Project 002 - Project Portugal

A typical barracas shanty town home near Carcavelos.

The shanty town barracas known as 'mariannas' in Carcavelos.

Desire to reach the Poor

Dear Friends,

Project Portugal commenced in 1984 and began initially by working through well established missionaries and national churches who had a desire to reach the poor people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. By sharing the need in churches in the UK and by promoting the work of Siloam through its mailing list and through christian magazines, funds were obtained to help provide food parcels, clothing, footwear and other items used to help churches in Portugal reach the poor and disadvantaged for Jesus Christ.

It is estimated that more than a million refugees fled to Portugal after the Revolution of Carnations in April 1974. Most folk came from the previous Portuguese colonies of Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde and as far away as Timor. In more recent times, many refugees and 'returnados' (Portuguese nationals) have returned to Portugal from Guinea-Bissau. Approximately 10% of the population of Portugal is made up of refugees and returnados or their descendants from the previous Portuguese colonies.

Even today there are many refugees, returnados and indigenous poor people existing in barracas type accommodation which are like shanty towns which can still be seen to the west of Lisbon at Carcavelos. There are several other shanty towns in the north of Portugal and another centre was located by Richard Norton in December 2000 outside the town of Borba.

There are today many thousands of people from Russia, the Ukraine, Moldavia and from the failing economies of African nations, many of whom are working as construction workers where there is a vast need in the Lisbon and Algarve areas. Portugal recently passed a new law allowing all illegal foreigners to stay 5 years in the country providing they apply for visas now.

This unchecked immigration has put tremendous burden on the Portuguese economy which is why there are so many poor people needing Siloam's help and the help of other agencies called to work in this area.

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