Thursday, November 15, 2012

No lunch for you my dear.

Here in Portugal as is well known, things are not good in terms of economy and crisis.  This recent event to me is the complete reality of the situation.  Obviously these things dont happen on a daily basis but this is an example of things happening.

A few weeks ago here in the Algarve, a little girl was left to go without her school meal.  The issues surrounding this is conflicting and I am not sure exactly what the situation on the day was, but this is what I understand to have happened.  The girls mother was behind in paying for her daughter's school meals, anywhere between 75cents or 30 euros, the mother had been asked to pay the backdated fees, which were payable direct to the school.  The mother works during the school office time and could not get there in time on this particular day.

So the school made the decision not to feed the child, a primary school age child, even a dinner lady offered to pay for the meal but was told not to.  So this child went hungry!!  In a modernised country, who lets a child go hungry for 30 euros!  The school's reason was that they have debts in terms of their food costs, and this is understandable, but they surely should have alerted someone to this particular child's situation, rather than just not to feed the child?  I think for an educational facility where the child's welfare should come first, this is completely unacceptable and the school has failed in its role.  If a child was potentially being neglected or hurt in some way would they not have a duty or conscience to do something, make someone aware, is this not a similar thing?  I know everyone is under financial pressure, but this is too much.

I love Portugal, but am sad to see how things have changed, time to move on!  

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