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Algarve refuge

Post  pm on Mon 8 Sep - 9:45

Algarve children’s refuge hides British shame

Posted: 06 Sep 2008 06:00 PM CDT

CASES OF British tourists behaving irresponsibly with their children while on holiday in the Algarve have hit the headlines more often since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in May 2007.

This summer has already seen reports about two separate incidents involving drunk and seemingly negligent parents holidaying in the region.

The children who are the victims of such cases are normally taken for emergency care and housing to the Refúgio Aboim Ascensão in Faro, where director Luis Villas-Boas coordinates their immediate care at the refuge for children.

The refuge has been involved in numerous high profile cases involving foreign children, including the British baby that was abandoned at Faro airport in 2002 (see The Resident February 1, 2002) and most recently the eight-year-old British girl taken into protective care last month (see The Resident, August 29 and read story on page 2).

Often outspoken, Dr Villas-Boas, a clinical psychiatrist and retired Cavalry Colonel, told The Resident: “We have hidden the shame of the British in the past at the refuge. We try to avoid scandals here but the parents who were so drunk on May 3 that their children were brought to us should be ashamed of their actions (see The Resident May 9, 2008).
“These children were brought to us at the Refúgio at 4.30am. They were tired and distressed and although the parents are now saying that they were poisoned, I have proof on my desk that they were drunk.”


Dr Villas-Boas continued: “I would go to London and stand up in court and let the British know the truth about this couple, who were drunk with their children aged one, two and six, and their shame,” he said.

“We have created a tradition of competence which has been recognised by the courts and by the British State which has given us credibility in dealing with emergency cases.”

The refuge aims to either rehouse children with members of their birth family or, in cases when this is not possible, the children become adoptable in Portugal. “Between January and June this year, 43 children have left the home, with 22 adopted and the other 21 going back to their families,” said Dr Villas-Boas.

Although recognised in Portugal and internationally as an institution that provides exceptional emergency care and refuge to children in Portugal, Dr Villas-Boas says they are constantly in need of support.

“Because we are always focused on by the media, people think that we don’t need money, but of course we do,” said Luis Villas-Boas.

“Our staff, of more than 100, work 24 hours a day with dedication and sacrifice to provide for the children. If you would like to donate to us, we would ask you to come and visit us and the children first to see what the real needs are here. I would never ask a person to be a blind donor. Just call us to arrange a visit.”

For further information about the refuge, please visit www.refugioaa.org (English version currently being remodelled) or call 289 822 039. If you are concerned about the safety of a child, Luis Villas-Boas advises you to call 144. This is the national line for social emergencies and the operators speak English. The service is based in Lisbon but coordinates multiple services including the Bombeiros and GNR across the country.
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Re: Algarve refuge

Post  Guest on Wed 10 Sep - 9:25

I dont know why the press cover this up. The British are the worst for going on holidays with children and drink around them.

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