Delivering the Happy Bears to Refúgio Aboim Ascensão, from left: Dr Luís Villas-Boas, director and founder of the Refúgio, Christine Fay and Willem Van Millink, members of RCEPI, and an assistant from the Refúgio

Happy Bears warm young hearts

The mission of Rotary Club Estoi Palace International (RCEPI) is “to help those in need in the community”.

Members of RCEPI started crafting Happy Bears at home during lockdown as a way to raise much-needed funds. The bears are crocheted, knitted or sewn by a talented team, and the results can be seen on the RCEPI website

“We are delighted to say the project raised €1,650 and the funds will be split between the two institutions below to buy something for each from their Wish Lists,” said a spokesperson for RCEPI.

The Refúgio Aboim Ascensão in Faro looks after abandoned, abused and neglected children between the ages of three days and eight years.

APEXA, Associação de Apoio à Pessoa Excepcional do Algarve, is based in Albufeira. It was founded 18 years ago by Nuno Neto when his son was born with spina bifida. Currently, they are supporting families with children who need physical and educational therapies for their disabilities and are also teaching parents how to cope with the responsibilities these measures bring.

The Happy Bears were delivered to the Refúgio Aboim Ascensão by RCEPI members Christine Fay and Willem van Millink and to APEXA by Cristina Lamy on Friday, December 17.

“Unfortunately, Covid restrictions prevented us from distributing the bears directly to the children, but we are sure they will enjoy them,” said the spokesperson.

For further information on how you can help the Happy Bears project, email [email protected] – donations can still be made via website

Happy Bears made by RCEPI members