Over 800 students and teachers from schools throughout the country celebrated, on 30 May, in Teatro Camões, Lisbon, an academic year dedicated to solidarity and citizenship projects, in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The EDP Foundation Solidarity Schools Programme worked with 513 schools, public and private, general and professional, from the 5th to the 12th grade, getting over 50 thousand students and teachers involved in the project.
In what constituted a true citizenship movement, these schools created 1250 solidarity teams who developed over 1800 projects throughout the year for the purpose of improving life in their communities – over 176 thousand people benefitted from these initiatives. These projects represented a total of around four million hours of citizenship.
Started in 2010, the EDP Foundation Solidarity Schools programme annually involves tens of thousands of students and teachers from schools throughout the country, challenging them to become positive agents for change. With this in mind, schools develop projects which contribute to improving issues identified in their communities, in areas such as Poverty and Deprivation, Unemployment/Economic Sustainability, Education/Literacy, Health, Senior Citizens, Living with Difference, Environmental Sustainability and Global Partnership for Human Development, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.
The programme now holds the official seal from the State Department for Education and from the Directorate-General for Education. It is also supported by several public figures, both local and nationwide, who have become involved in the projects through the students themselves (school sponsors), as well as by EDP Foundation (programme sponsors). A few examples are André Sardet, Aurea, Catarina Furtado, Cláudia Semedo, Eunice Muñoz, Fernanda Freitas, Heitor Lourenço, Jimmy P., Mafalda Ribeiro, Pedro Granger and Pedro Lima.
According to Margarida Pinto Correia, EDP Foundation’s Director for Social Innovation: ‘To instil in this age group an awareness that we can contribute to a better, more sustainable world every day, and that we are responsible for it, is a task which is intensely fostered by this programme. It’s a seedbed of tools to build sustainability into their lives and into the way they take part in their community. The Solidarity Schools programme has been growing year on year, and that makes us very excited, but mostly challenged by what is still left to achieve. We’re on our way…’
The EDP Foundation Solidarity Schools programme returns in September for another academic year.