Community development, Housing

Camp In


Who is behind this?

António Bello

Just a Change



Idea pitch

Just a Change (JAC) is a non-profit dedicated to rebuild homes for those living in Housing Poverty. Since 2010, JAC has renovated more than 203 houses and 50 institutions, helping more than 1600 people and mobilizing more than 4500 volunteers. Camp In is a 12-day volunteering and construction camp where, through community-based collaborative efforts, it impacts society: upgrading living conditions of the population, as a way to reduce poverty and to improve Public Health & Energy Efficiency.

Where will your project idea take place?

Alcanena, Alandroal, Sever do Vouga, Vila Pouca, Tondela, Óbidos; Alentejo, Center & North Portugal

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

In Portugal, more than half a million people are at risk of housing poverty and social exclusion (INE,2010). Moreover, 23% of total population cannot keep their home heated, 200.000 cannot take a shower, and more than 50.000 does not have piped water and sewage system. During the winter, in Portugal, mortality rates increase 28%, contrasting with the 15% rate of the EU (Journal of Public Health, 2016) and exposing the lack of housing insulation.
In particular, rural, isolated and small Municipalities are deeply touched by social exclusion and deep poverty, affecting the housing conditions. Every year, elderly die poisoned with fire pits inside their homes. Families are forced to shower with cold water and to live amongst mice, cockroaches and other parasites.

Who are you doing it for?

With Camp In, we pretend to engage different actors for the same goal of solving local housing poverty, in particular:
- Municipalities - JAC has influenced 18 Local Authorities, with the aim to reach out all 308 Portuguese Municipalities to recognize Housing Poverty as a social need
- Young citizens – JaC have mobilized thousands of college students to Camp In projects
- Central government – JaC have brought the secretary for housing (and others) to camp in, to advocate public policies for rural housing poverty
- Local community – Camp In have engaged with dozens of local suppliers and contractors, NGOs and community leaders, promoting local social cohesion.
- Households - Camp In assisted 445 people, now living more safely in their homes observing more safety, health and hygiene.

How do you plan to get there?

For the Summer of 2021, JAC will implement the following methodology:
Phase 1 – Signalling: Local agents sign most urgent cases to be found; Each rehabilitation solutions are outlined, together with the beneficiaries. Phase 2 – Mobilization: Next, JAC mobilizes local suppliers to the necessary technical and specialized manpower; It captures tools, machines and materials necessary to carry out the rehabilitation. Phase 3 – Intervention: Volunteers are allocated according to each suitable volunteering models; Specialized technical labour is allocated to each intervention, so that volunteers are mentored. Phase 4 – Follow-up: After the renovation, efforts are made to reinsure that the network of local agents ensures essential follow-up to foster lasting and durable social change.

What are the expected results?

With Civic Europe, the central JAC structure will be more solid with both financial and non-financial support. As a result, more 28 to 35 houses will be renovated and 48 to 50 people will be out of Housing Poverty. Protocols will be signed with 6 Municipalities and 7 Camp In (Sever will do 2 Camps). More than 300 young volunteers will be mobilized.
With a tested and agile Social Franchising Model, Civic Europe opens the door to scale -up and expand to countries like Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania.
The project will find more people comfortable and safe at home, more young people interested to engage in volunteering, more Municipalities and Private sector stakeholders ready to engage with the problem and, finally with Portuguese and European Societies awaken to Housing Poverty,

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Just a Change (JAC) is an organization that tackles housing poverty trough community based interventions.
Camp In is a JAC 12-day volunteering and construction camp where, through community-based collaborative efforts, it enables the poorest individuals to rehabilitate their homes and to improve their livelihood.
Since 2015, the project mobilizes college students as volunteers to rehabilitate homes of those who cannot afford to do so. It takes place throughout Portugal, mobilizing Municipalities, Parishes, local companies and suppliers, local NGO’s and the community, promoting collaboration for a common good. Every year JaC invites hundreds of college students to take part in tackling housing poverty, challenging them to become active citizens for a better and more democratic society.

Why is this idea important to you?

In December 2009, António and Lourenço, decided to play the guitar and sing in downtown Lisbon. They sang all afternoon while people passing by were left some change.
They chose to use the money raised to help those in need and founded in 2010 Just a Change, based on the idea that the small change collected in the streets could operate a massive change in people’s lives.
They discovered that Housing Poverty devastated the city of Lisbon and the entire country in a hidden way from public awareness. So, they decided to mobilize partners, companies, municipalities and volunteers to rehabilitate houses. They never forgot to respect human dignity, as the defence of the right to housing is also the defence of a fundamental right.
JaC's mission is “Rehabilitate houses, rebuilding lives!”.

€ 253000,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Central JAC HR. 19.000 EUR
Support on Account Management for Transparency purposes. 3.000 EUR
Training – Volunteers, Coordinators and Staff. 3.200 EUR
Insurance. 2.800 EUR
Operations and Safety Management. 5.300 EUR
T-shirts, Leaflets and publications. 3.000 EUR
Impact Measurement – Internal JAC Development and Strategy Staff and sociology Students, on 7 Camps. 6.100 EUR
Travel Expenses: Planning, Project Management and Intervention Visits on all 7 sites. 7.600 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Receive feedback to improve the application and to know more ideas to engage with Civic Europe network!



Simão Oom



Idea created on May 25, 2020
Last edit on May 25, 2020

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