As social beings, human connections is an essential factor for well-being. There are times when of suffering where solitude is present - whether the cause is a certain distancing from others or because we are closed off in our own bubble. It is especially in this context that acts of compassion, such as volunteering, take on an even greater dimension, giving many people, meaning and purpose to their daily lives or even a sense of mission and life, creating a real connection with others and the world around us.
Any act in which we share what we have for the benefit of another person, whether directly or indirectly, will bring us immediate well-being because it leads us to the most fundamental of what we are: connecting with someone. It is in that relationship and in a work of compassion towards the other that a true sense of happiness can arise - which is effectively only true when shared.
When taking part in a volunteering action, we can have the simplest task, but if we can get the notion that that task will have a positive impact on someone's life, or on our life as a society, it can be enough for an internal satisfaction and a genuine well-being.
It is worth remembering the metaphor of Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk: if a person drops a stone in a glass of water, it makes a big splash. Drop it in a puddle, and the splash is smaller. In a lake, it will be even smaller. If it is an ocean, the splash is minimum. The truth is that if we open ourselves to other people's experiences, we gain a new perspective on our life and what is really important. It is a practice of expansion.
Individual experiences are not comparable. Opening up to the other person's experience does not invalidate our own. But it helps us to be more objective about an experience, a problem.
Through volunteering we can also develop skills, not only professional but also personal, like improving our self-knowledge, the way we adapt to changes, how we overcome obstacles and develop our resilience, These ingredients can bring a sense of peace and can be worked on in the relationship with others, in acts of giving to those who need our presence, our help.
It is in this spirit of sharing with others and promoting mental health that EDP has had a volunteer programme for its employees since 2011, working in five major areas: social inclusion, empowerment, energy inclusion, biodiversity and climate action. Through this programme, employees can allocate working hours to carrying out various initiatives promoted directly by EDP or other initiatives which they identify with ("A Minha Causa"). Read the testimonials of EDP employees who have created a new meaning of life through acts of compassion.
Alanna - Communication analyst, EDP Brazil
"During my childhood, my parents took me on volunteering activities in children's homes and shelters, so I have loved helping others since I'm a child. When I joined the company, I got involved at the first invitation. I have been a volunteer for more than 10 years and here at EDP since 2016. I've been a volunteer in different areas: from collecting and donating food, clothes and shoes to visiting vulnerable people in institutions. Volunteering helps me grow and become a better person and human being. I feel so grateful that I can help people, which makes me feel happy and useful, contributing greatly to my well-being. When I leave a volunteering activity, I feel fulfilled and full of energy to do more good things. The day is happier and life seems to have more meaning."
Renato Rosa - Project manager, EDPR (Milan)
"One of my favourite volunteering initiatives is participating in the Milan Relay Marathon with colleagues from EDP Italy. The relay marathon is the beating heart of the Milan Marathon Charity Programme, a fundraising project that enables participants to run for a non-profit organisation of their choice. I've been promoting this initiative in EDP Italy for 5 years, because I believe it helps people and because it's fun and is good for our bodies and minds. Sadly, in recent years, the number of people needing a friendly hand has only increased. I believe that our society needs volunteering for different reasons, not only because it helps others, but also, for example, to improve relationships, social skills and networking and, in general, because it increases out level of contentment. I consider volunteering to be relaxing and it certainly contributes to my well-being. Better yet, when I can do volunteering activities with some friends or colleagues, that also increases empathy between people. After a volunteering activity, I feel proud of myself, happy and full of energy."
Our heart and energy drive a better tomorrow
Well-being and benefits
People are at the center of what we do
October is mental health month, but at EDP we focus on this issue continuously. We promote initiatives for everyone's happiness and growth and listen to our people's voices, to guarantee a positive experience and ensure individual well-being.