanitarian missions, its aim, in his own words, is to “merge the credibility of the best social and humanitarian aid with the creativity that will enable goodness to reach the general public and encourage every citizen to do a little more for a world with more heart”.

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