An educational institution in the Douro region of Portugal is actively reversing the cycle of poverty and arming local children with “the most powerful weapon to change the world.”

The MISSION of Bagos d’Ouro is to promote education and social inclusion of children and young people in need in the Douro region of Portugal. 

Why is it important?

Douro has an undeniable historical and cultural value, being the oldest demarcated region in the world as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The region is also famous for producing its prestigious port wines. However, this is also a predominantly rural region that is characterized, according to the INE (Portugal’s government statistics agency), by a high rate of ageing population associated with serious socio-economic problems. 

The poverty indicators of the Douro region, coupled with other risk factors such as alcoholism, domestic violence, unemployment, and poverty and exclusion, require urgent intervention in the region, with a sustainable, long-term vision. Bagos d'Ouro began in 2010 with a dream of a more just society where all children have equal opportunities and the new generations have an active role in reversing the cycle of poverty and social exclusion through education, the "most powerful weapon to change the World".

How do they do it?

Bagos d’Ouro is a  privately owned Institution of Social Solidarity in Portugal (IPSS) with a long-term commitment and a strategy of proximity, as they develop personalized work with each child and young person in need of support. They seek to follow their educational, social and familial path to integration in their active lives. Bagos d’Ouro operates in six boroughs of the Douro – Alijó, Armamar, Murça, Sabrosa, São João da Pesqueira and Tabuaço -- and have been working with more than 200 children and their families for a total of about 400 people. In the near future they plan to extend the intervention area to two new boroughs.

The impact of their long term work has already been felt within the community, with an 89% school success rate, 72% of their students maintaining the annual global average, and 64% of their students with Good, Very Good or Exceptional school performance. 

Believing in education as a way of reversing the cycle of poverty and social exclusion, Bagos d’Ouro, in partnership with institutions and companies, develops a Methodology which supports intervention on the ground, acting at the level of the child/young person, family, school and community. Bagos d’Ouro methodology is based on a proximity strategy and a preventive and timely intervention. Regular school and family support are provided together with the design of case-by-case tailored programs, where children, young people and their parents are held responsible and are involved in the definition of yearly goals and work to achieve them.

They work directly with parents, teachers, volunteers and local social partners, all of them essential agents in this whole process. Taking into consideration this monitoring, Bagos d'Ouro is also developing its methodology in terms of projects and activities with companies and partners whose fields of knowledge help young people to work on personal and social skills, reading habits, vocations, entrepreneurship and employability.

How you can #TravelKindly: 
  • Choose Bagos d’Ouro as your local charity when you book with Kind Traveler.
  • Locals have a myriad of ways to help Bagos d’Ouro. In addition to donations they can volunteer and engage in professional mentoring, offer support for 1st and 2nd cycle studies in a wide range of subjects, or participate in field activities (i.e. set up study rooms, prepare back to school kits or Christmas baskets). 

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