Opinion article by Débora Gonçalves, Facilitator Faro2027
Having just left university in the midst of a pandemic, the opportunities to develop skills in my area were not the most extensive in the Algarve. Even so, a few days later I was introduced to the “Faro 2027” project, which until that date I only understood as a candidacy for the European capital of culture. I started as a volunteer, suggested ideas and even helped during the South Music Festival, but always something very punctual. A few months later was when I had the ability to understand the dimension that this project carried. More than an opportunity to develop skills, Faro2027 was an opportunity to meet people, to get to know myself, to get to know the Algarve and dream it differently. In the months I was involved in the project, there were many moments of stress, joy, a feeling of accomplishment, frustration, everything that a project of great ambition implies. I see the Faro2027 team as a group of people who dare to dream, who dare to say that the Algarve should not be defined by the labels that people outside our reality give it and that it is our responsibility to understand and transform the Algarve accordingly. with its potential.
Some of the daily tasks involved talking to people, giving them the opportunity to be heard, empathizing with them and their stories, understanding their frustrations, making them dream or simply giving them back hope, organizing documents, interviewing people, planning events, organize materials and, if necessary, transform an entire office into a Ford model production line to ensure that the results were achieved, but always to the sound of laughter.
I consider that the moment that most impressed me was the trip to Lisbon to deliver the Candidature/Bidbook Dossier. The emotions that emerged that day translated into a feeling of pride in realizing that, contrary to what is believed, people unite whenever they dream together.
Despite the final result, plans and projects are drawn, ideas are launched. We dreamed of the title, but we never aspired to it as a final result, we always wanted to guarantee a sustainable cultural plan for Faro and the Algarve. A plan that would do justice to the people who live here and choose the Algarve to be their home. Couldn't have had a better experience.