Reflecting on the contribution of volunteering experiences in higher education is one of the objectives of the conference to close the 20th anniversary of CAtólica SOlidária (CASO), a volunteering program created by the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Porto.
An event that will include the presentation of the study “Perceived impacts of the volunteering experience of UCP students and alumni: The 20 Years of CASO”, two round tables will be held on “A committed University: Learning with and in the Community” and “Volunteering Transforma para a Vida – A Voz dos dados”, which will end with a commitment ceremony for more than X students. The event will take place on November 21st, starting at 3:30 pm, on the Porto campus of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
“We believe that volunteering transforms lives. Students often testify that, through volunteering, they grow and develop skills,” says Carmo Themudo, coordinator of the Integral Person Development Unit (UDIP). “As a Catholic University, our mission is to provide comprehensive training to students based on humanist and Christian values”, says Isabel Braga da Cruz, Pro-Rector of the Porto Regional Center of the Portuguese Catholic University.
Laurinda Alves (author, professor of Communication, Leadership and Ethics) will be present at the first round table “A committed University: Learning with and in the Community”, which will have as speakers – Carlos Prieto (Comillas Solidária – University of Comillas), Manuel Alçada ( Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto) and Teresa Guimarães (APPACDM – Porto) -, moderated by Filipe Martins (teacher and member of the Transversal Area of Social Economy – ATES). In the second panel, under the theme “Volunteering Transforms for Life – The Voice of Data”, there will be several testimonies from Catholic students in Porto.
A CASO – 20 years, many hours of volunteering
Over CASO’s 20 years of activity, there have been a total of 1,500 volunteers and 65,000 volunteer hours in various institutions: social centres, schools, homes, disability support associations, museums, and community centres, among others. These are numbers that reveal the dimension and importance of the work carried out by CASO and that reflect the involvement with the community. These are signs that “it is worth continuing” and that it is a truly people-centred project.
CASO opens a door to completely different worlds, offering participants an emotional, intellectual and dynamic life experience that remains and will continue for the rest of their lives. CASO, with its involvement in the community, has brought added value not only to growing students but also to society and the more than 35 partner institutions with which the Catholic University collaborates.
Católica Solidária – CASO – is part of the Unit for the Integral Development of the Person (UDIP) of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP), and has been offering, since 2002, volunteering experiences to the entire academic community, especially students, but also to teaching and non-teaching employees and alumni.
The CASO Conference – Innovating with purpose: volunteering in and with the community takes place on November 21st at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Porto. Entry is free, but registration is mandatory.