Algarve charities pull out the stops for needy schoolchildren

Algarve-based charities ACCA and Castelo de Sonhos have launched new campaigns to help needy students get “everything they need for a successful school year”.

For ACCA, this is the third year it has pulled out the stops for local schoolchildren.

“With everyone’s help, this programme can give hundreds of youngsters whose families are on the poverty line a proper start and the opportunity to make the best of their education,” ACCA explained.

“There are so many things we take for granted. We rarely consider what it is like, for example, for a child to start the new school year without essentials like pencils, rubbers and rulers.”

People are encouraged either to donate money so that ACCA can buy the supplies, or buy the products themselves and hand them over.

Essentials are items like “backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils, pencil sharpeners, felt-tipped pens, rulers, colouring pencils, scissors, A4 files, plastic folders, set squares, staplers, pencil cases, post-its, corrector pens and erasers”, say the charity.

Donations can be left at the Lewis Andrews store (Almancil), the Nobre Passos pharmacy (Almancil), Casa Curiosa on the EN125 near Loulé or Paws4Pet (Albufeira).

ACCA adds that “300 children benefited from the generosity of companies and people” in last year’s drive.

“State schools in the Algarve cope admirably with their young pupils. Teachers cannot, however, combat conditions at home, where there may be abuse, alcoholism, drug dependency or a simple lack of interest.”

Meantime, Silves-based charity Castelo de Sonhos has launched a similar initiative – this one focusing on gathering backpacks to distribute among the Algarve’s neediest schoolchildren.

“Every child deserves to go to school prepared to learn,” said the charity. “The first day of the new school year is just around the corner, and the backpack drive will soon be underway. Having the right school supplies is the first step in doing well at school,” it added.

Golf Shack, located on the EN125 between Porches and Alcantarilha, is selling a special ‘backpack and gym bag’ bundle for €5 during the drive.

However, anyone can donate any backpack of their choice between August 21 and September 7 at Castelo de Sonhos’ headquarters in Silves, the Holiday Inn Algarve in Armação de Pêra or at Golf Shack.

For more information about the two drives, contact ACCA (918 376 657) or Castelo de Sonhos (282 332 665).