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The Almost Unknown Impact of Portuguese Social Cooperation – The Observer



The Almost Unknown Impact of Portuguese Social Cooperation – The Observer

The brown dirt road at the entrance contrasts with the flowers that adorn the walls of the main building of the Centro Social de Nª Sr.ª de Fátima, one of more than 30 social projects supported by the Portuguese Cooperation in Timor-Leste.

In the space, you can hear the sounds of music and the voices of dozens of children who are in the rhythm of applause in various ATL classrooms set up next to the Padia church, not far from the new paved road that connects the enclave capital from Ocusse Ambeno to the Tono area in the south.

The project was born in 2002 at the initiative of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Divine Providence, who decided to create here, to this day, one of the most isolated areas of the country, an orphanage and a support center for children.

We started with 37 children, the most needy, who had no parents or anyone to help them continue their research. Today we have 320″,” explains Timorese sister Mariana da Costa Araujo, surrounded by dozens of children of all ages.


Almost from the very beginning, the project had support for Portuguese cooperation, later joined by the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Integrationand today the Padiae center is one of the best examples of the great impact of the Portuguese cooperation on the country.

Between 2002 and 2021, through the cooperation of the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security of Portugal, Timor-Leste received more than 19 million US dollars for more than 30 projects and initiatives throughout the country.

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These initiatives, aimed specifically at fighting poverty, included support for two dozen pieces of equipment that are used by nearly 30,000 people every year.

Among the extensive areas of coverage socio-pedagogical support for children and youthfood support, training, social support in education, health care, home support, languages ​​and libraries, boarding schools, adult literacy and community animation, and support for vulnerable populations, including those with tuberculosis and HIV.

The Padiae space operates like an ATL, welcoming children during shifts when they are not at school.

“Those who have classes in the morning come here in the afternoon. Those who have school in the afternoon stay here in the morning and then our bus takes them to different schools. We support three meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner,” says Mariana Araujo.

“I see children in our care who have access to better nutrition. And you can see that they are well fed. We pay a lot of attention to nutrition, because when children go to school, without reasonable nutrition, it does not help them learn,” he emphasizes.

Educational plan – under the motto “grow in age, wisdom and grace with Jesus– covers various activities, “primarily the Portuguese language, mathematics, plastic expression and music.”

There are activities for children between 1st and 12th grade and even support for young people who receive scholarships to study in Portugal or for whom the center rents a house in Dili to study in the capital.

“Among those measured, some have taken courses in Portugal with a scholarship and others in Brazil or Mozambique with sponsorship and are now working in Timor. I tell the boys: you ate here, so you need to return to work in Timor, ”says the sister.

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The connection to Portugal is evident in the songs in Portuguese that the children rehearse in the classrooms – the whole complex is in excellent condition thanks to regular cleaning and maintenance – but also outside.

In the sports complex, Timor-Leste and Portugal flags are hung on the backboards of the basketball court, and the walls are decorated with children’s dolls with the flags of both countries.

Along one of the wings is a painting showing the faces of some Timorese historical leaders, as well as Father João Felgueiras, now over 100 years old, and a Portuguese who has lived in the country longer.

Next to each image is a phrase in defense of the Portuguese language and its historical significance for the country, including the first president, Nicolau Lobato, Xanana Gusmão, Mari Alkatiri and José Ramos-Horta.

Teaching Portuguese in Timor is an activity that comes from the heart and will of the people more than any other initiative.“, is written next to the image with the bust of João Felgueiras.

“Without the Portuguese language, Timor would be the eternal slave of Javanese culture,” Xanana Gusmão, in a resistance camouflage cap, practically next to another historical leader, a “civilian” on a motorcycle: “We are the target of one of Indonesia’s 13,000 islands, and we are different only because we speak Portuguese.”

On one of the walls hangs a portrait of Mari Alkatiri and one of her historical phrases about the Portuguese language: “The interaction between the Portuguese language, Tetum and faith led to the birth of the Timorese nation.”

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Santander Foundation Offers Scholarships for Portuguese Language Courses for Ukrainian Refugees



Santander Foundation Offers Scholarships for Portuguese Language Courses for Ukrainian Refugees

Citizens of Ukraine fleeing the war who wish to learn Portuguese can apply for a scholarship from the Santander Foundation, which will offer 12-week online courses run by the Open University.

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PCP Condemns the Portuguese Government’s Commitment to Finnish and Swedish NATO Membership



PCP Condemns the Portuguese Government's Commitment to Finnish and Swedish NATO Membership

The PKP denounced this Monday the “clear commitment of the Portuguese government” to support Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO candidacy, arguing that the accession of the two countries “represents a serious escalation of tension” in Europe.

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The digital building opens the door to the world and more European and possibly African architects.



The digital building opens the door to the world and more European and possibly African architects.

New Casa da Arquitectura Portal was released this weekend. nicknamed digital building opened its doors to the world for the purpose democratize access researchers and students free of charge in the collection of several leading names in Luso-Brazilian architectureincluding two Pritzker Prize.

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa and Pritzker 2011 Eduardo Souto de Moura supported launch of this new portal. Both point to a wider European and even African presence on the archival platform currently available from anywhere in the world.

The digital building is a virtual version of the Casa da Arquitectura itself. THIS “live” project and who intends to grow by attracting more international architects, as one of the most emblematic “residents” in the archive, Portuguese Eduardo Souto de Moura, Pritzker Prize 2011the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for World Architecture.

“There is a chance (to shelter) the great Spanish architect. We are waiting for the best funds. Today the Prime Minister came here, this is a good sign for us to become more international in collecting these trophies. Europeans, for now, and possibly Africans,” he said. Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018.

Souto de Moura’s revelations came a few minutes after Prime Minister of Portugal also mentioned in the microphone to Euronews the desire that this digital Casa da Arquitectura building become the “home” of architects from “other geographic regions”, in addition to the inevitable Portuguese-Brazilian names, already with collections “living” in Matosinhos.

“The fact that this digital building exists and that the collections stored and processed here can be accessed from anywhere in the world opens up the possibility for architects from all over the world to place their assets here. We have two great Brazilian architects here, Lucio Costa and Paulo Mendez da Rocha“said Antonio Costa, a self-proclaimed “friend” of Casa da Arquitectura.

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The Head of Government, accompanied by Minister of Housing Marina Gonçalves, also stressed the European Commission’s commitment to validate and develop European architecture through Program “New Bauhaus”.interdisciplinary initiative aimed at bringing together European green deal to the everyday life of citizens and to the space in which we live.

“Today, fortunately, thanks to the New Bauhaus project, Europe has accepted architecture as a central element in this dual digital and climate transformation process,” the Portuguese Prime Minister explained to us, adding that the idea is to “make architecture the engine of this transformation” and “Europe is committed” to this.

new portal

The doors of the Digital Building were opened in a ceremony led by architect Nuno Sampaio, CEO of Casa da Arquitectura.

(Visit the portal here)

The new portal is a virtual structure with three “floors”: on the first floor there is a new online store where you can purchase unique materials, on the top you can get acquainted with all the activities of the House and virtual visits to ongoing exhibitions. there since 2019 you can consult; in the middle is virtue, that is, the new noble space of the House, overlooking tens of thousands of documents donated or kept in the archive, which is now accessible from anywhere in the world.

Operating Systems already existing collections belong references to Portuguese-Brazilian architecture, with an emphasis on the “pritzkers” Souto de Moura and Paulo Mendez da Rocha, authors, for example, and, respectively, of the Municipal Stadium of Braga and the new Museo dos Coches in Lisbon.

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The digital building also allows access to the careers of Antonio Fortunato Cabral, ARS Arquitetos, Francisco Melo and Jorge Gigante, Gonzalo Birne, João Luis Carrillo da Graça, Pedro Ramalho, Teresa Fonseca, photographer Luis Ferreira Alves and the so-called “father”. Brasilia – Lucio Costa.

Nearly 10,000 documents have been properly completed, scanned and are available for review, and more than 30,000 are still being processed. The House also has space to accommodate much more materials.

The goal is to make Casa da Arquitectura epicenter of global knowledge freely available, which makes education and research in this area more democratic and accessible to all, Timor to Canada via Matosinhos.

Eduardo Souto de Moura believes that the level of Portuguese architecture is high and this new easier access to knowledge development can be beneficial, allowing look to the past to design the future.

“I am convinced that today there are two, three or four names that are identical or superior to American, Japanese or European architects. I hope that while still alive, some time later I will be able to see one of my friends win the Pritzker Prize. There are no two without three,” the 2011 winner joked, also remembering Pritzker 1992, Alvaro Sizaanother “resident” of Casa da Arquitectura, but this time a partial one, yielding the corresponding collection to the Canadian Architecture Center.

Souto Moura recalls that Casa da Arquitectura “began to be the museum of a city that was not even a city like Porto or Lisbon”, it was from Matosinhos, a place of lesser expression than the one mentioned above.

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“With the development of the work of an exceptional team, it has become a Portuguese museum, and with this chance of digitization and globalization, it becomes universal service museum”, sums up the architect, who is also responsible for Crematorium Courtray, Belgium.

For the award-winning Portuguese creative, “the more information, the better the form,” and having this digital building now helps in that sense. “What we want is to have the form of quality so that we can live better. This is the happiness of people,” he said.

The launch of the new portal ended with a debate on the topic “problems of the digital archive”, moderated by José Miguel Rodriguez, from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, with the participation of Eduardo Saron, from the Brazilian platform Itaú Cultural, the Dutchman Martien de Vletter, from the Canadian Architecture Center, and Nuno Sampaio, Executive Director of Casa da Arquitectura.

The problems start now and go through the dissemination of knowledge about architecture in the four corners of the world in the form encourage research and research at a very low price and even for free.

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