Within the project “Different cultures, Different ideas, the Same Human Rights in the Voice of Young Students” the Portuguese Association NÓS,  Protocol  of Social Integration Income, was undoubtedly the best partner our school could have chosen to promote a voluntary campaign, which involved not only our students, but also all the other members of our school community. At a meeting with Dr. Paula Encarnação, a member of the Association previously mentioned, which supports low-income families currently living in our town regardless of their origins and cultures, our school was given the amazing opportunity to take part in the organization of the Christmas Party for the children born into those families. Our school committed itself to raising enough chocolates, at least 250, meant to be offered to those children as a complement to the present they would be given at the party within the campaign “Solidary Santa Claus”. Besides, our students were also given the chance to voluntarily participate in the preparation and entertainment activities of the event. It was also decided that our school would design the poster to promote the event.


Hence, this voluntary work was divided into 3 stages:

1st Stage – Designing the poster to promote the event - This important task, whose result can be seen in the picture below, was carried out by the students of the Vocational Course of Graphic Design. The poster was also advertised by NÓS on its Facebook page: (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=462624650450773&set=a.166238670089374.33541.116957721684136&type=1&theater

2nd Stage – Homeroom teachers promoted the activity of raising chocolates in their classes so as to motivate their students to voluntarily bring to school at least a bar of chocolate, so that all the children participating in the Christmas party could be offered one.


Our students’ families were also involved in this campaign much due to the commitment of our Parents’ Association, which raised awareness to the activity on their blog and sensitized parents to get involved.

The involvement of the school community reflected itself in the number of chocolates collected and later delivered to NÓS. In fact, more than 350 chocolates were raised, which clearly surpassed our initial goal and shows how committed our school community was in allowing less fortunate children to have a sweeter Christmas.  The 10th graders attending class B were the ones that gathered the greatest amount of chocolates, about 2 bars of chocolate per student, thus earning the title of the most generous class of the school.

But Christmas spirit was in the air, therefore two classes of our school decided to do something more for needy people.

12th graders attending class G raised food, clothes and toys which were donated to two Foster Care Centres, one called “O Palhacinho”, which deals with abandoned and/or neglected children, and another one called “À Beira Tejo”, which supports single mothers and/or mothers at risk.


The 11th graders of class G collected food for a Christmas hamper that was offered to one of the low-income households supported by NÓS.



3rd Stage – The last activity was the voluntary involvement of our students in the organisation of the Christmas Party for the children of the families above referred. Their participation started a few days before the party. They joined the team of social animators of NÓS and prepared some activities for children meant to be carried out before and during the party. Therefore, our voluntary students learnt how to shape the balloons which were offered to children at the party, organised traditional games such as tic-tac-toe, can-shooting, rope skipping, sack race, among others, and prepared the introduction of the several artists performing at the party, the little huge talents born into the families that benefited from this event.

Moreover, as the topic of the party was related not only to Christmas and the family, but also to cultural diversity and human rights, they also prepared a few sketches which involved the visual exploration of a human right. Five rights were dealt with: Right n. º1: We are all born free and equal, Right n. º3: We all have the right to life. Right n. º 4: We say No to slavery! Right n.º 5: No to torture or any inhumane treatment, and Right n.º6: You have always the same rights no matter where you go or where you are.

You can see photos of the party at:


and comments at:



Date: 16/02/2013

By: Escola Secundária de Casquilhos Parents Association (Isabel Bolsa)

Subject: An unforgettable volunteering month

The Escola Secundária de Casquilhos Parents Association has been mainly involved in promoting and supporting the various volunteering activities organised in the school.
We felt so proud about our students. The commitment they have shown throughout the month and especially during the Christmas Party organised by the Social Insertion Income Protocol Team of NÓS Association (a local Private Institution of Social Solidarity), was truly amazing and it has been recognised by everyone who had the opportunity to attend that party.
It was indeed a special month, full of admirable volunteering activities that not only had a huge impact on many unfavoured children, but that will also have a very positive impact on the lives of the students involved.

Date: 15/02/2013

By: Bruno Freire

Subject: Things I will not forget

Participate in the NÓS project was a new experience for me. I learned many things that I will not forget. This new experience helped me to become a better person and I had a great time helping.

Bruno Freire, 12º A

Date: 15/02/2013

By: Mariana Lopes

Subject: "Um Natal Feito Por Nós" - Great opportunity ... many feelings

For a few days, I and other students of Escola Secundária de Casquilhos, had the opportunity to live a different experience, very rewarding. I learned many new things with a formidable team (NÓS) who made ​​us feel like an important part of this Christmas Party. We interact and know people of various ages and cultures while we reflect and share some small theatrical moments about human rights.
Helping others is important and makes us feel good!

Mariana Lopes (8ºA)

Date: 09/02/2013

By: Luis Campino

Subject: Big experience

I loved the experience of participating in the project of the Christmas party by the association Nós was a very rewarding experience and beautiful. I loved seeing the smile of those children while receiving, one that for many was the only holding Christmas gift for them . Loved know and be able to share this work with the people involved in this project. People are extraordinarily friendly, always ready to help others. I think there should be more people doing volunteer work like this because this way we realize, for example, how much we waste our lives to say that we have problems, but when these people have many problems and serious ... This experience made me see that I should enjoy life more clear and always help those most in need. I look forward to participating in more projects with this fantastic association and wanted the outset, we thank for letting me participate in this festival and wanted to leave vows to continue with the excellent work they have come to realize until now. Thank you!

Luis Campino 12ºA

Date: 05/02/2013

By: Mitza Reis

Subject: Thanks so much for the opportunity

Participate in the project " Um Natal Feito Por Nós " was the best experience I've ever had, it was very rewarding and fun. I have participated in other supportive projects but this one was without doubt the best. It made me know a different kind of happiness, provided only by smiles and laughter of others, by a giving without expecting anything in return. It was great to see these kids happy and participate in their Christmas party.
What surprised me the most and I liked in this project was to see that even today, there are still people who care about the welfare and happiness of others, without being for selfish reasons. Surprised me those who work in the NÓS for the effort and commitment that they put in their work and more those who bought and sent gifts to those children, that they didn’t even know, so they also could have a complete Christmas. This project made me see that still exists humanity in humans.
I think it's very good they allow students to participate in this type of project because it is something different, which makes us develop our altruistic side, making awaken in us a spirit of solidarity. Also because it shows us another reality, allowing us to see and participate in something that we only hear and / or see people talking and on television.
I loved working with the people of the NÓS. Thanks a lot for the opportunity to participate in the project and I want to participate in many more projects.

- Mitza Reis, 12ºA

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