Project Portugal began in 1984 initially by working through established missionaries and national Protestant churches who had the desire to reach the poor people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. By sharing the need in churches in the UK, promoting the work of Siloam through its giving friends and advertising in Christian magazines, funds were obtained to provide food parcels, clothing, footwear and wheelchairs, etc… to help the churches in Portugal reach their own poor and disadvantaged.
It is estimated that more than a million refugees fled to Portugal after the ‘Revolution of Carnations’ on 25th April 1974. Most folk came initially from the previously Portuguese colonies of Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde and as far away as Goa and Timor. In more recent times, even more refugees and ‘retornados’ (Portuguese nationals) have returned to Portugal from Guinea-Bissau. It is reckoned that approximately 10% of the population of Portugal is made up of refugees, ‘retornados’ or their descendants from the previous Portuguese colonies.
Even today there are many refugees, ‘retornados’ and indigenous poor people existing in very poor overcrowded housing as they have been shifted from their former shanty towns known as ‘barracas’ which blighted the countryside.
More recently still, many thousands of migrants have arrived from Russia, the Ukraine, Moldova and other failing African economies, many of whom are working as poorly paid construction workers where there is a vast need of cheap labour in the Lisbon and Algarve areas.
This unchecked immigration has put a tremendous burden on the Portuguese economy which is why there are so many poor people in great need. Even though Portugal is a full member of the E.U, there are particularly many young people out of work or in poorly paid employment, which is why many emigrate to France, Germany and the UK.
Funds donated to this project are currently allocated to churches and mission workers helping the poor.
For more targeted ministries to consider helping in Portugal, please view projects: 047 – Maj-Lis Johansson’s ministry in Carcavelos and project: 038 – Siloam’s Christmas food parcel outreach to the poor.
Want to make a donation by bank transfer?
We would welcome larger donations by bank transfer to save PayPal fees. To make a donation, please log onto your bank online or call them and use the following details to make a payment:
Siloam Christian Ministries, Account Number: 00932329, Sort code: 60-12-35
Bank Address: NatWest, 59 The Parade, Leamington Spa, CV32 4ZX. Please Quote Reference: Project: 002, your Initials and Surname
An early photo of a typical ‘barracas’ shanty town home near Carcavelos – East of Lisbon.
The former shanty town ‘barracas’ known as ‘Marianas’ in Carcavelos. Now completely re-developed hiding its grim past!