Lagoa cancer support association helps Ukrainians
Three trucks left Lagoa headed for the Ukraine in May, filled with medical supplies and medication

Lagoa cancer support association helps Ukrainians

SOS Oncológico will be at Fatacil to raise awareness about war in Ukraine

SOS Oncológico, a Lagoa-based association that provides support to cancer patients, their families and their caretakers, will be using its space at the Fatacil fair which begins this Friday in Lagoa to promote its recent efforts to aid Ukrainian war victims.

The association will have two stalls at the fair dedicated to raising awareness about the atrocities being committed in Ukraine.

There will be an exhibition of photos sent by an institute in Ukraine showing the ‘before and after’ of some of the country’s most emblematic buildings, which have been destroyed or damaged by the war.

A documentary tackling the consequences of the war will also be shown, as well as a collection of magnets depicting each of the country’s 26 regions (including Crimea).

“Cancer will unfortunately exist forever, but we are hoping this war will end,” SOS Oncológico founder Maria João told the Resident when explaining why this year the association will use the opportunity to focus on another topic.

The association’s efforts to support victims of the war started shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“After the invasion, I called a Ukrainian friend of mine and said that we had to do something. I couldn’t just stand by and watch,” said Maria João, who lives by a motto that her grandmother taught her: “See the human first.”

Their first focus was on providing support to arriving family members of Ukrainians who already lived in the Algarve by providing essential items such as medication and diapers.

But their efforts grew over time and saw the association team up with several entities and groups, including the Amparo church in Portimão, which contacted another Jesuit church in Azovstal in Ukraine.

Together, they were able to deliver around €27,000-worth of items to the Ukrainian border. As they were not allowed to cross the border, the mayor of Azovstal travelled to the border to receive the donations and take them back to his town.

SOS Oncológico, a small team of just 13 volunteers, was also able to arrange the delivery of much-needed medicine to a leukaemia patient in Ukraine.

While donations from the public have been decreasing over time, Maria João says that “the foreign community continues to bring donations, such as fruit and fresh meat, every week” to the temporary store that SOS Oncológico has set up on Rua Francisco L.M. Veloso, near Pastelaria Algarve.

The association is also playing a key role in the integration of arriving Ukrainian refugees.

Vitra Clinic in Lagoa, for example, has been providing free dental services to refugees in need, while other local companies have been providing jobs to Ukrainian citizens.

Like any association of its kind, SOS Oncológico runs on a limited budget which is stretched very thin at the moment.

If you would like to help, donations can be made to the following bank account (IBAN: PT50 0045 7060 4026 3428 0357 3).

Donations can also be dropped off at the association’s store in Lagoa, which is open on weekdays between 10am and 6pm. It will be closed, however, during the course of Fatacil – August 19 to 28. Make sure you visit their stalls at the fair.

(+351) 962 325 862 | geral@sosoncologico.pt | www.sosoncologico.pt