PORTUGAL: Project for single mothers wins award
SolSal receives Cepsa Foundation award for project that supports single mothers
(MissionNewswire) The “Brilliant mothers – Empowerment of single-parent female families” project facilitated by SolSal (Salesian Social Service) has been awarded the “Social Value Award” by the Cepsa Foundation. The project, promoted by the Salesian Foundation, is carried out in Evora, Portugal, and is one of five Portuguese projects that was recognized.
The “Social Value Award” was created in 2005 with the aim of recognizing and promoting the social activity of different entities that work to improve the quality of life. Over the past 15 years, these awards have enabled the development of more than 340 projects, which had an impact on the quality of life of around 40,000 people.
The Cepsa Foundation award provides financial support for the SolSal project, which provides support to single mothers in situations of vulnerability. The day-to-day demands of these women who are raising children without the support of their husbands, partners or extended family are difficult. They may also face dealing with low income and low education levels, which have a great impact on their family, relationships and self-esteem.
The project addresses parenting, along with personal, social, and professional challenges through an integrated approach. There is school and educational support for youth, support in accessing services to understand individual and family rights, workshops on personal care and attention habits, assistance drafting a resume, and help searching and applying for jobs.
“Single mothers face many challenges in gaining an education and finding stable employment while meeting the demands of raising a family alone,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This project helps level the playing field by supporting these women in areas that are often most challenging. Helping them find stable employment also helps them to become more self-sufficient which can improve family relationships and self-esteem.”
According to the World Bank there is 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 this 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.
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World Bank – Portugal