Teacher Lurdes Seidenstricker, Diogo Mendes, Sara Guerreiro, Ana Vieira and Volker Biebesheimer
Teacher Lurdes Seidenstricker, Diogo Mendes, Sara Guerreiro, Ana Vieira and Volker Biebesheimer

Almancil Rotary Club sponsors summer youth exchange scheme

Almancil International Rotary Club (AIRC) has, for many years, sponsored local students, aged 15 to 19, to participate in the Rotary International Summer Camp exchange scheme.

The purpose of the scheme is to enable young people to spend a short period of time with other students of a similar age in different countries, immerse themselves in a different culture and foster international friendship and understanding.

In addition, some students participate in a longer exchange scheme with a young member of their host family spending time here in Portugal.

AIRC Secretary and past president Volker Biebesheimer, together with volunteer Susana Fragoso, interviewed a number of students from Dra Laura Ayres School in Quarteira to take part this past summer.

The students were all recommended by their dedicated and passionate teacher Professor Lurdes Seidenstricker. Five students, César Rodrigues (15), Ana Vieira (17), Sara Guerreiro (16), Bianca Andrade (16) and Miguel Marques (16) went to camps in Finland, Norway, Czech Republic, South Bohemia and Denmark, respectively.

Two students, Gabriela Pereira (15) and Diogo Mendes (16) took part in the longer-term exchange scheme, spending time with their host families in Munich and Germany.

Each student was required to report back to AIRC and ‘professora’ Lurdes on their experiences. This they did admirably last Wednesday, showing a maturity beyond their years with verbal reports in perfect English and PowerPoint presentations.

They have clearly been left with life-long memories of the culture and countries they visited and the friendships they made.

“This is the whole purpose of the scheme,” said Volker. “Together, we have not only empowered the students but have also sown the seeds of understanding, acceptance, and global citizenship.”

 For more information about Rotary International and its life-changing programmes, visit www.rotaryalmancil.com