The UPLIFT team had their first town hall meeting in Portugal. They had the pleasure of meeting and discussing education, housing and employment with a group of 11th graders (aged 17-18) at the Mães d’Água Secondary School.
The school is in Falagueira, an area of Amadora, one kilometre from the city centre. Falagueira is a predominantly residential area, including two social housing quarters.
Fourteen young people participated in the discussion; they were welcoming, curious, engaged and enthusiastic.
There were some concerns that the young people may show distrust or a lack of interest, however, this was far from the case!
For an hour and a half, the young people shared their experiences and ideas about education, housing and employment. They discussed and collaborated to explore shared experiences in terms of education attainment and the job market, as well as their hopes and solutions for the future.
The discussion also touched on personal perceptions of discrimination in terms of gender and ethnicity, as well as overcoming the construct of feelings, such as shame.
The session was wrapped up with the young people sharing individual and collective strategies to overcome the various obstacles to change personal trajectories and even the wider society.