what drives us
Associação Pão a Pão is an NGO that promotes the integration of refugees and immigrants through training and employability. We value people's knowledge, experience and culture and these are the elements we use to facilitate inclusion and create more diverse, vibrant communities.
Many things we do take place around the table. We share a meal to celebrate a special event. We share a meal when we have good news to tell. We share a meal to get to know someone better. We share a meal to be with whom we want to be with. A meal makes us closer to one another.
That is why Pão a Pão (PAP, Bread by Bread) turns food into an exchange of experiences, knowledge, and cultures, and a path to inclusion. We know how important food is in building and structuring our identity. It makes us feel at home and it says who we are and where we come from.
In Mezze, an Arabic food restaurant, Middle Eastern refugees are given training and jobs. We use the skills that many women and young adults bring from their home countries and give them the tools so that their work - and their identity - are valued and shared with their new community.
With Mão-Cheia (means Handful) PAP promotes an active and healthy aging both for Portuguese and migrants. A voice – and a restaurant kitchen – is given to older people, who still have a lot to give back to society, so that they can share their knowledge with the community and pass it to younger generations.
Pão a Pão (means Bread by Bread by the way!) also developed a training program for refugees and immigrants in the restaurant business. Mezze School is a partnership with the Lisbon School of Hospitality and Tourism (EHTL) and a project supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation's Cidadãos Activ@s Program.
New ideas can break down old prejudices. That is why we also organize workshops and debates. It’s a way of building a more open and tolerant society, without distrust towards those who come from another place.
We believe that there is no "them" or "us". Only “all of us”.
It took several bricks to make PAP grow. Grain by grain, bread by bread, with the help
of loyal partners, we built social inclusion and transformed our community.
Alone, we would not have come this far.
Join us, because there is always so much to do. Send us an email to