04 Aug 2017 176 views
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At one side of the Miradouro da Nossa senhora do Monte is the Igreja da Nossa senhora do Monte (Church of our Lady of the Mount). This guy was making the porch in front of the main doors of the church, his home for the night. The church doesn't seem to be in use for any other purposes. I got the distinct idea that he is a refugee, who crossed the Mediteranean. I have seen some other cases of people sleeping in the streets, but they were few.


I spoke to a guy in Portugal, with a doctorate in economics and anthropology. Portugal declared themselves willing to receive 10,000 refugees, after being called on to take 1,600 refugees. Despite the open and friendly attitude of the Portuguese towards the refugees from across the Mediteranean - not a lot of refugees seem to be arriving. The guy explained to me that as a result of rebuild following the Salazar era, income is still somewhat low, compared to other European countries. Also, Portugal is not so hot on social support as some other countries. The result is that Portugal is not high on the refugees' destination list.



comments (13)

I have a feeling this story could be repeated 100-fold all over the world, Louis, though he may be better off than most...having a sizable dufflebag with his possessions. So many arrive with nothing, and it breaks my heart.
Louis: Yes, Ginnie, you are right. One thing I have learnt over the years, is not to make generalisations. There are refugees and "refugees". Somehow, these people fleeing from countries like Syria, many seem to have a lot of money. I mean, they can pay exorbitant prices to cross the Med. I believe that in my country, only 30% of the population will be able to lay their hands on enough cash; equivalent to pay for a Med crossing for a family of 4. Still many people skip the border from our neighbouring countries, for the privilege to stay here. One aspect of fleeing, to think about.
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 4 Aug 2017, 06:28
The place they all seem to want to get to is the UK Louis. Just why is anyone's guess..
Louis: Probably the sterling, Chris - but that is just a guess.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 4 Aug 2017, 06:42
Portugal is a poor country and cannot receive too many refugees. I admire the support of the church.
Louis: Interesting country - Portugal.
Le pauvre a une vie bien difficile.
Louis: C'est vrai, Martine.
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 4 Aug 2017, 08:06
I always wished I could sit comfortably cross-legged Louis. Even as a child I could not do it.
Louis: I can, could, do it - but never feel comfortable that way, gutteridge.
There are reckoned to be over 14 million refugees of concern worldwide. That is about the population of Chad
Louis: Chad has an airway, Stooges as pals and now a population, too? What a man! Jokes aside - the 14 million is probably very conservative, as there is 28 million people enslaved in one way or the other.
YOu can but wonder just what is going to happen to the thosands of refugees, not only in Europe but indeed on your own continent as well.
Louis: The common denominator is governments that don't put their own charges first. Sick business and it has been like that, like forever - and will not stop very soon.
  • Ray
  • Not in United States
  • 4 Aug 2017, 14:59
Its a fine shot, Louis.

The Lad has a well stacked backpack.
Louis: Thank you Ray. He is loaded, so to say.
It's a hard life for some - and, yes, you are right about the refugees - they want to go to countries where they can get a job, and there's not much scope at present in Portugal. It is still one of the poorest countries in Europe.
Louis: The good thing is that the Portuguese are working at building a better economy.I hope they succeed.
Behind each picture is a story, sometimes a tragic one.
Louis: It happens a lot, Larry.
A fine photo, Louis. Though a sad one...
Louis: Thank you Frank.
  • Lisl
  • Bath, England
  • 5 Aug 2017, 09:31
This could be a picture of a homeless man on our city streets, Louis
Louis: All kinds of refugees, everywhere, Lisl.
An excellent shot. Great photojournalism. Very heartbreaking - hope he'll be alright.
Louis: Thank you Elizabeth. This kind of thing is heartbreaking, indeed.

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