Portugal is one of the poorest countries in western Europe, the country is still suffering from underdevelopment after many decades of suppressing dictatorship. 7 percent of the population is illiterate.
Large parts of the population lack higher education. Many lives from day to day and the country were the most affected by the financial crisis in 2011. We support a crisis centre for abandoned children and children involved in investigations after being abused and mistreated. The crisis centre is run by a local organisation and church, and we contribute with occasional sponsor contribution. The children at the centre come from Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Ukraine, Belarus, and Romania.
The Crisis Centre
BarnSamariten build the crisis centre at the beginning of the nineties and handed it over to the Pentecostal church in Portimão and the organisation Lar de Criancas Bom Samaritano in the year 1993. After this has BarnSamariten only supported with sporadic sponsorships, but the contributions have lessened over the years as we have seen that they have been able to bear most of the costs locally. This is a very successful project where the local actors have gone in and carried the work forward. The goal from the beginning with the crisis centre was to help abandoned children that came from, for instance, Mozambique and Angola, to have a home. In the eighties, many children were abandoned by their relatives when they arrived in Europe. In the beginning, we took care of many abandoned children at the crisis centre. Over the years we saw that it was not only children from Africa who needed help but also children from Europe, from countries such as Ukraine, Romania, and Portugal. Parents took their children to the south of Europe and left them on the street or outside a social services office and disappeared without a trace. Even today there are children in the centre who have been completely abandoned by their parents and will most likely never see them again. Often the reasons are narcotics and poverty. Many children who have been at the centre have been adopted by new families. When they arrive at their new family the contact with the crisis centre continues for as long as the child wishes. Through the years many children have gotten a safer and more secure environment to grow up in due to the crisis centre and the families they now are a part of.