In mid-September children return to school and many do so without the basic utensils to write and learn effectively. For the expat community, it may seem unbelievable that students of all ages don’t have the learning tools they need to attend school, but this is the sad situation of many families who cannot afford even to buy the basics. And so each year local charitable organisations launch back-to-school campaigns to support needy children.
Last year ACCA (the Association to Help Children in Need in the Algarve) helped 300 students and once again readers are being encouraged to support this cause by purchasing school supplies and bringing smiles to many young faces.
Gwenda Daud, supporting this initiative, told the Resident: “Some parents cannot afford to buy pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, rubbers, rulers and paper, never mind extra things like glue, colouring pens, backpacks and other essentials.
“Most importantly, the children need notebooks/exercise books to write in. Each primary school child needs two lined for writing, one with squares for maths and one plain-papered A4 notebook. These need not be fancy coloured notebooks; in fact the schools prefer that everyone has the basic black covered pads which are available in all supermarkets. They also need a pack of blank paper each and a small A5 lined exercise book. Secondary children must also have calculators, recorders, protractors and pencil cases.
“All of the kids need a flat dossier file with an elastic fastener to carry their work to and from school. Backpacks, Portuguese dictionaries and A4 files can often be reused if they have not worn out from the year before, but are still needed. However, the children feel tremendously proud starting a new year with their own nice backpack!”
Text books are issued to those children whose parents are unemployed or earning low wages, and there is a system to return last year’s books to receive second-hand books for the current year, but it does not include the school essentials mentioned above, which are vital for the children to learn.
The cost for all these basics is about €30 per child, so if you can donate any amount or buy these items when you are out shopping, ACCA will distribute to children in the Algarve to ensure they get the best chance at education that they deserve.
You can drop off the items in the following Almancil outlets: Lewis Andrews Lifestyle (opposite Apolónia), Casa Curiosa or in the main pharmacy Nobre Passos. If you prefer to make a bank transfer, please use IBAN PT50 0079 0000 4342641910 122 stating it is a donation for the Back to School Campaign.
918 376 657 | 289 398 076
8th annual backpack drive
Meantime, Silves-based charity Castelo de Sonhos is once again also appealing for assistance to ensure that children who often “do without” will have a backpack and gym bag to return to school.
This year calls for help with backpack donations have also been received from other organisations across the Algarve due to the difficult economic times, so your help is needed more than ever.
There are two ways you can help:
1. With the support of the Golf Shack, you can order a backpack and gym bag for just €5. Orders from August 26 – email [email protected] or telephone 282 098 040.
2. If you wish to donate your own backpack, you can drop off at any of the following points from August 26 until September 6: Castelo de Sonhos, Silves; Holiday Inn Algarve, Armação de Pêra; The Golf Shack, on the EN125 between Porches and Alcantarilha.
282 332 665 | [email protected]
Photo: Staff at the Nobre Passos chemist in Almancil during last year’s campaign