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PORTUGAL: Campaign provides basic needs for families

The SolSal-Family Support Service in Lisbon

Students, families and educators participate in collection and distribution

(MissionNewswire) The SolSal-Family Support Service in Lisbon facilitates a yearly Christmas Campaign to collect and distribute items for disadvantaged families. This year, 3,371 packages of basic necessities were collected and distributed. A similar campaign supports families in Évora, Portugal.

The Christmas Campaign brought together students, families and educators. The campaign collected 188 packages of diapers, 239 packages of baby care products, 194 hygiene products such as toothpaste and deodorant, and 2,750 packages of food products. At the Salesian nursery and kindergarten, about half a ton of food was collected. The items will be distributed to families benefiting from Évora’s SolSal Family Assistance Service throughout the year.

SolSal in Lisbon currently supports 84 families, including 184 youth. Youth benefit from programs that help them and their families meet their basic needs in order to minimize the constraints of poverty. This support is possible thanks to the many donors who have contributed to the campaign.

A Salesian said, “Salesian solidarity campaigns were organized throughout the Christmas period to ensure that families have their basic needs met. The school community, including youth and their families, have put all their efforts into helping the most vulnerable. No one was left behind and everyone had the courage to dream big, just as Pope Francis asks.”

According to the World Bank there are close to 2.6 million people living below the poverty line in Portugal, 487,000 of whom are under the age of 18. The country is one of the most unequal countries in Europe as far as wealth distribution. Wealthy citizens earn five times the rate of income than those living in poverty.

Unemployment and low incomes are two of the factors that contribute to unequal wealth distribution. Portugal has a low hourly rate for workers in comparison to other countries in Europe. Many parents have to work multiple jobs, which leaves less time at home with their families and children. This leaves children without the proper guidance at home leading to behavior problems and lack of preparedness for school, including getting homework done and eating breakfast before coming to school.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS) 

ANS – Portugal – A great success for the Lisbon and Évora Christmas Campaigns

Salesian Missions

World Bank – Portugal