433 selected schools, 871 teams, over 39 thousand students and teachers, over 245 thousand beneficiaries and over three million hours of voluntary work – such is the impact of another edition (the seventh) of the EDP Foundation Solidarity Schools Programme.
The EDP Foundation Solidarity Schools National Meeting – an event where the schools selected for this edition are revealed – took place at the Camões Theatre, in Lisbon. Throughout the year, secondary and further education students, both from state and private schools in Continental and Insular Portugal, became actively involved in resolving social issues affecting their community.
With a view to turning members of their school community into agents for positive change, students developed projects which helped improving particular situations in their communities, in areas such as Poverty and Hunger, Unemployment/Economic Sustainability, Education/Literacy, Health, Senior Population, Living with Difference, Environmental Sustainability and Global Partnerships for Human Development, all in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Margarida Pinto Correia, director of EDP Foundation for Social Innovation, explained that “this edition saw an increase of 25% in the number of participating schools in every district in the country and, for the first time, also in the Portuguese isles”.
Miguel Coutinho, EDP Foundation’s CEO and director-general, emphasised: “This programme by EDP Foundation underlies our activity. It aims to encourage citizenship in both students and teachers, challenging them to reflect on their community and its problems and, of course, to act on them. We believe that citizenship should be included in every school curriculum and EDP Foundation wants to take an active role in this area. It’s a movement very likely to become a wave of community participation.”
Some public figures connected with the project attended the event, such as Eunice Muñoz, Fernanda Freitas, Mafalda Ribeiro, André Sardet, Cláudia Semedo, Pedro Cunha (subdirector of DGE) and João Marques Costa (Secretary of State for Education).