The Ombro Amigo project aims to remove 150 people from the Ourém community from isolation. Isolation

The Ombro Amigo project of Dr. Agostinho Albano de Almeida Foundation wants to free 150 people in the Ourém community in the Santarém district, the coordinator told the Lusa agency this Tuesday.

“The project aims to remove 150 people from the situation of isolation, but I want to believe that in two years we will have removed 500,” said Joana Calado, a psychologist.

According to the coordinator, the goal is “essentially the fight against isolation, not just physical isolation, but also social, emotional and psychological”. “In addition, the beneficiary must be in a situation of social vulnerability,” said the coordinator, pointing out that Ombro Amigo “consults people who have been signaled by community institutions” who have been notified of the initiative.

Joana Calado emphasized the “innovative character” of the project, in which anyone can register for a volunteer grant via an online platform, which also serves the beneficiaries. “We have a retired man with a disability who lives alone and seeks our help. We managed to get him to volunteer in some greenhouses, ”he added, explaining that the platform allows people from the community to register and offer their work.

“We can either place the beneficiaries we oversee or we can get volunteers for activities. We have already put several people into the world of work and volunteering, ”explained Joana Calado.

“Just over a hundred people” are currently being monitored under this initiative. “We monitor a lot more new people and our target is 70% of those over 65,” he noted.

“They are people, especially in a socially vulnerable situation, emotionally isolated, some elderly. We also accompany a number of young people who have been reported by the school and who are absent or deviant from the school, ”he explained. One of the features of the project is to travel home to the beneficiaries, give them psychological support or go shopping with them or have medical consultations. However, as the pandemic worsens, it is no longer being done.

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The Ombro Amigo was founded in 2019 and applied for for the social innovation program in Portugal. It was developed by the Foundation “based on the needs felt throughout their social experience”. The result of the candidacy came at the beginning of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. She was “put on hold” and started later in August with Joana Calado, a social technician and another psychologist.

The project, worth around 265,000 euros, had 70% funding from Portugal 2020, with the remaining funds being provided by the social partners, in this case companies and Câmara de Ourém.

Developed for three years, “reportedly ends December 31, 2022.” “We are not going to restore the eight months, but I hope Portugal Inovação Social will allow it to be extended for another two or three months so that we can achieve all the goals we set when we applied,” said he.

Ombro Amigo is headquartered on Rua dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra in the city of Ourém. In addition to this answer, Dr. Agostinho Albano de Almeida Foundation, whose roots go back to 1891, has made information available on its website about a nursing home, a daycare center, home support, a social canteen, a children’s and youth home and a social welfare and support service.