22 novembro 2019

O testemunho da Camilla (Crescer na Maior)

My second voluntary week did just start here in Lisbon at Espaço Âncora that literally means anchor place and is meant to be a low-threshold drop-in place for people in vulnerable situation. During my short time here, I have already witnessed the importance that Âncora holds for many. It offers a safe place during the day, breakfast, clothes and many other necessitate all to needle exchange but most importantly it is a familiar place where you are seen, heard and respected. One of the central ethical values of the practice is dignity or dignidade as in portugues.

Many of the people at Âncora are combating homelessness. Homelessness especially in Lisbon has been a visible news topic during this month since a homeless woman did abandon her new-born in a trash can. Homelessness makes life hard and can make people turn into desperate solutions. I hope that this tragic event would not focus on blaming the individual but instead would turn the gaze on the state’s responsibility to secure affordable housing solutions, employment opportunities and social services.

Last week the daily newspaper Diário de Notícias did publish an article of homelessness at the same time mentioning the non-governmental organisation Crescer to which Âncora belongs to. Âncora as well as Crescer, that I am going to write more about further one, has an important role to play in order to combat not just homelessness but especially inequality. I hope to share day-to-day happenings in Âncora as well as discussing more wider.

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