In 2021, Ripess Europe celebrates its 10th anniversary!
As part of this celebration, and in order to honour the network and its members in particular, Ripess Europe will be conducting interviews, throughout the year, with the people who have brought it to life since its creation. Follow us on this European tour of the network’s members!
This time, we have an appointment with Sofia Pereira from RedPES (Portugal), one of the youngest member of Ripess Europe and involved in the youth group since the very beginning.
Hello Sofia, can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your organisation?
I’m Sofia Pereira and I’m from Porto, Portugal. I represent the Portuguese Solidarity Economy Network (RedPES). RedPES is a Portuguese non-profit organisation that aggregates, affirms, supports and disseminates organisations, informal groups and individuals, who identify themselves with the concept and practices of Solidarity Economy. However, I’m currently working at APDES (RedPES’ member), a Portuguese NGO for Development. There I coordinate a European project aimed at promoting Social Solidarity Economy in Europe through the training of trainers in this thematic area – the SSEVET2 Project funded by the European Commision’s Erasmus+ Programme.
What does it mean for you to be a member of Ripess Eu?
RedPES is a RIPESS EU member from our beginning in 2016. Being a RIPESS EU member has proved to be a great opportunity to learn and exchange good practices with other organisations and countries as well as strengthen skills and pool knowledge. With the partnerships created inside the network, we feel that our capacity to innovate in the national territory and to promote collaborative work among organisations is being improved. In addition, we understand the advocacy actions boosted by RIPESS EU as a way to create a more solidarity and fairer world.
What does Social and Solidarity Economy mean to you?
As a young person, the Solidarity Economy appears to me as a truly alternative to an economy and lifestyle that led the world to its destruction. Solidarity Economy, its principles and the people I have been meeting in the field, makes me believe there is hope for a better future and I want to be part of that creation.
If you had to choose one memory since your integration, what would it be?
My best memory is the event at the World Social Forum 2021 organised by the Youth and SSE working group. It was a great event with an amazing vibe that put together more than 40 young people from all over the world. It proved that this working group and the effective integration of young people in SSE is more than needed – it is an incredible added-value!
Cheers from a sunny Porto,