Tuesday, 21 June 2011

"After this summer the Dawn Refuge will not open its doors again."

It´s been almost fifteen years since we started to develop our dream of helping the most disadvantaged and what better way to help than working with children who, for a variety of reasons, had been deprived of a family. This is how we began the adventure of the "Refugio del Alba" or the Dawn Refuge and that´s how 5 young Spaniards who started this "crazyness" ended up living in Portugal.

In January of 2000 the Children´s Home received its first child: Nelson. He came from a marginalized neighborhood in Lisbon and had just turned 5 years old. Since then, 35 children have come through the Home, 35 new opportunities for 35 lives in which we have seen real miracles happen.

For the past three years we have stopped receiving new children. The Portuguese Administration (that has never helped us financially) started to require changes and improvements in our facilities which we´ve worked hard to complete at great financial costs, but it´s all been in vain. In a country where the crisis has pushed the government to ask the European Union for help, children´s homes like ours begin to disappear because it´s more politically correct tos ay that there are no institutionalized children, although there continue to be hundreds of children with a family, which is what the Dawn Refuge was able to offer them. 

We have tried to fight this, but we can´t have a Children´s Home without children. For this reason, we have been left with no other choice than to accept the fact that at the end of this summer the Dawn Refuge will not open its doors again. In these moments, we don´t have the words to express our sadness and the impotence that wefeel toward a system that keeps us from doing good; but we will not let anyone destroy the dream: our commitment to those who are suffering will continue to move forward.

Our greatest dsire is that this generation of children that have lived these last eleven years with us at the Refuge will in the future become good men and good women who will in turn help others so that the world will be a better place.

Now, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank everyone that has accompanied us on this journey, those that have accompanied us in this adventure...

We will keep moving forward again and always....to build hope.

Edi, Isa, Rubén, Loida and Rut

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