For the past 20 years, GATO (Grupo de Ajuda a Toxicodependentes), a charitable association which supports and helps to rehabilitate addicts in the Algarve, has been working to fight addiction and the problems associated with this.
In celebration of 20 years of helping the community, a fundraising meal in aid of GATO is to take place on October 1 at Quinta da Senhora Menina in Faro from 8pm.
The current economic crisis has affected many charities as people have less money to donate and organisers hope that this meal will be a chance to raise much-needed funds for the association.
President of the board, Gisela Marques, said: “The current scarcity of resources undermines the future of our work and we would like to appeal to the community to help us to continue to help the needy by providing them with the tools they need to be able to live a healthy life, and ultimately prevent criminal behaviour.”
She added: “We would like to stress that GATO is the only association in the Algarve that covers all age groups and a range of issues relating to the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts.”
The work of GATO covers many areas, from a residential home for drug addicts to workshops for school children and support for prisoners with HIV or AIDS.
Members of GATO hope that by firstly raising awareness of the problems of addiction to the younger members of society through visits to schools, that addict numbers can be reduced.
For those who are already addicts, GATO runs a structured programme of rehabilitation with a permanent residential home for up to 30 addicts in Azinheiro. This is a place where residents are able to draw on the advice and skills of clinical psychologists, a psychiatrist and other specialists to enable them to reintegrate with society after they have changed their fundamental attitudes.
After staying at Azinheiro, residents can then be transferred to apartments in Faro and Torre d’Aires as a transitional unit between care and regular society before ultimately rejoining society as a member of the workforce and community.
The fundraising dinner in aid of GATO costs 40 Euros per person and includes live music and a raffle.
For further information about GATO or to resister to take part in the anniversary meal please visit www.gato.org.pt (only available in Portuguese). Alternatively please call 289 823 305 or 964 642 513.