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Portuguese Group Collect and Deliver Aid to Australian Fire Victims

A predominantly Portuguese group today delivered tonnes of food, water and other much-needed supplies to a southern area of ​​Sydney, Australia to support communities affected by forest fires.

According to 41-year-old Lusa Ricardo Marques, who has lived in Sydney since emigrating from Portugal with his family when he was twelve, it all started with an idea and a Facebook post, and from there it grew.  The idea started with family and friends, but it rapidly expanded, with social network posts leading to strangers delivering food, water, nappies and other goods to support affected populations.

More than a dozen lorries, ten to twelve vans, some with trailers and cars, today moved in convoy from the outskirts of Sydney to the Bateman’s Bay area in New South Wales.

The Portuguese group says that it is an act of solidarity and allows anyone who wants to be involved support the initiative which has collected thirty tonnes of essential food items. ‘ We had trucks to distribute the goods and I thought I’d post a message on Facebook to see if anyone wanted to contribute.  The response was overwhelming as there were a lot of people who went to our warehouse to take things. People I don’t know who I don’t even know who they are. They left canned food and stuff.’

The vehicle convoy unloaded the donated material at one of the drop off points near Bateman’s Bay, south of Sydney.  The army will now distribute everything to those in need, especially in remote and badly affected areas.

Those taking part in the journey saw first hand some of the areas destroyed by fires, that have killed twenty-eight people across the country, destroyed more than 2,200 homes, devastated an area larger than Portugal and killed over 1 billion animals across the country.

Ricardo Marques explained that he is still wondering whether or not to make a second collection, especially for animal support.  They have also delivered more than 250 litres of fuel to support the zoo near Bateman’s Bay, which is struggling to help both the animals in the park and the region.

Samantha Gannon

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Madeira Weekly