By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]
Dora Barbosa, psychologist and technical director at the Faro-based boys home Instituto D. Francisco Gomes, commonly known as Casa dos Rapazes, said: “We currently have 60 boys ranging from six to 20 years of age, mostly of Portuguese nationality, but also from Angola, Guinea and Cape Verde.”
The boys will be celebrating Christmas with a group lunch and party on December 19, where presents will be given out.
“The boys cared for by the home are mostly from dysfunctional families. Some are able to spend the three days of Christmas with their families with our support, but for those who cannot, we celebrate here with them,” said Dora Barbosa.
“The boys, especially the younger ones, all write a letter to Santa Claus, and this year, the most requested items are bicycles and MP4 players.”
The boys are also hoping to receive a Nintendo Wii games console and games as a joint gift for their library area. “The Nintendo Wii would be a wonderful gift and its games are very stimulating and would be a lovely reward for the boys after they finish their homework,” said Dora Barbosa.
The boys also love perfumes, hair gel, branded clothes and trainers, vouchers for fnac, CDs and games.
“The current economic crisis has meant that we have received less support and donations this year, but it doesn’t mean we sit here doing nothing. We are always thinking up new ideas to gain funding and have raised some money to buy Christmas presents for the boys,” said Dora Barbosa.
If you would like to help make Christmas at the Casa dos Rapazes a little brighter, then please telephone 289 880 710 or visit the website, available in Portuguese only, at www.casadosrapazes.com. Alternatively, to donate a monetary gift, the home’s bank transfer number (NIB) is 003600329910000700762 at the Montepio Geral Bank.
Meanwhile, the Loulé-based children’s home known as Os Miúdos is home to seven boys and four girls from birth to age of 12, all of whom have been victims of some form of abuse or neglect.
Paula Marinho, technical director of Os Miúdos, said: “The children we care for come from across Portugal. The courts or the national commissions for the protection of children and youths in danger place them in our custody due to abuse, negligence and abandonment.”
Since it opened 11 years ago, Os Miúdos has cared for a total of 131 children. “This Christmas we are having a party on December 19 with friends and sponsors of the home and then Christmas Eve will be traditional with the children and staff,” she said.
Despite the subsidies received from the Social Security, the home struggles to make ends meet as rent for the premises is very high.
“The children have written to Santa Claus and all of them will have individual presents, but this Christmas we would greatly appreciate donations of food or money. We are very grateful for any help people can give us,” said Paula Marinho.
To make a difference to the children who are temporarily housed at Os Miúdos, please telephone Paula Marinho or Maria José Capela on 289 417 590 to arrange a visit to the home.
Alvor-based children’s home Lar de Crianças Bom Samaritano in Alvor is home to 34 children from the ages of three to 18.
Margarida Castanhito, technical director of the home, said: “Christmas is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the children and youngsters who prepare several performances to present at the Christmas party that will take place on December 21 this year.”
This year’s performances include a play, music and dance organised by the children who have also constructed the stage backdrop for the show.
“At the end of the show, all the children receive the presents that have been donated, which is followed by a dinner with some special treats collected from donations in Portimão,” said Margarida Castanhito.
Popular items on this year’s list to Santa Claus from the children include clothes and shoes, Barbie dolls, Hannah Montana and Noddy memorabilia for the younger ones as well as MP4 players and designer Nike and Adidas sports clothes for the older children.
A full list of Christmas wishes from the children at Lar de Crianças Bom Samaritano, along with their christian names and ages, is available to view on the Algarve Resident website. Please click on the link below this article.
If you would like to help make Christmas at the Lar Bom Samaritano a little brighter, then please telephone 282 459 201 or visit the website, available in Portuguese only, at www.larbomsamaritano.pt.vu
Alternatively, to donate a monetary gift, the home’s bank transfer number (NIB) is 003600609910008311641at the Montepio Geral bank.
Editor’s note: We are aware that there are many more children’s homes across the Algarve that need your support this Christmas and wish we could provide a space in our publication for all of them. Unfortunately, that is not possible. If you would like to help a children’s home near you this Christmas, please contact us on 282 342 936. Don’t miss next week’s Algarve Resident for more Christmas wishes from children in need across the region.