Triplo D kick-off meeting creates high expectations

Cáritas Coimbra kick-off its most recent project – Triplo D (Democracy, Demography and Human Rights), on September 19, at the institution’s headquarters. The event was attended by distinguished guests who helped to realize the importance of developing projects of this nature, enriching the day of the dozens of people in the audience.

The Opening Session of the Triplo D presentation was in charge of the President of Cáritas Coimbra, Luís Costa, who mentioned the path taken through previous projects in the area of ​​citizenship and equality in the various valences of Cáritas Coimbra and also took the opportunity to thank the presence of all participants and guest speakers.

Idália Serrão, member of the Montepio Administration and former Vice-President of the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, brought the theme “Democracy, demography and human rights. What policies for civic participation?”. In her speech, she made it clear that it is fundamental to look at intervention as an investment rather than an expense, demonstrating the importance of “giving value” to each individual in society. In a second moment, there was time for the speaker to answer the questions posed by the audience, very participative and interested in the subject.

The afternoon was reserved for the Presentation of the Triplo D project, which was moderated by João Caetano, Pro-Rector of Legal Affairs of the Universidade Aberta (UAb) and Director of the Coimbra Regional Delegation of the UAb.

Fernando Santos, Triplo D Coordinator, made known the project, its objectives and expected results. The Triplo D project proposes to increase democratic involvement and civic and political participation of citizens. To this end, education/training sessions and school and community discussion groups will be developed, seeking to empower and educate professionals, community agents, children and young people, seniors and people in vulnerable situations, helping them to analyze and discuss policies and to propose recommendations for improving democratic dynamics at local level. The problematic of this project falls into three points: the increasing ageing of the population; participation in decision-making by young people, seniors and vulnerable population in more healthier, inclusive and democratic practices; and in the development of inclusive environments that consider the ageing trajectories of individuals. The project coordinator ended by affirmating the importance of “fighting for social justice before charity”.

Project partners were also invited to participate on the project kick-off. Representing the European Centre for Women and Technology (Norway) was Nancy Brito, who addressed gender equality with the representation of women in technology as an example. Susana Jesus and Eduardo Franco were present on behalf of the Instituto Europeu de Ciências da Cultura Padre Manuel Antunes, having demonstrated the work developed by the institution in the area dealt with in Triplo D.

This project is co-financed by the Cidadãos Ativ@s Program (under the Active Citizens Fund/EEA Grants, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), which is managed in Portugal by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Bissaya Barreto Foundation. Teresa Santos of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation explained the origin of this Program and how it will support Triplo D.

At the end of the event both speakers and the audience showed a positive reaction, demonstrating the high expectations for the new project.

Over the years, Cáritas Coimbra has already implemented these themes in its area of ​​activity and the Triplo D project will also contribute to the institution’s social responses achieveing a more integrated intervention in its educational communities in the areas of democracy and civic participation.

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