Lourenço Almeida e Brito and Just A Change - Humanitarians - Get Inspired - ATA Leadership NOW

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Because I'm in the Leadership program at my ATA school, my Instructor asked me to think of a way to serve others in my town. I decided to pick up trash at a park near my house so that kids like me would have a clean place to play. My Mom and Dad and even my little brother helped. It was kinda gross, but I had fun. I really like helping people!
– Paxton Thomas, Yellow Belt, 9 years old

Humanitarians

Lourenço Almeida e Brito and "Just A Change"

In his own humble words, an 18-year-old Instructor Trainee in Lisbon, Portugal, describes the Songahm Taekwondo journey that inspired him to launch and run a charity helping kids access wholesome activities, supported by musical fundraising.

JustAChange-2
Lourenço Almeida e Brito, 2BR, Trainer

When I was 13, I decided that I needed to start a sport and that is where my history in Songahm Taekwondo began. I went to try out a class and that is when I understood that I had found much more than the simple sport I was looking for. That was the moment I found a great passion: Taekwondo!

Although Songahm Taekwondo was only just getting started in Portugal, I had a pretty fast development due to my Instructor. I was able to develop technical capabilities and gained a lot of emotional maturity. Songahm Taekwondo was an important foundation for my growth and development as a person. It also enhanced my sense of responsibility towards society: a characteristic of a Songahm Taekwondo Instructor.

With such development I understood that there are people who need help from other people, that some people have the ability to carry out such help, and I am one of them.

In the moment I learned that I could help others, I reasoned that I had in fact a responsibility toward society. Therefore, together with a friend I decided to start a charity project that later was called "Just a Change."

"Just a Change" aims to help children from the poorer neighborhoods of the city of Lisbon (capital of Portugal). In partnership with the organizations that deal directly with these children, we organize trips to museums, see movies, play soccer matches and other sports.

Throughout our activities, actions and contact with these children, we have the goal to readjust the values with which they live their lives, and consequently, to offer them a glimpse of a better future. The best way we have to do this is by giving our example.

For these activities to be possible, we need to have a constant income. Therefore, the "Just a Change" project often organizes groups that play music in the street with billboards explaining the purpose of the project. People stop to listen to the music and when they understand the cause, they leave us some spare change. This way we have been able to raise an average of $100 an hour with music in the Portuguese capital! We really have to thank these people since they offer us the ability to help the children in need.

Six months after the start of the project, we have seven people involved in the management and each is responsible for a specific task. My responsibility is to manage the project's finances.

We have also been supported by people who got voluntarily involved in the activities. Without them none of the fundraising or the activities could have been possible.

We hope that by means of the "Just a Change" project life in society improves a little every time. The "Just a Change" project has the purpose to help to the community which I belong to. It is certainly a great source of learning and of personal growth.

SONGAHM!

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