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International Volunteer Experience in Porto and/or Lisbon
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International Volunteer Experience in Porto and/or Lisbon

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Re-Food in Lisbon, July 2017

3 weeks of meaningful work, new friendships, new culture, and lasting memories. I knew I wanted my first solo traveling experience to be different and ImapcTrip whom I was introduced to through IVHQ was the perfect fit for this. To me, being able to travel while creating an impact is like having the best of both worlds. My volunteer program, “Re-Food,” in Lisbon was created to help eliminate food waste and hunger. Instead of throwing a perfectly edible food from restaurants and cafes to waste, Re-Food staff who are passionate local volunteers would collect the food, package it, and redistribute it to the needy in the community. Having the chance to be part of this initiative was absolutely rewarding. Getting lost in the beautiful city of Lisbon was yet another satisfying experience. From the creativity and art in every corner to the simplicity of the locals, everything about this small country was special. This life experience would not have been the same, however, without the amazing coordinators and the other volunteers I met along the way who made my journey worthwhile.

Muito Obrigada!

Rand

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

My beloved Lisbon, eta ja!

I have met Lisbon, beautiful city like sümeyra, curved leaf, which stays there by the ocean on its very own way, humble and elegant, between 2-16 July. She fell into my dreams because of my favourite writer Saramago and also because of a festival film that had a story about things happening to the dead body of a Salazar supporter in a village. The film had a nice black humour and magnificient but simple views of the country. So following the words of dear Saramago and the scenes of a beautiful movie, I was there. I wished for not being a tourist that's why I chose to be there as a volunteer and Impactrip was the address to realise my dream.

It was my luck to come across Impactrip on the net. Because Rita takes you from the airport to the Tower of Babel, but ta ta ta taam :) here although nearly everyone is from a different land, they are all eager to share beauties. You stay in a place where Natalia is nearly always around cleaning and talking Portugese as if she is sure that one day or the other we shall understand :) Martim was there to help and reply my endless questions about the political events and history of the country, obrigada Martim. Diogo was the key for the urgent help whenever you are in need, obrigada Diogo. And our dearest cook Ines was there to prepare those tasty dishes. Rita is the joyfull leader of this great organisation, you should hear her while she is talking proudly about her country and 1974, that stance gave me ideas and hope for my country too, obrigada linda Rita.
I worked as a volunteer within Refood programme, so had a chance to smell most of the food in the city, talk to the local ladies and two youngsters and dear Mikas, our mentor in the place. Community building is now beyond being only a fashionable word being used in project writing for me after this experience. People of a neighbourhood spend organised time to share the food collected from volunteering restaurants and supermarkets with the people in need. This can be the shortest description of the work done in Refood. I am really fascinated by all the stuff done there.

While getting to know the soul of the city with the help of the local people, I started to realise how vast was the common things with my country considering political events and how people reacted. It is a loong story but when I found myself in front of the Aljube Museum, Resistance and Freedom Museum, Lisbon conqured my heart deeply once more. I discovered the city, streets full of buildings covered by colourful, different tiles, small vivid squares with musicians, lovely breaks with Pastel de nata and coffee, museums, River Tejo by the city that waves hand from below to the upper hill-like street parts as a surprise. You get lost while following the charming sounds of the city, really, but within the first day you meet Tram 28 the savior, that touches and knits all the city and find your way following the rails.
I can write about Lisbon and Sintra, Cascais... pages and pages but as I am trying to write from my phone, I have to keep it short. So that was one of the best journeys I had, and a very good start for volunteering. Hope you get the chance to try.
Obrigada obrigada Lisbon, beijinhos :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Youth support

Nothing but great things to say about this experience! The coordinators, the placement, my fellow volunteers were all such amazing people. As this was my first international travel experience I was a littler nervous but by the time I had landed in Lisbon and met the coordinators all of my nerves subsided. They were so helpful with finding things to do and were always just a message away if we needed assistance! They were all such fantastic and kind people and made the hostel so bright just with their personalities! The program itself was great, it was so incredible to be able to spend time with the kids and really get to know the culture and customs. I couldn't be happier with my experience and have been recommending this program to anyone who is looking into their first solo travel experience!
Although you may have arrived alone you will never actually be alone in Portugal.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Food rescue project

I volunteered for a brief, but great week in Lisbon on the Food Rescue Project! The local staff did a wonderful job of addressing all of my needs from housing and food to transportation and safety. My week was a good balance between volunteering at one of the local Food Rescue sites and visiting the local tourist sites, eating great food, and experiencing the city.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The best experience in Portugal!

I was in Lisbon for 3 months and the whole ImpacTrip team made the experience so amazing! The organisation was so good and the placement allowed us to interact with locals and improve my Portuguese! The team were so so friendly and welcoming, Diogo, Rita, Martim and Sara; they made us feel like family as soon as our plane landed :) I definitely recommend this program to anyone wanting to not only experience a colourful and beautiful city but also work directly with those in the community. Lisbon is so underrated and I hope anyone who goes has as good an experience as I did! Muito obrigada, beijinhos!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Satisfactory experience at a safe place

I did Youth Support with Impact Trip for 3 weeks starting in the beginning of July 2017. I was a little scared in the beginning because I never been to Europe before, and it was also my first time doing a volunteer travel.

But this proved to be such a great experience! In regards to the safety of the country, the availability of sights to see, and the way people extend their welcome and kindness, I couldn't have asked for more.

I was placed in the Youth Support program after my arrival. I was placed at a hostel-like house that was a 3-story building close to my volunteer work. The "house" was in the heart of Lisbon where many sight-to-see were available in walking distance or by bus/metro. Portugal is rated to be number 5 in the world in terms of safety. I felt safe indeed walking by myself around Lisbon.

My volunteer work consisted of taking care of the babies and accompanying the teenage mothers in their excursions and activities. The institution was focused on helping teenage mothers to be more autonomous in both becoming good mothers (having workshops of feeding the baby to making their own video clip for other single mothers on "how to be prepared as single mothers") and also being self-sufficient. They would have classes for learning computer skills or other life skills that could open doors for jobs later. The activities I got to participate in really varied depending on the needs of the institution. I would sometimes be watching the babies. Sometimes, I would join them on excursions (because I went during their "Summer break" they had more field trips in the program).

I signed up for Youth Support, but the types of programs that are available vary also. Some volunteers who signed up for Youth Support were placed in institutions, organizing games for younger children while some spent time with older children. The needs varied, and therefore, the required help. It is important to have an open mind regarding the volunteering experience as it is the "needs" that demands the "help". Most of the volunteers that I got to know during my stay were very positive and getting to know them was another great thing.

Last, but not least, this program would not have been possible without the caring minds of the administrators of the Impact Trip. They went out of their ways to make sure that you can get to the placement, get settled, etc. And, by "out of their ways", I mean they did much more than they really needed to (in my opinion, based on my other traveling experiences). They are human and they would do their best. So, this is another reason to experience volunteer with these guys because I could really tell that they not only care about the social change in Portugal, but also, your experience in the "making of" or "being part of" it all.

If you do decide to go, I would highly, highly encourage you to do so. This was my first experience in Europe (along with other countries I visited during my stay). It indeed was a great introduction to what Europe has to offer and the societal changes happening in Portugal.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Great trip with Impact Travel

My 15 year old son and I signed up for a week to work at the Food Bank in Lisbon. RIta and Diogo were excellent hosts. Friendly, knowledgeable, and spoke perfect English. The two locations both in Cascais and Lisbon were terrific. It was great meeting and socializing with people from different parts of the world. They both went out of their way to make sure we were taken care of and enjoying ourselves. It was terrific to be able to enjoy the city while at the same time doing something for the community. Also, it was a great way for my son to get community credit for school.

Thank you Rita and Diogo!

Linda and Ian
Los Angeles, CA

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Voluntourism in Portugal

This was an amazing experience. In terms of the volunteering, ReFood is such a well-oiled volunteer machine, its revolutionary concept and administration will have you wondering why this program hasn't been implemented globally. In terms of the tourism, Impactrip is the best! The Impactrip leaders were so down-to-earth, and very helpful. They are always there to answer any questions, and help you see and experience the best of Portugal. The accommodations are wonderful, right in the heart of Estrela - and the food is always fresh and available. Overall, I would recommend this trip with this organization to anyone and everyone! The people, the food, the culture,

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Youth support volunteering in Lisbon

I spent 4 weeks volunteering with Impactrip and my time flew by!

I was volunteering in the youth support programme where I was allowed to help volunteer with the children throughout the week from the morning till after lunch time leaving my afternoons free to go to the beach or go exploring.

The city of Lisbon is very easy to travel around using the trains which do not cost a lot when you purchase the travel card!

I stayed in a volunteer house with up to 11 other volunteers and I was able to share a room with other volunteers of the same gender who were luckily around a similar age.

Most of the volunteers were between 18-24 years old so it's great for young people to make some friends from all around the world!


Compared to other volunteer programmes the Impactrip team are very friendly and helpful with all your needs!
I would recommend this organisation as they do their very best to make you feel welcome in their country and will help you in any way they can!


I loved my time there and hopefully others will go and see how fulfilling this experience truly is!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Don't think...Just DO IT!!!

Off the plane and into a city filled of wonders. The staff Rita and Diogo were very helpful in greeting me initially when I arrived at the airport and getting me to my accommodation. I spoke absolutely no Portuguese so I was worried if I would have trouble getting around in the country. They made me feel extremely comfortable and answered any questions that I might have had during my stay putting my mind at ease. The project I was working on was food distribution. The staff who were at the ReFood center were very nice and caring individuals passionate about what they did! It was a pleasure to be have been able to work among such friendly locals! We were also able to have enough time to take many wonderful day trips around the city. The program coordinators went above and beyond to show us the loveliest, most interesting parts around town and explain the history behind them. Was the perfect balance of volunteering at the project site, and still getting to be a tourist in the wonderful city of Lisbon. It is a very vibrant city with something to do for everyone. Getting to work with the other volunteers, meet with locals, and immerse in Portuguese culture was truly invaluable. An experience I will not soon forget and would recommend to anyone thinking of trying it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My ImpacTrip in Portugal!!

I volunteered in Portugal for a week last summer with my sisters working on the food rescue project in Lisbon. This was such an eye opening experience for me and I loved being a part of the amazing project that the local community has committed themselves to. The tasks that you assist with during your volunteer hours include organizing bags of food for families in need, handing out the bags to the families, washing dishes, and sometimes making trips to the grocery store to pick up food that would otherwise be thrown away (Which by the way was an unbelievable amount of food! SO grateful for all of the people who dedicate their time to this!). The organizer coordinators, Rita and Diogo were very accommodating and are so much fun to be around. You two are doing an amazing job and my sisters and I are so thankful for everything that you continually do for the volunteers! Anybody looking into volunteering in Lisbon with ImpacTrip do not forget to check out the day trip/tour adventures that Rita and Diogo offer (Beaches, Wineries, Castles)! Portugal is so beautiful and they provide ways for you to see much more of it than you normally would on your own time. We will definitely be seeing you two back in Portugal! Thank you ImpacTrip for the entire experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Excellent experience in Lisbon

I did food rescue project with my boyfriend. We did job in the morning, and explored the city in the afternoon. The job is not hard, but you need to be more patient. People there are really nice, and they gave us a lot advice about travelling Lisbon. Rita and Diogo provided volunteers with some interesting activities, which helped us know more about the city. That is really a good experience!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Lisbon experience

Great experience, incredible life changing impact working with special needs clients!! The people I met were amazing both in the program and working at the client. Rita and Diogo did a great job organizing it and providing activities!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

Amazing experience: food rescue

I had the most amazing time in Portugal. Volunteering at the food rescue project made me realize how little things can make a difference. People were very warm and welcoming, and it was a very fruitful experience. It also allowed me to grow on a personal level. I would do it again and encourage everyone not to miss such an experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Re-Food Estrela; Impactrip is amazing!

From the moment I arrived in Lisbon I was warmly greeted by both Diogo and Rita. That first interaction allowed me to know that I was in great hands. I was volunteering in the neighborhood called Estrela which is an amazing part of the city with great food and beautiful jardims (gardens/parks) around every corner. The project I was working on was the food rescue at a food bank very close to the accommodation. The day I began I knew I was in for an amazing experience where I would truly make an impact in the community. Even though the first week was a little difficult to adapt to, it quickly became natural. I would help with various task from, organizing bags of food for people, handing out the food to the people when they arrive, washing dishes and even making deliveries to people who cannot access the bank. It was absolutely amazing to see the gratification and appreciation of the people who received the food. There were definitely some interesting characters. As for the staff they were simply delightful, many of the locals who volunteered there quickly became great friends. I even began to pick up some Portuguese. Ultimately, I highly recommend working with Impactrip to create a unique and meaningful experience not only for yourself but for others as well. Rita and Diogo are amazing people and more so amazing friends! They are highly hospitable and do everything they can to make sure your are enjoying your time in Portugal. Thank you so much to the both of you! See you next time! Ate proxima!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Great experiences for the refood program

I've been to Lisbon this summer for the refood program and was excited to be the first Chinese volunteer in Lisbon. Hope in the future more Chinese people will join this program. At the moment you arrive there you will find that you are so welcomed by a lovely girl Rita and a optimistic gentlemen Diogo
This is a meaningful program. People like us never experience starvation, and what troubles us everyday is which kind of bags I would buy or which restaurant I would go tonight. However, there are lots of people in this world have no food in their life. Therefore we should stand out and help those people get out of it.
The work itself is not busy, I was working the morning shift and it usually finished at 2:00 pm. Therefore you are free for the rest of your day and can travel around and experience different culture.
Trust me you will definitely have a memorable experience here.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The refood project (Estrela center) in Lisbon, Portugal. (Greetings to Impactrip) :)

Current people in their easy going life be like: i need this and still need that , i want to buy these and those,... However they don't see that not very far from them, human beings are trying to survive because they don't have even water do drink, or food to eat and mostly they don't even complain about it. They are just waiting for someone to help them, to give them the right of being alive and being healthy, they are waiting for humanity to save them. So ,as humans we should reply their simple request, and give them what they actually need :food. That's when great people reunited and created the Refood project, located in Lisbon. Their idea is so easy that everyone could do that: they take food from the supermarket which is still good for the consumers from the day before (that without this NGO this food would go to trash) and give it to needy people.

It was an honour being part of this project, for giving me an amazing opportunity to help the neediest directly, and meeting at the same time extraordinary people.

When you see people saying to you (« obrigado » which means « thank you » in portuguese) or just smiling to you, this is an unbelievable feeling that I will never forget. Hope the next volunteers will enjoy this project as I did, and Bom dia for everyone !!:)

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    8

First Volunteer Experience Abroad

I took part in the Youth Support program, which we went to a local school and played with the kids in the afternoons/mornings everyday. Overall, I had an amazing experience, the directors and helpers of the program were extremely nice, caring, attentive and quickly took into account any issues I had during my time there. I felt extremely comfortable texting or communicating with them for any reason at all, which made my trip a lot easier. Lisbon was beautiful and the balance between volunteering and traveling/exploring Portugal was perfect. I would definitely recommend this to high school/college students and people in general wanting to volunteer and travel at the same time!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Youth work in Lisbon

I was in Lisbon for 3 weeks volunteering and it was great! The staff at ImpacTrip were so supportive and replied to queries and concerns very quickly. They were so accommodating. The place we stayed was nice sometimes a bit crowded but it was the summertime. Lisbon itself was beautiful and there was lots to do and being a volunteer you felt you could become more immersed with the culture.

The project itself was good and challenging. With the language barrier and different ages of children you really had to plan what to do. However, it was a rewarding experience that I would recommend to anyone!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Incredible experience!

I had an incredible time with ImpactTrip! It was wonderful working with the children at the program and getting to know the other volunteers. Rita and Diogo are very welcoming and created such a lovely and warm atmosphere. If you are thinking about volunteering, just do it! You won’t be disappointed!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

First volunteer experience

I have never traveled without my family before this experience so I was quite scared even though I was bursting with excitement. When the IMPACT team met me at the airport all my fear evaporated. They were just so friendly and welcoming! They were there to help every step of the way. All the other volunteers were extremely nice and it was easy to make friends. I had a blast and I wish I could have stayed longer. It is an amazing feeling to be working with a group of people to help others and to try to make a change.

Lisbon is a gorgeous city full of culture and history. It is a perfect choice for volunteering abroad. I can't wait for the opportunity to visit again!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    5

Diving and helping out the locals

Had a great experience with Impactrip this past March. Loved lending a hand to have an impact on the place I was visiting. Met a lot of locals, and learned some essential skills that I used when I got home. Quite the experience!!!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Volunteer adventure with Vencer Autismo in Porto

From the moment I made enquiries about the possibility of volunteer work in Porto, I felt I was supported to pursue my dream. I was contacted by Rita Marques from ImpacTrip and immediately felt comfortable.
They organized a program suitable for my needs and constantly kept in touch with me.
I arrived in Porto to the smiles of Rita and Diogo Areosa. They took me to my new home for the next 10 days and showed me a short presentation of the work that ImpacTrip do. I was then taken to meet Sarah from Vencer Autismo, where I would be doing some volunteer work. More smiles. Then after a quick supermarket shop for some basic groceries, I was driven back to my flat and left to settle in.
The days that followed were exciting, emotional, educational and fun.
On my first day, I enjoyed an amazing full day tour around the Douro Valley. Our lovely tour guide told us about all the history around this breathtaking area as we soaked in the magnificent views. The scenery and the friendly welcome at each winery was beautiful.
I also enjoyed an Eco friendly Tuk-Tuk ride around old Porto City. The history and architecture explained to me as we stopped off to walk around and have a closer look.
In between my tours, I was welcomed each day to take part in some volunteer hours with Vencer Autismo. I may only have worked with the lovely staff and children for a few days, but I left feeling I had made some beautiful new friends to take back home with me to Scotland.
I would definitely recommend a wee adventure with the friendly help from ImpacTrip. They will talk through all your options and support you all the way.
Thank you to Rita, Diogo, Sara and all the lovely staff and children from Vencer Autismo. I left feeling so much a part of this beautiful community.

Muito Obrigada
Sandra :-)