Businesspeople swap their computers for paint brushes

More than 50 entrepreneurs from across the country left their offices and computers behind for a few days to help charitable causes in the Algarve last week.

The ‘GRACE’ group of businesspeople was formed in 2000 and is a non-profit making association that helps disadvantaged people in Portugal.

Last week, through its charity project GIRO 2011, the group offered its “services” to charities in the Algarve.

They were MAPS, an association that supports HIV/Aids sufferers, Santa Casa da Misericórdia, which helps different groups of needy people, and children’s charities Catraia, Refúgio Aboim Ascensão, Centro de Animação e Apoio Comunitário de Alte, Associação In Loco and Os Miúdos.

At MAPS and Santa Casa da Misericórdia, both in Faro, the GRACE volunteers rolled up their sleeves, grabbed some brushes and rollers, and began painting and decorating the premises of the institutions.

MAPS is currently home to 70 people suffering from HIV/Aids while the Santa Casa da Misericórdia provides help to around 700 people, among them children and the elderly.

Meanwhile, also as part of the GIRO 2011 project, nearly 60 children from various children’s charities in the region spent a day learning to play golf at Vale do Lobo.

Conceição Zagalo, president of GRACE, told the Algarve Resident: “I’m very proud of what our entrepreneurs have achieved. Involving businesses in social causes and watching them succeed in their goals to help the needy has surpassed all my expectations.”

For more information about GRACE, please visit (available in English).