Residents in Monte Gordo, Vila Real de Santo António, were startled to discover a new born baby girl in a local refuse bin. Police rushed the infant, who was found among the rubbish in a plastic bag, to the Vila Real Health Centre, where she was diagnosed as suffering from hypothermia and promptly transferred to Faro Hospital. The baby girl, weighing 3,215 Kg, is now said to be in a stable condition and recovering well. The mother of the child, believed to be aged between 20 and 25, lives with her parents in the neighbourhood where the infant was found. She is undergoing treatment in the same hospital, under police guard. The future of the child now rests with the juvenile court.
Internet hoaxer charged by PJ
Officers from the Polícia Judiciária have taken action against a woman from Faro believed to be responsible for spreading false information via the internet concerning the existence of a paedophile network in the region. According to PJ sources, the woman spread panic throughout the Algarve in a series of e-mails which stated, falsely, that a paedophile group was operating close to schools, cafés and shopping centres and claiming that individuals had been seen photographing children for future use in paedophile activity.
The e-mails, signed “Cláudia Almeida”, were sent to institutions such as the University of the Algarve and the Cineclube de Faro, which in turn forwarded them to their thousands of members. The information had been taken seriously in many schools in the region, and Silves Primary School even issued a written warning to parents requesting that children be accompanied to and from school. A spokesman for the PJ said: “The woman has acted in an entirely irresponsible way and has spread panic throughout the population.”
Cinema star visits Faro
One of Portugal’s best known actresses, Alexandra Lencastre, is to be a guest at the Cineclube de Faro on November 18. She will be introducing her latest picture, A Falha, which also stars Rogério Samora, Rita Blanco, João Lagarto and Teresa Roby.
Directed by João Maria Grilo, A Falha is the story of a group of friends, all of whom had great hopes and dreams following the 25 de Abril 1974 revolution, and the reuniting of those same people, now in their 40s and 50s, a quarter of a century later. Alexandra Lencastre’s presence at the Cineclube de Faro’s screening of A Falha reflects the interest and enthusiasm displayed for Portuguese cinema in the Algarve.
• Tickets for A Falha can be purchased at Cineclube de Faro, Price is three euros for non members – Tel 289 827 627.
Bar helps charity reach new heights
The Blues Bar in Alporchinhos has raised 660 euros for Mamamaratona 2, bringing the total raised so far to a massive 45,000 euros. There is still time to raise money and to send in your donations and sponsorship money to Mamamaratona 2. Don’t forget that you can still buy a T-shirt for five euros. For information, please Tel 289 411 456 or e-mail email@example.com
A valuable multicultural experience – for all
Arco Largo was established in 1998 as a recruitment agency specialising in placing trainees from Germany in the Algarve tourist industry. Young students are found placements in the Algarve, with the security of knowing that they have the support services of local residents Karin Pohlke and Uwe Franke.
Through their agency, Karin and Uwe research possible work locations to ensure the students are well looked after. Accommodation, meals and pocket money are usually included and Arco Largo can also arrange courses for those wishing to learn another language. Regular meetings take place between Arco Largo and the students to ensure that all is well, often as part of social gatherings, or sightseeing trips.
Following the success of these placements, Karin and Uwe have decided to expand into the au pair business. Karin worked as an au pair herself when she went to England at the age of 18, only to find the host family also expected her to be a full-time maid and babysitter. After a year, she returned to Germany and became a social worker, specialising in placing children with foster families. Because of her background, Karin is well qualified to ensure that au pairs coming through her agency do not suffer the same bad experiences she had.
Through her social work qualifications, Karin is able to assess the suitability of the host families. “I can usually tell within the first few minutes whether a family is suitable for an au pair,” she said. “For example, one family wanted a girl to do all the cooking. They really wanted a cook, not an au pair!” The agency is based in Ferragudo and, although office hours are 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, both Karin and Uwe are on 24-hour call for the au pairs and their host families.
Arco Largo works with registered au pair agencies in Germany and England, and can arrange for young people to live with an English, German or Portuguese-speaking family in the Algarve, giving them valuable work experience in a multicultural environment, with the added bonus of the Algarvean lifestyle and weather!
Equally, interested young people from the Algarve can apply to be an au pair in Germany or England. The host family pay a one-off recruitment fee and bi-lingual contracts are drawn up stipulating a five-hour working day, as well as two or three nights’ babysitting. The au pairs are given their own room, share meals with the host family and receive 205 euros pocket money a month. Health insurance must also be provided by the host family for approximately 30 euros per month.
Karin explained: “It is the responsibility of the au pair to help look after the children and to assist with light household duties. Most au pairs are young girls looking to take a year out from their studies while at the same time gaining the experience of living in another country. Our agency is here to provide the support these young girls need, whether it is to act as mediators between themselves and the host family, or just to be someone to talk to if they get homesick.”
• If you are interested in employing or becoming an au pair, please contact Arco Largo on Tel 282 461 652 or fax 282 461 697 for more details.