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‘Hands to Work’ Initiative in Funchal

Several dozen young people gathered this morning to clean the city of Funchal.

The ‘Hands to Work’ initiative is a national project based on the idea by young adult Inês Durão, who wanted to carry out a general cleaning all over Portugal.  Beatriz Canha represented the initiative in Madeira and Funchal City Day was chosen as a day they would contribute to creating a greener world.

Beatriz Camacho, aged sixteen is one of seven young organisers, who explained that the group realised the sense of urgency in protecting the planet and who decided to act now saying, ‘If we sit and wait for the adults to take the initiative, we will all die.’

The participants were divided into five groups and given one of five pre-designated areas of importance to clean.  These were the Santa Catarina Park, the Municipal Garden, the People’s Square, the Old Town and the beach next to the Fortaleza de St. James.

João Henrique de Freitas of PAN Madeira wanted to mark Funchal City Day by participating in this project. He explained that when he learned that an informal group of young people, who met through social networks, namely WhatsApp and Instagram, were expressing their concerns about environmental issues, he did not hesitate to join in.  He went on to say that  ‘As the environment, climate change, pollution and waste are fundamental issues for us, these young people deserve all the support possible, and we couldn’t help but join them, and show that there are people who care as much as they do.’  Also, the fact that several dozen young people took part in the initiative, shows a “paradigm shift”, says the PAN Madeira spokesman who believes the younger generation, more than older generations are more aware of the importance of tackling environmental problems.

Samantha Gannon

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