Chloé's LIFE as a volunteer

My name is Chloé Defoux, I’m 18 years and I’m belgian. Before I came to Portugal I didn’t know yet what I wanted to do of my year. So I looked on the internet to every possibilities. I wanted to feel useful.

I found Montis thanks to LIFE VOLUNTEER ESCAPES in scope of European Solidarity Corps and I liked it right away because of its environnement program. This project brings volunteers of different nationality. The work of volunteers is mainly to deal with environmental protection and conservation.The coordinators explain us (volunteers) what to do on different properties to build a better ecosystem.

So far, our job are :
- We prune some shrubs to help oaks to grow faster.
- We planted oak because it’s a tree that have many functions. The oak is the pillar of the forest because it have a good resistance, it resists more or less to the fire, it adapts itself to the climat and it gives a good ecosystem.
- We helped to prepare a controle fire in an area espacialy chosen to eliminate giestas and schrubs by fire and be able to plant other species in the land. We had to create a mineral path with only soil and rocks all around this area to avoid every possibility of a wild fire.
- We remove bark from some trees - such as mimosas- from one meter high to the roots, to slowly kill invasive species. This way, we can avoid the growth of the plant and seed dispersal.
- We tear away the invasive plants such as the hakeas. The mother hakeas have many seeds on her branches. The seeds disperse on all the area as soon as the mother dies. These are very resistants seeds, they survive the fire and spread along the burned rich soil, colonising the area with plenty of baby hakeas.

And other missions are on their way for volunteers.

Furthermore, with the volunteer we live in community. It’s not an easy experience but I feel like we learn to live in the respect and the well-being of each person. There have been very few problems since the beginning. This association bring good people because its values are beautifull for me.

In general it’s an association that slowly begin to be known by the portuguese population. It joined other agencies with whom they have similar goals to advance the project and also make it known / Montis developped links with other associations in order to promote development of projects with similar goals and promote the visibility of thoses associations.

I’m convinced by this project because it is for a non-profit purpose and that proves to me that the interest of this association is mainly acting for nature well-beiing.

It’s a value that I like a lot. I think that in a world like ours it’s necessary for each of us to act at its scale. We must dare to make things happen for nature and Montis represents well this strenght.

Chloé Defoux


  1. Muito bem. Eu te desejo um feliz ano em un pais tao bonito: Portugal, que tem mas encanto na hora da despedida. Em que cidade estas a vivir: Guarda, Castelo Branco, Covilhão, Sertão ?
    Por casualidade, te envio o numero de téléfono de um simpatico amigo portugues: se chama Luis Dos Sebastião, é profesor em a universidade de Evora; esta casado e tem tres hijos majores. Evora é uma cidade muito bonita e agradavel.
    Este é o número de telefono de Luis: 00(351)969845202
    Um abraço.
    Pierre Dehalu et Josiane (Louvain-la-Neuve)

    1. Obrigada pela mensagem. Vamos transmitir à Chlóe!

  2. message à Chloé de la part de mamy
    Chère Chloë, mamy est vraiment très contente d'avoir reçu ton affectueuse carte adressée à l'occasion de son anniversaire. Elle t'en remercie très sincèrement et nous demande de t'envoyer ce message pour te le dire car elle ne dispose pas de ton adresse. Nous supposons que tu résides près de Viseu dans la montagne d'étoiles (serrão da estrela), une belle région montagneuse dans un pays où les gens sont charmants; nous y sommes déjà allés quelques fois (Porto, Lisbonne, Evora, Coïmbra...). Mamy et nous-mêmes te souhaitons une très bonne fin de séjour, en espérant que tu reviennes avec plein d'idées pour ton avenir. Affectueusement.
    Pierre Dehalu et Josiane (Louvain-la-Neuve)


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