Urgent need for baby essentials

Urgent need for baby essentials

Silves Rotary Club and Almancil International Rotary Club (AIRC) recently joined forces to provide some much-needed support to Castelo de Sonhos, a charity for the underprivileged set up in 1999 and located in Silves.
The charity is a private institute for social welfare which distributes food, clothing, bedding, furniture, baby and mother essentials to poor families in the Algarve region. They currently support 2,355 families providing for 8,500 people including 3,000 children and 125 babies.
Castelo de Sonhos receives donations from the regional food bank, private donations of needed items and money to cover transport costs.
The charity works in collaboration with the Centro de Apoio Familiar e Aconselhamento Parental (CAFAP), which provides assistance through professionally qualified social workers to underprivileged families and is partly funded by Castelo de Sonhos.
“We do not discriminate,” said Liliana Rodrigues, founder and president of Castelo de Sonhos. “We help many nationalities but of course we need to take steps to ensure we are helping the right people. Applicants first go through an interview process with a professional social worker who will assess their needs based on their financial and social circumstances. Once registered, they are given a card which entitles them to come to our centre once a month to collect supplies.
“Our six volunteers and I do our best to provide whatever they need. Currently we are desperate for cots, baby clothes, baby food, nappies and everything concerned with the care of a new-born. It is a little-known fact that it is against the law for a baby to leave hospital in their parents’ arms; the baby must be placed in a carry cot – in Portuguese an ‘Ovo’. Of course our clients can’t afford to buy them so we try and provide these too.”
On hearing of their plight, the president of Silves Rotary Club Alan Winn, and AIRC Community Services Chairman Peter Hinze put together a shopping list of the most urgent items and purchased five cots, seven baths, seven potties and 10 carry cots.
With a 10% discount on these items from Continente supermarkets, they were also able to purchase baby milk, shampoo and other small requisites for a new-born.
“This is a very deserving charity. As well as providing items to make day to day living easier, they also provide psychological support at home,” said Alan Winn.
Castelo de Sonhos: 282 441 654 | geral@castelodesonhos.pt
Rotary: www.rotaryalmancil.org | www.silvesrotaryclub.org