Glasses for Children

WORDS Bernadette Abbott

Children across the Algarve suffer a severe disadvantage at school. Hundreds, if not more, face an immediate disability as their parents do not have the resources to buy the glasses they need to participate fully in the classroom.

A large proportion of these children have unidentified needs as they have never had an eye/sight test. This is not a result of negligence by their parents. Glasses, in Portugal, are extremely expensive and beyond the means of any family living on, near or below minimum pay. There is currently no Government aid for eye tests or glasses for children, regardless of family income.

As we all know, education is a major route out of poverty and if a child cannot see sufficiently well, then they cannot make the most of their education; hence, this route is denied to them. We believe that this is a significant contributing factor to the intergenerational poverty that we see on a daily basis.

This unsatisfactory situation has been a concern to us for some time, and whilst we have been able to help in a few isolated cases, we do not have the resources to address a problem of this scale.

Consequently, we are about to launch our Glasses for Children Appeal.

We will appeal to individuals, groups and companies to do everything they can to help us with this project. This is a way that your help can be instrumental in changing a child’s life.

Whilst we will not officially launch this campaign until 1 December, I write now to ask that if anybody is doing fundraising events over the festive season, please consider this appeal as your recipient.

As somebody who wears glasses, both for reading and for distance, I can’t imagine how I could function if I did not have the lenses I needed.

Next month we will have more information about the way forward, but in the interim, please take this message to heart and if you can help, please do.

I would also like to appeal for volunteers to help Families in Need. We will have a number of initiatives leading up to Christmas and we really need more help. Anybody with a van would be particularly welcome, but all help is appreciated.

Please feel free to contact us at any time at or

Or via our Facebook page or website.


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