ACCA sees kids off to a flying start in the new school year

ACCAChildren’s charity ACCA is entering its third year as provider of basic equipment for school children. With your help the programme can give hundreds of youngsters who are on the poverty line a proper start and the opportunity to make the best of their education

There are so many things we take for granted and have never considered what it is like, for example, for a child to start the new school year without essentials such as pencils, rubbers and rulers.
The State schools here on the Algarve cope admirably with their young pupils and the staff are committed to improving their charges’ chances in life. Teachers cannot, however, combat conditions at home, where there may be abuse, alcoholism, drug dependency or a simple lack of interest. Many parents themselves are ill-educated and do not know how to help their own children – to them education is not a priority, putting food in the mouth is.

The problem is chronic and widespread and as a result, in the past, children have been left to watch other, luckier classmates, progress simply because they have the tools.

Children’s charity ACCA has tackled the problem full on, and looks to supplying a back-pack of school utensils for each of the needy youngsters, who could be aged anything from 6 to 18. It is not easy to find them as they never come forward to ask for assistance but, with the help of the Social Services, schools, local groups such as DOINA and Akredita who care for children after school, community centres like ASCA and Antonio Aleixo who work with families, the Salvation Army, orphanages, and churches, ACCA has been able to identify those in real need.

Last year, 300 children benefited from the generosity of companies and individuals – the Ladies Luncheon Club and Alshihabi Agricultura went shopping and each provided competed back-packs for 30 kids.
We are hoping that this year even more will be helped.

It is important to remember that this is an exercise in basics – not luxuries – the kids do not need fancy motifs or characters like Barbie or Batman, emblazoned on books covers. What is wanted for each child are simple black-covered versions – two with lined pages, one blank and one with squares; rulers, compasses and calculators can be shared and will be useful for many years, but each student needs one to start of with.

ACCA shops around for the best value items; last year it purchased 70 back-packs normally priced at €20+ for just €3.99 in the Staples sale, ready for this year’s drive. Many supporters of this vital scheme choose to purchase products for the charity, while others donate money which ACCA will then spend on their behalf. All of the shops run different offers – Pingo Doce, for example, has special value packs of felt tips, pencils etc, in a folder.

We are asking everyone to get involved by donating products or money; together we can really make a difference.

How you can help

This is the basic equipment needed....

• A4 notebooks lined
• A4 notebooks squared
• A4 notebooks plain
• Pens and pencils
• Pencil sharpeners
• Felt-tipped pens
• Rulers
• Colouring pencils
• Scissors
• A4 files/binders
• Plastic page protectors
• Set square/compass
• Calculators
• Staplers
• Pencil cases
• Post-its
• Corrector pens/erasers

For your convenience, you can leave items at Lewis Andrew Store, (across from Apolonia), Nobre Passos - the main Pharmacy in Almancil, Casa Curiosa EN125 or Paws4Pet in Albufeira.

Please call 918 376 657 for collection or to make a donation.

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