AE2O is a national non profit, non governamental organization. AE2O has a board of 11 members and around 20 staff members, some of them payed by partner organizations (Ministry of Education or IEFP). AE2O is a member of E2C Europe, the European Network of Second Chance Schools and MedNC, the Mediterranean Second Chance Education Network. AE2O yearly budget is around 200.000 € plus the costs payed directly by the partners Ministry of Education and IEFP. The sources of founding are the Municipality of Matosinhos, private Foundations such as Manuel António da Mota, Porticus and Sage, and National and European grants.
AE2O manages Escola de Segunda Oportunidade de Matosinhos, dinamizes the National Network of Second Chance Schools, E2O Portugal, and promotes many activities and projects of research, mobility and training, at national and international level.
AE2O works with many other organizations of the social network at local, national and international level.
AE2O main mission is to promote second chance education, addressing vulnerable young people with low qualifications, unemployed and at risk of social exclusion.
AE2O promotes also training programs for staff working at education and social fields and capacity building activities for organizations willing to organize second chance education activities, at national and international levels.
AE2O works also for the renovation of education developing second chance education as a new chance for education.
AE2O main activity is Escola de Segunda Oportunidade de Matosinhos, a pilot project that started in 2008, the first second chance school in the country, member of the European network of second chance schools (E2C-Europe). The school targets 15 to 25-year-old who have left school without qualifications and do not have a place anywhere else, offering every year to around 70 disfavored young people a new chance of quality training suitable to their needs and interests. Many students are referred through “court support teams” for young offenders, and others come through social services, mainstream schools and in general word of mouth peer-to peer information. The student profile is extremely diverse. The majority have completed no more than four or six years of initial education. For many, their interests and talents lie in practical rather than academic skills. The school has 70 student places lasting one year, which can begin at any point in the year. Building up a portfolio of work leads to certification equivalent to the sixth or ninth year of school. The school’s follows a holistic pedagogical approach through a “dynamic connection and combination between subjects”. The students develop their own Individual Training Plans, combining vocational, artistic, school and personal and social skills. Personal and social education is developed in a cross-cutting way through different media, in response to issues that arise within a group, individual or family setting. Parental education is provided also for parents asking for help with different issues such as benefits, food and jobs.
AE2O is certified by national agency DGERT as accredited training provider.
AE2O uses arts as a powerful instrument for social inclusion. The artistic activities of AE2O integrate a performative dimension, that empowers young people as actors and authors of their own life. Public artistic presentations, held in theater rooms, play an important role in the processes of social reintegration of young people.
AE2O develops also other activities of training, exchange and spreading of experiences. The school has its own European Center for Mobility, Training and Research in the frame of the European Network of Second Chance Schools. Through this center are promoted many international projects and organized applications to several funding agencies. For the last 15 years, AE2O has been organizing and participating in many international projects (youth exchanges and events, seminars, training courses, networking activities and partnerships) offering young people, staff and other adults opportunities for personal, professional and social development.
AE2O work has been recognized and validated at national and european level and help to establish a national policy addressing vulnerable young people early leavers from education and training, national program "Segunda Oportunidade" created by Despacho 6954/2019.
AE2O dynamizes the Portuguese Network of Second Chance Education Initiatives, E2O Portugal and is an active member of E2C Europe, the European Network of Second Chance Schools and MedNC, the Mediterranean Second Chance Education Network.
We believe our active participation in European networks and partnerships and also our membership in MedNC network, the Mediterranean program for second chance education supported by the Union of the Mediterranean, may be an added value to ALF network.
We want to cooperate and integrate a movement that aims identical purposes as we do, joining our efforts to empower young people, particularly those who are more vulnerable, adding our voice and activities to others to influence political action and decision making and participating in an intercultural environment both in Europe and in the Mediterranean area.