Have you ever had to adapt a new cultural environment?
Let me start by introducing myself. I’m Sofia and I was born in Portugal. I’m the founder of SPEAK Almada. My parents are from Cape Verde, Santiago Island, which is an amazing place. It has a very different environment comparing to Portugal.
So, I can understand the difficulties of adapting to a different cultural environment.
I did Erasmus in Italy for 6 months where I was part of a very interesting project called Aperitivo Inglese. The project consisted of gathering the student community to share some food and get to know each other. Everyone spoke in their own languages and we also worked interpersonal relationships, following a tandem approach.
This definitely became one of my passions. I realized that sharing your culture and getting to know different people through their stories and traditions is a powerful tool for social integration.
Some of us had the opportunity to study English or another language but some of us hadn’t. And also, who doesn’t remember those GRU teachers? So when I found out about SPEAK, its relaxed methodology and the fact that anyone can help others learn their language and get to know their culture, it really ticked my heart.
The idea of bringing SPEAK to Almada, caught my immediate attention and interest!
As a contributor to the Ad Sumus Association, an immigrant Association, we can say that Portugal in the context of immigration has been characterized as a host country.
According to statistical data, Almada is the municipality with the largest number of immigrants in Setúbal district. When looking to this reality, the association assumes itself as a conciliatory element between the immigrant communities it represents and the other public or private entities. The promotion of a more egalitarian and consistent society, at the level of policies and the coexistence and integration of cultural diversity are the main focus.
Almada has a multicultural character. SPEAK will democratize language learning, bring people together and make them proud of their heritage.
And that’s what I want SPEAK Almada to be! A place where people who believe in beauty of diversity can meet. This will allow an intercultural understanding that leads to minimizing social barriers. This way, everyone gets equal access to language learning and can work towards a brilliant future, independently on where they were born or their social background.
SPEAK ALMADA will be the meeting place for active citizenship. I believe that global education leads to a social transformation and a more inclusive community.
JOIN US and together let’s make this happen!