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Algarve activists open “stylish charity shop” and new hub for social projects

The endless battle to save the country from jumping on the oil production bandwagon just as the world turns its back on fossil fuels has seen the opening of activists’ ‘one-stop charity shop’, based in the old quarter of Portimão.

The two-storey building is designed to provide an answer to multiple issues: there will be ‘everything people need’ in the form of secondhand items and equipment – from clothes, shoes and bags, to heavy furniture, white goods, decorative items, even paintings by local artists.

And there will also be space for ASMAA to develop its social arm – an area not quite as locally famous as the work it does to spread the ‘sustainable energies’ message (for this read: ‘Not one oil well, not now, not ever’).

The group has already been on national television for the initiatives it led to help victims of last summer’s forest fires, but now it hopes to concentrate on issues affecting children, women and families in need.

As CEO Laurinda Seabra explained, opening the shop is a way of “lessening dependence on ad hoc financial donations”.

ASMAA has remained fiercely self-financing as this is the only way it believes it can be truly representative of the public interest.

This has meant its bank account swings from good days to days when no one dares look.

With the shop gaining popularity, hope is that money trickles in on a daily basis – particularly as the group is poised to take on a new battle to halt drilling planned off the coast from Lagos to Sines in May (click here).

For now, the shop’s winter timetable is Monday-Friday from 11.30am to 4pm, Saturdays 11am to 2pm.

Volunteers for these hours will be welcome, and throughout February the shop will be hosting a series of ‘open Friday’s, where it hopes to spread the message of what it is doing to interested people and announce various “exciting volunteer projects”.

As the group’s announcement explains, the shop is being filled with articles donated for ASMAA’s causes. Thus, if people want to give items that they want donated to those in greater need, that can be arranged. Otherwise, all proceeds revert to ASMAA which will plough the money back into its various campaigns.

To keep stock ‘flowing’, the shop is also always happy to welcome new donations.

It can be found in Rua José Pereira Sampaio Bruno, nº 53, which is the blue building, up from the Pingo Doce near the Bombeiros/ SEF (estrangeiros).

For further information, call ASMAA on 969320231/ 282 182103.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com