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🇵🇹 VOLUNTEER IN PORTUGAL 🇵🇹

Volunteer in Portugal with Plan My Gap Year – an award-winning, international volunteer abroad organisation with programs based in Lisbon. PMGY provides safe, trusted and affordable programs, with a range of volunteer projects in Portugal, including ChildcareFood Rescue & Homeless Centre opportunities.

PMGY Portugal have projects located in the historic, capital city of Lisbon, in the west coast of Portugal. The Portugal volunteer programs start on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of every month. Our projects in Portugal run throughout the year and participants can join the program for 1-12 weeks. Volunteers in Portugal are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pick-up, in-country orientation, meals, volunteer accommodation and local support.

KEY FEATURES

PROGRAM FEE FROM 645 USD

PROGRAMS FOR 18+ YEAR OLDS

✓ PRE-DEPARTURE BUDDY LISTS


✓ MEET LIKE-MINDED SOLO TRAVELLERS


✓ VOLUNTEER MON-FRI & TRAVEL SAT-SUN


✓ AVAILABLE TO WORLDWIDE VOLUNTEERS


✓ IDEAL FOR FIRST TIME TRAVELLERS

   

DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS

LOCATED IN LISBON

1ST & 3RD SUNDAY EVERY MONTH

✓ AIRPORT PICKUP


✓ ACCOMMODATION, MEALS & WI-FI


✓ SAFE, SECURE & TRUSTED COUNTRY SETUP


✓ CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION


✓ 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY, UK & US SUPPORT

PORTUGAL CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

Provide disadvantaged children with extra support on a community NGO project. Motivate them in realising their ambitions.

FROM 645 USD

1-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

PORTUGAL FOOD RESCUE VOLUNTEERS

Help combat food waste in Lisbon as you redistribute surplus food to those in need within a community initiative.

FROM 645 USD

1-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

PORTUGAL HOMELESS CENTRE VOLUNTEERS

Volunteer at a homeless centre in Lisbon and help reduce the disparities homeless people face through food and shelter provisions.

FROM 645 USD

1-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

WHY VOLUNTEER IN PORTUGAL WITH PMGY?

Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.

 

Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your PMGY adventure.

 

Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe and structured as possible.

 

Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.

 

Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.

VOLUNTEER PROJECTS

PORTUGAL CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

Become a childcare volunteer in Portugal and immerse yourself in the growth and development of disadvantaged children. Working within a local NGO, you will become truly engaged with the daily lives of these children. That is to say, you will plan and lead a range of after-school activities for local children to benefit from. Become a positive role model and inspire the next generation when you volunteer with children in Portugal.

 

Background to the Childcare Program

 

On the face of it, Portugal is recognised as a fairly developed country in the world. However, what might surprise you is that Portugal is grouped within 8 countries that have the highest poverty levels among children in Europe. To emphasize, one in five children in Portugal leave below the poverty line. Worryingly, this trend is on the rise over the last few years.

 

The reasons for these alarming statistics can be complex and wide-reaching. Many parents in Lisbon are either unemployed or without stable employment. Consequently, they struggle to provide the basics for their children. Furthermore, recent economic crises have left many families struggling to get by on a daily basis. The knock-on effects of this are the changes for the worse that children experience.

 

Almost 1 in 3 children in Lisbon live in a state of hardship. In other words, they will go each day without 3 full meals a day. Moreover, the families they live with cannot afford structured accommodation. Subsequently, they and their children have no option but to live on the streets of Lisbon. This is a trend that correlates to many of Portugal’s main cities.

 

A further consequence is that child labour remains a present phenomenon in Portugal. Deprivation for families reaches such a point that children see no option but to leave school for work to support their families. For example, many children head to the streets of Lisbon and beg for money. Alternatively, they enter the manufacturing industry and earn close to one euro per hour. Sadly, the inevitable outcomes remain that children and their families remain rooted in the poverty cycle. For the reason that they lack professional qualifications and enhanced future prospects when they drop out of school.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Portugal provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working at our childcare volunteer abroad projects in Portugal, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a childcare volunteer in Portugal can bring. To volunteer with children in Portugal, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.

 

Childcare Volunteer Placement Example

 

After-school NGO Project – In short, there is a clear need for making a commitment to volunteer in Portugal. The establishment of an after-school NGO project provides a range of extra-curricular activities for Lisbon’s underprivileged children to enjoy. To put it differently, the local community have an additional facility to help them improve their future prospects.

 

Those who attend the program are typically late primary and secondary school-aged children. That is to say, children range from 10-17 years of age. For reasons explained, not all children who attend the project will attend normal school during the day. In addition, many will come from slum communities in the local area and not benefit from 3 meals each day. Therefore, the structure and routine of our extra-curricular NGO project provide a vital safe space and resource for many disadvantaged children.

 

The project receives limited funding and no governmental support. The commitment and endeavours of passionate local staff and volunteers are essential to the running of the project. Regardless of the situation, no child should be left behind. The NGO project provides deprived children with a facility that gives them hope in achieving their further aspirations. Volunteer in Portugal and help the children further their education and learn new skills. In addition, the project provides a platform for international volunteers to get creative. For instance, teach a new sport, language, instrument or game.

 

When you complete volunteer work in Portugal, your role will be varied. It is important to realize that the children at the project will look up to you. Therefore, you must set a good example in everything you do and come to the project with lots of enthusiasm. Moreover, you can bring new perspectives and ideas to the after-school program for the children and local staff to enjoy. By the same token, you are encouraged to integrate your culture and learnings with the children.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Childcare Day

 

As a childcare volunteer in Portugal, you will assist the NGO project with all of its extra-curricular initiatives. For example, your tasks could include teaching English and helping students with any homework they may have. Alternatively, you could be showing off your creative side and leading arts and crafts activities. If you have a specialist skill to share, then the after-school NGO centre is the place to do this!

 

It is also fine to adopt more of a support role at the project. With this purpose in mind, you can simply spend time with the children and get to know them informally. In turn, the children will become more confident and interactive around you. Whether it’s in a big or small way, you will be sure to play an influential role in the children’s daily lives.

 

The typical working hours are 4pm-7pm Monday-Friday. As a childcare volunteer in Portugal, you are encouraged to spend your mornings planning and preparing activities for the project. As previously mentioned, Portugal volunteer programs do not run at weekends. Therefore, this is your own free time and you are encouraged to make the most of it by exploring Portugal.

 

PORTUGAL FOOD RESCUE VOLUNTEERS

As a Portugal food rescue volunteer, you will redistribute leftover food to those who need it most! That is to say, you will play an active role in tackling food waste in the local community. Work alongside local volunteers and redirect leftover food from restaurants and supermarkets to those in need. For instance the elderly, vulnerable families and homeless people. Provide food packages to an array of neighbourhoods in Lisbon when you volunteer in Portugal.

 

Background to the Food Rescue Program

 

Every year, it is estimated that over 1 million tons of food in Portugal is wasted. To put it differently, nearly one-third of the food a person consumes is thrown away. This is all the more shocking when you consider the opportunity cost generated from such excessive food waste. For instance, the 2000kg of perfectly good food going to waste daily could feed hundreds of homeless people in Lisbon.

 

Yet, Portugal is not a country that most people would think of when talking about world hunger. Moreover, for the majority of the population hunger is not thought of as a big issue in Portugal. However, the nation has suffered from trying economic times and a huge debt crisis within the last couple of decades. Many family providers have lost their jobs and the homeless and elderly have become further isolated. In short, one in five of the Portuguese population are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Thousands of Portuguese people rely on community projects for food alone.

 

As a result, more people have become increasingly reliant on community initiatives like food parcels. Without this, they would lack the basic requirement for survival which is food. Those who can’t afford daily meals can sign up to receive meal packages from nearby community initiatives. The establishment of these organisations that redirect surplus food to the places that need it most is vital. Not only do these programs fight food waste, but they are essential to ending hunger in Portugal.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Portugal provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working at our community volunteer abroad projects in Portugal, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and positivity. For the reason that much of the local community will be relying on your endeavours as a Portugal food rescue volunteer.

 

Volunteer Placement Example

 

Food Rescue Project – Established as a community initiative, the food rescue project aims to eliminate food waste in Lisbon. Not only this, the project ensures as few people as possible in the community go without food. The ethos of the project is simple. That is to say, the centre partners with local restaurants, supermarkets and cafes in the city to collect surplus food. The food collected is in very good condition. In turn, the project redistributes the food among those within the community who need it most.

 

Should the excess food not be redistributed, it can be assumed that the institution would simply dispose of it. Therefore, the commitment and logistics of the food rescue project and the volunteers within is essential in avoiding such scenarios. There are multiple centres that the food rescue project runs from in Lisbon. Consequently, there are many more communities that can be supported. As a result, international volunteers provide a vital additional resource to the running of these projects.

 

The food rescue program has grown to support and feed over 2000 people in Lisbon on a daily basis. When you complete volunteer work in Portugal, you can join a passionate local team of volunteers fighting against food waste and hunger in Lisbon. In other words, work at the forefront of the project in collecting excess food that would otherwise go to waste. Then, distributing it among families and others that need it most.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day

 

As a Portugal food rescue volunteer, you will support the food rescue centres in a variety of tasks. For example, you will collect surplus food from all participating organisations in the Lisbon area. In addition, you may then be assisting with separating, sorting and packaging each unique food parcel at the centre.

 

Participants will also be active in the community distributing the food packages to those in need. Alternatively, you may stay central at the centre and serve meals to homeless people. Experienced local volunteers will work alongside you to make sure you have all the support you require in your volunteer role. Whatever tasks you engage with, you will be providing vital support to the project.

 

The typical working hours are 6pm-9pm Monday-Friday. However, it is important to note that your volunteer schedule in Portugal can vary. For the reason that the food collected from local restaurants, supermarkets and cafes is done in line with their demands. This is to minimise disruption and to encourage more food outlets to participate. Consequently, the working hours may fluctuate. As previously mentioned, Portugal volunteer programs do not run at weekends. Therefore, this is your own free time and you are encouraged to make the most of it by exploring Portugal.

 

PORTUGAL HOMELESS CENTRE VOLUNTEERS

Become a Portugal homeless centre volunteer and help reduce the inequalities homeless people in Portugal face. Adopt an active role in the centre and provide vital support to those without any social or family assistance. As a volunteer in Portugal, you will get involved in all aspects of the centre’s work. For instance, providing meals, leading recreational activities and engaging in cultural exchange. Help provide valuable structure and routine for homeless people in Lisbon.

 

Background to the Homeless Centre Program

 

One of Portugal’s most pressing issues is homelessness. Out of the countries population of 10 million, it is estimated over 4,000 people are living in the streets of Portugal. Over three-quarters of the homeless population is male. Whilst a 0.04% homeless percentage of the population may seem small, Portugal’s homeless population is rising. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of homeless people has increased substantially.

 

With this in mind, it must be recognised that the pandemic has placed unique pressures on Lisbon regarding homelessness. For the reason that much of the Portuguese capital’s economy has been shut down. As a result, many of the city’s residents have lost their job. This includes a loss of income opportunity for those who worked odd jobs or on non-contract terms. Consequently, there has been a sharp rise in the numbers of people finding themselves on the streets of Lisbon. That is to say, they are unable to provide for themselves.

 

Naturally, there a range of other social factors that develop when reviewing the issue of homelessness in Lisbon. For instance, many homeless centres in the city provide support for people with drug addiction. However, as the numbers of homeless people rise, so does the strains placed on the homeless centres. To put it differently, many centres struggle to provide the essential support services that their beneficiaries require from them.

 

The Portugues government is said to be working with NGOs to eliminate housing problems. Similarly, the Lisbon city council has announced intentions to invest substantial amounts into tackling homelessness. Nevertheless, the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the back of the economic implications of the 2008 recession means homelessness remains a national challenge in Portugal. More specifically, national and local governments need to act quickly as homelessness rises exponentially.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Portugal provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working at our community volunteer abroad projects in Portugal, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and positivity. For the reason that much of the local community will be relying on your endeavours as a Portugal homeless centre volunteer.

 

Volunteer Placement Example

 

Homeless Centre Project – Established in the heart of Lisbon, the centre provides invaluable support to homeless people. In the city, those living on the streets face poverty and inequality on a daily basis. Many of whom, have a history of addiction or some form of substance abuse. With the support of local and international volunteers, the centre aims to provide support for these people. In turn, reducing the inequalities that they face.

 

At its core, the centre’s mission is to provide food, clothes, health checks and refuge for those in need. Without the centre, these people lack social and family support in their battles against addiction and homelessness. Therefore, the centre helps to alleviate both the individual and social risks that addiction comes with.

 

The users of the centre are provided with an opportunity to get their lives back on track. They receive all the basic support they require within a structured environment. International participants assist with the centre’s support provisions helping people from a range of backgrounds. By simply listening to people’s stories and giving them your time, you will be contributing so much.

 

The homeless centre has grown to provide accommodation, medication and food for hundreds of people in Lisbon. When you complete volunteer work in Portugal, you can join a passionate local team of volunteers fighting against homelessness in Lisbon. In other words, work at the forefront of the project in fighting inequality and helping vulnerable people turn their lives around.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day

 

As a Portugal homeless centre volunteer, every day will be different. Working with a range of people, your tasks will include preparing and distributing meals for homeless people in Lisbon. Furthermore, you will coordinate clothing donations and organise recreational activities to provide remuneration for the centre’s users. Participants are also expected to work with the local volunteers and help keep the centre clean.

 

For participants looking to contribute further, you are encouraged to arrange educational activities. Alternatively, adopt a more relaxed approach and simply listen and converse to each person’s story at the centre. Share your skills and leave a positive impact on the lives of the people you meet at the project.
The typical working hours are 4pm-7pm Monday-Friday. However, it is important to note that your volunteer schedule in Portugal can vary. Consequently, the working hours may fluctuate. As previously mentioned, Portugal volunteer programs do not run at weekends. Therefore, this is your own free time and you are encouraged to make the most of it by exploring Portugal.

FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE

Flights

 

After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. This means that we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. PMGY have an ATOL Licence to ensure any flights booked through us are financially secured by the Civil Aviation Authority. If you would therefore like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.

 

For your volunteer trip to Portugal, you should book your flights to Lisbon Portela International Airport. Volunteers in Portugal should arrive on the Sunday start date. The airport code is LIS.

 

Travel Insurance

 

Having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. It is therefore mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. Although most of our participants experience a smooth ride during their time overseas, occasionally things may go wrong. Having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.

 

Plan My Gap Year Ltd is an appointed representative of Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada).

 

If you’d like to purchase PMGY travel insurance, you can add this option on during your online application. You can also add this to any upcoming trips with us by getting in contact via telephone or email.

PRE-DEPARTURE SUPPORT

Our International Team will work hard to provide extensive levels of support in the build-up to your trip. From our online chat service to email support and telephone conversations, our team are always ready to help. All international volunteers with PMGY will receive a Volunteer Handbook. This detailed hand guide will provide you with all you need to know in the build-up to your trip. From visa guidance to suggested packing lists, this will be the ultimate guide, helping you plan for your volunteer trip abroad.

 

We have Facebook groups for each of our destinations. Here you can find members of our international and local teams, as well as past, present and future volunteers. These pages, therefore, provide a great forum for participants to network, share experiences and community updates year-on-year.

 

Sometimes it can be difficult to picture yourself abroad without yet being there. We, therefore, do our best to further manage expectations before you arrive through a variety of informative and action-packed videos on our PMGY Vimeo channel. These clips help provide you with a visual perspective of what you can expect during your time with us. Our webinars are not to be missed either. Running on selected Tuesdays, at 4pm UK time, our International Team provides invaluable advice for your upcoming trip. Each webinar covers something different. Our pre-departure webinar covers all of the essentials you need to know and do before joining us abroad. Our program preparation webinar is more project-specific, with advice and information for the time you will spend on placement. Finally, our safety webinar offers you some top tips on how to manage your safety and wellbeing across the pond. For those who are simply interested in learning more about PMGY, our team also run an introductory webinar. This provides an introduction to the volunteer organisation, our background, goals and volunteer opportunities overseas.

 

Teaching and childcare volunteers may wish to take their program preparation even further, through a 60 hour online TEFL course. This is the perfect introductory course for working with children and teaching English abroad. Participation in this course enables international volunteers to acquire key skills whilst working towards an internationally accredited certificate.

PROJECT LOCATION AND DURATION

Our projects are based in Lisbon, around 30 minutes away from Lisbon Portela International Airport. Portugal’s oldest city, the nation’s capital lies on the coast of the Atlantic ocean. Referred to as the city of seven hills, this elevated coastal capital city is home to just over half a million people.

 

Lisbon is the westernmost capital city in mainland Europe. It offers a perfect combination of culture and tradition as well as breath-taking landscapes and a sense of modernness. You can wander the old cobblestone streets of Alfama and take in some of this culture. Yet the city remains best known for its colonialist history, elaborate architecture and traditional Fado music. Good transport infrastructure means it’s easy enough to get around and explore Lisbon. For instance, you can head to a café in Rossio Square or venture out to Graca for a spectacular sunset view.

 

Our programs in Lisbon run from 1-12 weeks beginning on the first and third Sunday of each month.

PMGY PORTUGAL LOCAL TEAM

PMGY’s volunteer opportunities in Portugal are run by our dedicated and experienced in-country local teams.

 

All staff have been fully vetted by our International Team. The committed local community networks provide the structure for your stay with us as a volunteer in Portugal. Our local team will arrange your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support. Whether you are participating in the food rescue program, volunteering with children at the NGO project or working at the homeless centre, our local team will support you. Our team provides a great framework for you to enjoy a unique volunteering experience with us in Portugal.

ORIENTATION

Your orientation for your affordable volunteer program in Portugal will begin on Monday. The local team will start the day by teaching you about life in Portugal, the “dos and don’ts” and the local culture.

 

Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the local language and safety advice whilst you volunteer in Portugal. Our team will also talk through all the projects we support in the community. In the afternoon, our team will take you on a walking tour of Portugal. This will be your chance to explore the local area and get your first glimpses of this amazing city. Rossio Square, Camoes Monument and Carmo Convent are just some of the things you may explore.

 

Use your free time to acclimatise to the neighbourhood. For instance, visit the supermarket, withdraw money at the ATM and pick up a cup of coffee from the local café. Your evening is free to relax, catch up on sleep, and get to know your fellow volunteers. You may even start preparing for your volunteer in Portugal placement.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Lisbon Portela International Airport, Portugal (LIS) on Sunday.

 

Day 1 (Sunday) Arrival

 

Welcome to Portugal! You will be met at Lisbon Portela Airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. The journey to the accommodation will take up to 30 minutes, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and get to know your fellow travellers.

 

Day 2 (Monday) Orientation

 

Your orientation for your affordable volunteer program in Portugal will begin on Monday. The local team will start the day by teaching you about life in Portugal, the “dos and don’ts” and the local culture.

 

Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the local language and safety advice whilst you volunteer in Portugal. Our team will also talk through all the projects we support in the community. In the afternoon, our team will take you on a walking tour of Portugal. This will be your chance to explore the local area and get your first glimpses of this amazing city. Rossio Square, Camoes Monument and Carmo Convent are just some of the things you may explore.

 

Use your free time to acclimatise to the neighbourhood. For instance, visit the supermarket, withdraw money at the ATM and pick up a cup of coffee from the local café. Your evening is free to relax, catch up on sleep, and get to know your fellow volunteers. You may even start preparing for your volunteer in Portugal placement.

 

Days 3-6 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

You will start your volunteer work in Portugal on Tuesday. This may be in the morning or the afternoon depending on your volunteer project. The local staff at the project will become your main points of contact during your volunteer schedule. Should you need anything extra, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see our coordinator throughout the day at the Volunteer House and they are always happy to help.

 

Days 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend

 

The weekend is your time to explore the wonders of Portugal. Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend in the Algarve, some adventure in Portugal’s second city of Porto, or a more cultural experience in Sintra town – Portugal has it all. As a volunteer in Portugal, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips.

 

The Following Weeks

 

Your next week(s) will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Weekends will be free to travel. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Last Day (Saturday)

 

Saturday is your last day with PMGY. If you are heading home then we can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

SAFETY

If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect. When anticipating their time overseas, many international volunteers (and their loved ones) are often concerned about safety and security. Although we can never guarantee your experience to be 100% trouble-free, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe as possible. Every program that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by a director of PMGY. We have lived in the accommodation, experienced the orientation and worked on the projects. Through our frequent visits and daily communications, we have built strong, trusting relationships with our local staff.

 

In the unlikely event that something was to happen, volunteers have various layers of support available to them:

 

• Volunteer in Portugal Local Team
• Project Staff
• PMGY International Team

 

Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge volunteers’ experiences. With the help of feedback, we are able to continually improve our placements and volunteer opportunities. Security and safety are frequently assessed as part of this. We ask our participants to raise any concerns with our local or International Team. This ensures that these can be addressed and/or resolved as readily and appropriately as possible.

 

Through pre-departure and in-country guidance, we do our best to prepare our international volunteers for their time in Portugal. All participants are provided with a comprehensive safety briefing during their orientation period. Our local teams will go through everything from project introductions, to emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. During this period, our team also provide participants with a full list of the important contact numbers.

 

Listed below are some general safety tips:

 

• Be modest with the amount of jewellery worn in public
• Do not drink tap water
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents can occur when is confusion to distract you.
• Be cautious about removing money in public
• Always try to know where you are going before you attempt long journeys. Be especially careful at night
• Use reputable transport only. Our local staff will be able to recommend some during orientation
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets
• The recognised tourist areas can be considered potentially high-risk areas for pickpockets and thieves
• Leave your valuables behind before a night out in the town
• For traffic safety, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly when crossing the road
• Do not accept drinks or food from strangers

WEATHER

Portugal generally enjoys a warm Mediterranean temperature climate for the majority of the year. In the winters is when Portugal experiences its wetter weather. Whilst relatively small in size, the country enjoys five climatic areas. In the summer months, temperatures regularly reach 30°C in Lisbon. Warm, dry temperature with clear sunny skies make it a popular time for many to be in the city. Winters can be colder, wetter and windier as temperatures drop closer to 10°C.

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS

ACCOMMODATION

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the Portugal volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House in Lisbon. This is located outside of the city centre, but you will still find it very easy to get around. Similarly, you will find many local restaurants, supermarkets and ATMs at your convenience in the local area. You’ll be living with other volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

The accommodation is a dormitory-style hostel and is basic but comfortable. Each room has bunk beds with up to 8 people per room in same-sex rooms. You will have cupboard space to store clothes and accessories as well as a personal locker to store your valuables. However, volunteers are still encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Portugal.

 

WiFi is usually available in the accommodation, but it can be intermittent. Bedding is provided for volunteers when they arrive. Bathrooms are shared, with a shower and western style toilet. International volunteers have several communal spaces to relax, hang out with new friends or prepare for the project. Communal areas are regularly cleaned, but volunteers are expected to keep their personal spaces as tidy as possible.

 

Most of the projects are not within walking distance of our Volunteer House. Therefore, you will need to budget for transportation costs to get to and from your volunteer placement each day. It is important to note that project transport costs are not included in your Program Fee.

MEALS

During your volunteer trip to Portugal, you will be provided with breakfast and dinner at the accommodation. Lunch is not usually included and should be budgeted accordingly. There are plenty of places in the city to choose from. For example, tickle those tastebuds with pork Bifanas – the national Portuguese sandwich. Alternatively, volunteers are welcome to prepare a packed lunch for the day at the accommodation.

 

Breakfast operates in a self-service format. Volunteers just help themselves and all cutlery and crockery are provided. Most dinners are traditional Portuguese dishes that can include lots of seafood, traditional sausage and chicken. Examples can include sardines, chorizo and Piri Piri chicken. Portuguese cuisine is a combination of strong flavours and vibrant colours. It varies greatly from region to region and Lisbon is influenced heavily by Mediterranean cuisine. If you are looking to mix things up, head to the restaurants and cafés in central Lisbon to sample some of this.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

TRANSPORT TO PROJECT

Transport to and from your volunteer project is not included in your Program Fee. Some projects may be within walking distance from the Volunteer House, but many are further afield. In these latter cases, you will be required to take either public or private transport to placement. It can take up to 45 minutes to travel to your volunteer work in Portugal. Our local team will guide you through the local transport methods during your in-country orientation. You can also always ask them if you are unsure about anything.

VOLUNTEER IN PORTUGAL REQUIREMENTS

PMGY welcome participants of all nationalities and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 years and there is no upper age limit. All volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. You do not need to speak Portuguese. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in Portugal will go a long way! The ability to speak a basic level of Portuguese will greatly enhance your overall experience.

 

All participants must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of travelling with us abroad. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! Medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.

 

Your deposit must be paid within 7 days of the application being successful to confirm your place. Your remaining fee will be due in full at least 60 days before the program start date.

 

Please check out our Application Process for more info on how to join our volunteer projects overseas.