Families whose children are in or moving into higher education living in Faial will receive support from the parish council. The support which commences at the beginning of the school year includes a cheque for €65 to pay for air travel to the mainland, even those studying in Madeira will receive this support, and a shopping voucher.
Students from other levels of education – basic and secondary – will receive a shopping voucher, worth €20 euros and then at Christmas they will receive a second voucher worth €30. This support is universal and not dependent on school, status, financial means or school performance.
This initiative has been running for a couple of years and costs around €11,000 a year, a significant slice of the parish’s annual budget. However, not only is the parish helping families it is also supporting local businesses, as the vouchers can only be used in grocery stores within Faial, amounting to a €7,000 investment into local businesses.
In a statement a parish spokesperson said that the vouchers not only helped families but ensures the survival of local businesses and jobs.
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