The Observation Unit on Citizenship and Social Intervention (OCIS), created at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Coimbra, is an educational resource and a multidisciplinary and inter-university facility, intended to boost citizenship and research in the fields of social intervention and political and social issues.
Thus, OCIS priorities include:
Since its creation, the Observation Unit on Citizenship and Social Intervention of the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Coimbra has sought to tackle two kinds of fundamental concerns: first, to counteract the separation between academia, with the knowledge it comprises, and the surrounding community and, secondly, to create connections between teachers and students of the various courses of the Faculty, both within university extension projects, and in the creation and / or consolidation, through the development of small research projects, of a "research culture" and critical reasoning from the very first years of higher education.
Thus, at an early stage OCIS particularly sought to create and consolidate ways of working by engaging new collaborators, and by ensuring adequate logistical conditions. Simultaneously, the Observation Unit’s Active Citizenship Centre implemented a set of initiatives for the civic involvement of students, in the form of volunteering projects and preparation courses for volunteer work. The Joining Causes Volunteering Group was created to this end, and it has since then been developing significant levels of support to institutionalised elderly. The Preparation Course for University Volunteering will also be run this year for the third time.
At this time, the
Observation Unit is about to start a new phase, more comprehensive and more in
line with its original purposes. Counting on the support of many qualified
volunteers, with a very important role in the implementation of OCIS goals and
activities, and with a (physical and virtual) space assigned by the Faculty
Directorate (room 2.14), large enough to accommodate the various members and to
host various actions, the Observation Unit is now going to increase the scale
of research, to ensure spaces are provided for common reflection and to enhance
opportunities for association between the Faculty and the surrounding
community, notably through the establishment of new protocols with appropriate
bodies for the achievement of the Observation Unit’s purposes.