Leigos para o Desenvolvimento (“Laity for Development”) is a non-profit association with a legal, canonical and civil personality, officially recognised as a Non-Governmental Development Organization (NGO).
It is an association inspired by Ignatian spirituality and it, currently, develops projects in Angola, Mozambique, Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe. Young volunteers work there for at least one year, focusing on relationships, local knowledge and the scarcity of means, to allow for the self-development of the communities.
Several Handmaids in Portugal are elders, i.e., former volunteers for this organization.
At present a Handmaid gives spiritual assistance to those in the Porto unit during their training and discernment year when, as volunteers, they get ready for the mission.