The Amadora city in district of the Portuguese capital Lisbon is home to many immigrants from former Portuguese colonies seeking a better life in the city. However, Amadora also suffers from high levels of poverty and unemployment, and jobs are difficult to find – a problem compounded by low education levels among the immigrant population.
In response, the cultural association Moinho da Juventude launched a series of specific training programmes to promote the employment and social inclusion of adults, young people and children from this disadvantaged group.
The project focused on the Alto da Cova da Moura neighbourhood, which has a high percentage of immigrants from the South Atlantic Cape Verde Islands. They suffer from significant unemployment levels and an environment with crime and drug trafficking – which contribute to negative stereotypes and economic and cultural poverty.
The project launched several services for the target community, such as supported employment to help guide people into training and employment. With the help of local businesses this achieved excellent results and some 70% went on into work.
Within the same initiative, citizenship awareness-raising events helped the young, their families and teachers reflect on cultural diversity and social integration issues. Here trainees learned to deal better with social interactions and intercultural issues – adding greatly to their integration and development of the community.