In 1996, a group of young volunteer students from La Salle School found the NGO SOPRO – Solidariedade e Promoção, in Barcelinhos, Barcelos, Portugal. These young people had a profound concern about the problems of poverty.
At the local level, SOPRO works in the Barcelos area, where it promotes volunteering actions and develops awareness actions on volunteering. The projects include local support services for the most deprived families within the municipality; school visits to raise awareness with the students on the importance of volunteering; projects of solidarity with elderly people, among others.
In Europe, SOPRO works with the Erasmus + program and the European Solidarity Corps. The ESC is a European Union initiative aimed at young people aged 18 to 30, giving them the opportunity to volunteer or work on projects, at home or abroad, for the benefit of people and communities across Europe. Moreover, Erasmus + is a free, free and universal program for any young person from 13 to 30 years old, simple and easy, unbureaucratic through innovative tools, transparent in procedures, fair in evaluation, rigorous in implementation and close to people through pedagogical visits and audits. SOPRO has multiple open short and long-term opportunities that the youth can apply throughout the year.
In Mozambique, SOPRO promotes international volunteering with Portuguese youth who are sent there on missions, to work on projects regarding Education and Development. SOPRO is also associated with different support programs for Mozambique, such as sponsorship. SOPRO’s volunteer projects in Mozambique are interventions in education, which is believed to be the basis of all development. Despite this, the volunteer project can take place in other areas of intervention, as long as it is done in a spirit of solidarity.
Regarding its foundation, SOPRO is characterized by being a Lasallian association that also supports the fulfillment of the mission of the Brothers of the Christian Schools of La Salle: “to promote the integral development of the person and the transformation of society through human, solidary, participatory and Christian education”.
Solidarity: For the full exercise of citizenship, contributing to the improvement of the living conditions of the most vulnerable.
Education: As a universal law, the basis of human development for eradicating poverty.
Justice: Justice and respect for social and cultural differences.
Equality: The work is based on the respect of ethical rules and good practices.
Cooperation: The primary tool for human development in the world.