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Foz do Mira - Sea sports and Community


Dates: 01/10/2023 - 30/09/2024 (12 months)

Venue: Vila Nova de Milfontes – Portugal

Hosting organisation: Foz do Mira

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The Associação Foz do Mira (AFM) was founded in 2003 with a focus on sports, social, environmental and educational aspects as outlined in its bylaws. Since its creation, AFM has been promoting closeness and connection to the community through its various areas of action. AFM has been a member of the Portuguese Surf Federation since its foundation and counts individuals and companies, including maritime-tourism operators (surf schools, SUP, kayaking, sports and professional fishing), among its members.

AFM has played a fundamental role in promoting and facilitating the practice of Surf in the local community, particularly among young people, by providing material and human resources at a social rate. In addition to promoting surfing in the community at large, AFM has paid special attention to underprivileged children, ensuring universal access to the sport. In addition to its community surfing initiatives, AFM has represented affiliated athletes in competitive events (regional, national, and European championships).

In terms of environmental efforts, AFM organizes coastal clean-up activities in partnership with the parish of Vila Nova de Milfontes every year and cooperates with the "Juntos Pelo Sudoeste" movement in awareness-raising actions. On an institutional level, AFM has entered into a protocol with the Odemira Nautical Station as a strategic partner, and has also joined the Municipal Security Council. The Odemira Municipal Council has granted AFM a license for surfing activities, further reinforcing AFM's role as a central organization for surfing in the local community


AFM is located in Vila Nova de Milfontes, a Portuguese parish in the municipality of Odemira, with an area of 75.88 km² and a population of 5660 inhabitants (2021 census). Its population density is 74.6 inhabitants per square kilometer.

Vila Nova de Milfontes is situated on the northern bank of the Mira River estuary and is part of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park.


Two volunteers will be hosted by AFM for 12 months, to provide logistical assistance in the maintenance and revitalization of the association's physical headquarters. Their role will include being present and available to serve customers who visit the space, as well as handling logistical tasks related to association members.

In addition to their involvement with the physical space of the association, volunteers may also contribute to the surfing instruction aspect of the organization. This could involve assisting with material logistics, stock management, participant coordination, and providing any other necessary support.

The volunteers will be integrated into the local community, learning from the people of the land and, consequently, becoming part of their customs and traditions. They will also be involved in the organization and promotion of environmental sustainability activities carried out by AFM, such as the annual beach cleanups.

AFM is hosting international volunteers for the first time. Young people applying should be pro-active and willing to grow together with the team in Foz do Mira, open-minded, cooperative and autonomous.


Position 1 + 2 | Sea Sports and Community


  • Opening and closing the physical premises of the Association;
  • Assisting customers who visit the premises;
  • Maintaining the social media accounts;
  • Assisting with logistics for surf lessons provided by the Association;
  • Involvement in local community surf group dynamics;
  • Assisting with logistics and organization of beach cleanups;
  • Developing original ideas to benefit the premises, the association, and the community.


Expected learning outcomes:

The volunteers will learn the customs and traditions of the locals, the surf culture, surf teaching methods and styles, group dynamics and coordination, teamwork development, organization and logistics associated with environmental actions carried out together with the community.


Considering that this is the first time the Association is applying for a volunteer project, it is important that the volunteers be productive, have a willingness to learn and teach, be open to constructive criticism, and be committed to continuously developing and improving their work. It is also important that they possess a profile that can adapt to the constant changes in the environment in which they are inserted, as well as the activities they will be carrying out during their volunteer service.

They should be individuals with a passion for the sea and nature, with an understanding of the intersection with the local community and some level of environmental sensitivity, in order to be in tune with the values of the association.


  • Volunteers are hosted in the village of Vila Nova de Milfontes, sharing a rented house. The house will be completely furnished and equipped, allowing each participant to have her/his own room and a shared kitchen and bathroom. The house is located inside the village, in walking distance to grocery, vegetable and fish market, bakery, cafes, restaurants and bank.
  • AFM provides bikes for local transportation in the village and surroundings.
  • Volunteers get a monthly fee for food and prepare their own meals.


To apply:

Read carefully each of the available positions, the hosting conditions, expected tasks for the volunteers and the profile of participants. Then:

  • Be specific to which position you’re applying to! We are expecting to read about your motivation to be a volunteer in that specific project.
  • Be ready to send a short video (simple one, homely made) of 2 minutes, presenting your personal profile & history
  • Submit your application form(s) until the 15th of June.