SPEAK @ Porto

SPEAK went to Porto in September, 2015. It was a huge step for us, but we did it and now Porto is the fifth SPEAK city in Portugal after Leiria, Coimbra, Lisbon and Cascais. Why Porto? Because there are more than 23 thousand migrants in Porto from 143 different countries around the world, and this makes the population of Porto city more diverse. Some migrants are struggling to feel integrated in the city, so SPEAK is here to help them.

SPEAK Event: Sara Alafifi from Gaza

Last week we had an amazing SPEAK event. This time it was different – instead of tradicional SPEAK event with fun activities, we had a great opportunity to hear volunteer teacher experiences in SPEAK, Ines Azevedo – the founder of “Ei!” and Sara Alafifi – social entrepreneur from Gaza sharing her breath talking life story and experience.
We would like to share with you the email, which Sara sent to us after the event.

SPEAK@Porto: An Ambassador’s Experience – Nelson Lopez

Having moved back and forth between Portugal and the United States, I’m familiar with the feeling of outplacement you get when you arrive somewhere new. With it, comes a sense of burden from being expected to start what is optimistically phrased as “a new life”. There’s an urgency to pull yourself together and get with the program, when no-one will step up to explain the rules and pull you in. You look around every day and observe the social motions, and it’s all so fluid it seems effortless. It is not. You see, entering and keeping up with the social pace is a deliberate and everyday effort. Looking around you watch people as they eat, walk, and hang out together. And you see they live, they share, and they speak with each other. You understand wherever there’s a language, there’s a culture, and there’s a bond. And if you don’t get an opportunity to speak the language, the culture remains foreign, and the bond is denied.