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Amadora, Portugal—UPF has supported an online debate of Portuguese-speakers on the topic of “Leadership and Citizenship.”

UPF-Portugal President Sérgio Vieira, who is also a member of the board and vice president of the International Platform of Civil Society Lusophone Diaspora (PISCIDIL), was present at the first online debate in the scope of the “Non-Curricular Training in Leadership,” a PISCIDIL project.

The president of PISCIDIL, Professor Alberto Araújo, is an Ambassador for Peace, Since he was 9 years old, Professor Araújo has dreamed that the world community of Portuguese-speakers would be led by professionals and not by amateurs.

On January 22, 2019, in the auditorium of the Gustave Eiffel Professional School in the city of Amadora (near Lisbon), the first online debate between two groups of high school students from the school took place.

At the same time, Portuguese-speaking communities around the world were taking part in the debate through the Internet. The international participants were based in the nations of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe, and Timor-Leste, and in the territories of Macau (China), Goa and Damão (both in India), and Galicia (Spain).

The theme of the debate was “Leadership and Citizenship,” and the two groups spoke about individual leadership vs. corporate leadership. The access to this long-distance debate was made through a link that the audience in each country could access depending on their Internet connection.

Professor Araújo created an ambitious non-curricular training program as well as a curricular training program for a new leadership of the nations and healthy citizenship. He then made an application to UNESCO.

UPF-Portugal is connecting PISCIDIL with high-level people whom Professor Araújo is contacting. UPF has suggested a partnership in which PISCIDIL will adopt character education within its non-curricular training program. This will be agreed on as the next step in the official partnership protocol between the two organizations.

As a Timorese, Professor Araújo already has had more than 400 participants register in Timor-Leste and around 100 participants in Guinea-Bissau. Other chapters are making efforts to attract young people who can graduate in “Leadership and Citizenship” in the curricular training program (online graduation through a validated university curriculum).

Although PISCIDIL has partnerships with many institutes and universities, the Gustave Eiffel Professional School was the first to take on this first group of three debates during the school year.

In the end everyone felt jubilant, acknowledging that this had been a successful beginning.

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